Thanks to their work in Champlain’s Senior Show (the capstone presentations of all the game seniors), two Game Design ’15 graduates were recruited by Chris Reese, Product Director to work for Sony Bend, a game studio dedicated to excellence and innovation.
Carlos Gutierrez GDES ’15
Gutierrez’s “post-grad journey” started as a QA Tester at Vicarious Visions (VV), testing out new games that had been designed to see if there were any issues/problems with how they function. He started work with them right after graduation.
“Everyone there was very nice and collaborative,” said Gutierrez. “You could feel the enthusiasm everyone had for their work. Working at VV was a great learning experience and affirmation that Champlain had developed me to fit in with a [big entertainment game studio] work flow.”
A month into his work with VV, a recruiter from Sony Bend (whom he’d interviewed with at the Senior Show) responded to a follow-up email asking for another interview. It took another two months for Gutierrez to finally receive a design test, but “it was well worth it.” He was the first to submit the design test, resulting in another phone interview and, finally, a job offer.
“I was so excited I really couldn’t fully believe any of it until I landed in Oregon to beging searching for an apartment…” said Gutierrez. “These opportunities wouldn’t be possible without the connections and program Champlain offers the Game Studio students.”
Gutierrez’s official job title is Associate Technical Designer. Technical designers are game designers who know enough in the field of programming to create/illustrate their ideas. Gutierrez will be contributing to the design of the game and helping construct the gameplay.
Dylan Goff GDES ’15
After an in-person interview with Chris Reese at the Senior Show, three phone interviews, and a design test, Dylan Goff was hired by Sony Bend into a position specially crafted for his skill set.
“Because I had specialized in systems design, I did not have [an] extensive background in level design and wanted to make my design test as best I could to compete with my peers,” said Goff. “I dedicated a lot of time to not only making the documents, but also to watching playthroughs of the titles they asked me to design for.”
The staff at Sony Bend loved the documents, including the quality of the content, legibility, and the pleasing aesthetics. Goff even explained to them how integral the documents were to his process for systems design and how transferring that process to mission design was “a challenge in itself.”
“My guess is that they also looked at my portfolio to see examples of how I use them for things like specific mechanic design, like on my Hyper Syntax page, to world systems design,” said Goff.
After Gutierrez was offered his position, Goff started hearing from other classmates who said that they were “no longer being considered.” He spent a couple weeks expecting to receive an email of the same type; however, he received an email stating that a position was being designed just for him.
“As the conversation [with the Lead Mechanics designer] wound down, I was given the opportunity to ask questions,” said Goff, “and my chief one was how many others were being considered for this position. Their response was probably the most validating thing I’ve ever heard: ‘Oh, it’s just you. We’re pushing for this position to get you out here.’ They say you can hear if someone is smiling over the phone and they must’ve heard me loud and clear. I was beaming.”