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MIT Alumni in the Game Industry

November 25, 2013 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

MIT Students: Are you curious about how to get a job in the game industry as an MIT graduate? What kind of jobs can MIT prepare you for? What should you expect from your first job?

The MIT Game Lab has invited a number of local MIT alumni in the game industry to talk about their experiences entering the industry.

These alumni have experience working at large game studios (Harmonix, Blizzard, Bungie Studios), educational game studios (Muzzy Lane, Learning Games Network), and independent game studios (Fire Hose Games, MoonShot Games). Their jobs have included programming, level design, game design, sound design, music composition, and writing.

Panelists include:

Ethan Fenn
Fire Hose Games

Ethan graduated in 2004 with a double major in Courses 18 and 21M. Soon after graduating he joined the team at Harmonix, where he worked as a programmer with an audio focus on several titles, including Karaoke Revolution Party, Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero II, and Rock Band. After a few years at Harmonix, he met Eitan Glinert, who had recently finished his graduate work at GAMBIT and was working on starting up a new game studio, Fire Hose Games. Ethan jumped right in at the start of the studio and has been with Fire Hose since. At Fire Hose he’s worn many hats, being responsible for the composition and sound design in Slam Bolt Scrappers and Go Home Dinosaurs, as well as plenty of programming and game design.

Naomi Hinchen
Flash Programmer, Learning Games Network

Naomi Hinchen graduated Course 6-3 in 2011 and finished her MEng in 2012. While at MIT, she was on the teams for Poikilia and The Snowfield at GAMBIT (now the MIT Game Lab). Until recently, she worked at Learning Games Network, primarily on the language learning game Xenos.

Damián Isla
President, co-founder, Moonshot Games

Damián has been working on and writing about game technology for over a decade. He is president and co-founder of Moonshot Games, purveyors of fun and innovative mobile gaming fare.

Before Moonshot, Damián was AI and Gameplay engineering lead at Bungie Studios, where he was responsible for the AI for the mega-hit first-person shooters Halo 2 and Halo 3.

A leading expert in the field of Artificial Intelligence for Games, Damián has spoken on games, AI and character technology at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), at the AI and Interactive Digital Entertainment Conference (AIIDE), and at Siggraph, and is a frequent speaker at the Game Developers Conference (GDC).

Before joining the industry, Damián earned a Masters Degree with the Synthetic Characters group at the M.I.T. Media Lab. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science, also from M.I.T.

Patrick Rodriguez
Game Designer, Muzzy Lane Software

Patrick Rodriguez graduated from MIT in 2012 with a degree in Comparative Media Studies. He now works for Muzzy Lane Software in Newburyport, MA, making educational/serious games. His most recent project is a corporate training game for a retail chain in mexico that trains employees how to talk with customers to recommend the best product for them.

Rob Stokes
Senior Level Designer, Harmonix Music Systems

Rob grew up in Marshfield, MA, before heading off to MIT for undergrad. While there, Rob earned a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, which has proven largely useless in his career, except when doing back-of-the-envelope terminal velocity calculations for space stations falling into the gravity wells of gas giants.

After MIT, Rob attended the American Film Institute in LA, while he earned his MFA in writing. He next worked at Bungie for five years, working as a mission designer on Halo 2 and one of the design leads on Halo 3. He also led up the story development process for Halo 3 and got to do most of the early writing for missions and cinema tics.

After Bungie, Rob co-founded a small startup called Moonshot Games, where he served as Creative Director. He currently works at Harmonix Music Systems in Cambridge, despite not being able to carry a tune, bust a move, or play chopsticks.

Mark Sullivan
Harmonix Music Systems

Mark Sullivan has been working in the games industry for just over two years, during which time he’s been working as a gameplay programmer at Harmonix Music Systems on the 2014 title Fantasia: Music Evolved. Prior to that, he completed his undergrad in course 6 at MIT in 2010, and then his MEng in 2011. He worked as a UROP and eventually a research assistant at the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab for most of his time at MIT, from Summer 2007 to Summer 2011.

Presented by the MIT Game Lab and Comparative Media Studies | Writing.


November 25, 2013
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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MIT Game Lab


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