Exposure to the Industry

One of the big draws to UCF, aside from working on video games, was the when I went over to visit the new Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy at the new Center for Emerging Media. My first exposure to the program was when I was an undergrad at UCF and the art director from FIEA would pop in and even taught one of the classes there. That’s how I first learned about FIEA. When I visited, it was much more the kind of program I would expect to build video games in. They pulled out all the stops there and had a cool environment and I could be surrounded by like-minded people. You know, you’re not in this little room having somebody make you watch a DVD tutorial or something instead of having professors teach you.

I might still be in he game industry if I hadn’t gone to FIEA, but I wouldn’t have been as successful because I learned a lot about the industry and was challenged by the talented students around me. My favorite thing was that I felt the other artists were actually better than me — more creative than me — and it motivated me to be better. It’s not about wanting to be better but about wanting to catch up and be as good as the others.

We always had people from the industry coming in to talk to us. Electronic Arts would come in and tell us about available internships and I think there were 15 of us and we all went for them. I already had a pretty good portfolio, so I got that internship, but it wasn’t long before I began seeing my classmates join the company and get their careers started not long after they graduated.