I am feeling very honored to have been chosen to represent Full Sail for this event.
Full Sail and WWE have a great partnership and for me as a student it is awesome to get to see WWE Wrestlers on campus along with the full production of what goes into tapping a WWE NXT event. Full Sail invited 2K Sports along with a bunch of reporters from all over to come see our campus and show off the new WWE 2K15 Wrestling game. I was invited to be one of 4 students to represent the gaming side of Full Sail. I honestly was unaware of what the event was going to be, or how big of a deal it was going to be, but when Rob Coble asks you to do something, you do it! I know he would never steer me wrong so I jumped at the invitation. Little did I know I would be standing up in front of all these industry professionals with the likes of Garry Jones (President of Full Sail), John Saboor (WWE Senior Vice President of Live Events), Rob Coble (Full Sail Industry Outreach Liason-Game Studies/Career Development), and that’s not all… Chance Glasco (Full Sail Hall of Fame Member, Former Senior Animator at Infinity Ward, One of the original “Call of Duty” Creators). I was in awe standing up there with 3 of my fellow peers.
Afterwards, we got to speak to the media and a very nice man named Jim Varsallone came up to me to discuss my website. I was very honored once again that with all these powerhouse people up on stage with me, and he choose to come chat with me about what I am doing. I didn’t think too much of it until this morning when I see this new article in the Miami Herald and I was mentioned along with everything and everyone else.
Afterward, I got to go hang with Chance Glasco and Will Fitzgerald and some of the other students who were invited to the event at the WWE NXT match and watch some good old wrastling!
It was definitely a night to remember for me in my Full Sail Journey!
First off, I have to say this was the largest event I have attended to date at Full Sail.
They were lined out the door almost 200 strong to see Barry Hawkins!
With that said, I knew this was going to be a great event to attend. Barry was one of the most articulate speakers I have seen come through Full Sail’s doors, since I have started. He brought the business side of the video game world in his speech that he prepared. It was nice to hear about the nitty-gritty business side of the video game world and not just the glitz and glamour that a lot only speak about. Coming from my business background, I could tell a lot of stuff he was speaking about might have been going over some of these kids heads, but I was soaking it all in like a dried out sponge. He spoke a lot about how a video game studios, like Riot Games, operates and their structure. My favorite part was the Riot Games Manifesto;
1. Player Experience First 2. Challenge Convention 3. Focus on Talent and Team
4. Take Play Seriously 5. Stay Hungry, Stay Humble
It is nice to know some companies still worry about the user’s experience before profits. I hope to work for a company that is like this when I graduate.
Yet again, I am blown away by how much my school works to get these amazing people, in our industry, down to speak with us. These guys take time out of their schedules to come down to give us n00bs a fresh and honest perspective of what we can expect when we graduate. BIG thanks also goes to Rob Coble for putting these events together. I get the feeling that he is the main reason most of these people come on down to Full Sail.
I am so glad I choose Full Sail as my college, because I KNOW there is no way I would have had this much networking opportunities at any other school.
Today Elbert Perez who works for Microsoft and is also an Indie Game designer at OccasionalGamer.com joined us at Full Sail as a guest speaker. He had a lot of great information to share with us about getting into the gaming industry. He is a well-respected alumni of Full Sail who graduated in 2005 and has had an illustrious career in the gaming industry. As an Indie Game creator who has over 2 million game downloads under his belt, he had a lot to speak about in the Indie Game industry. He shared with us his experiences of getting his games published and the pros and cons of the different methods. The thing that always sticks out when these greats of the industry come in and speak is, NETWORKING! I have yet to hear one person who is in the industry say they just filled out an application and they got the job. Every person has said they got to where they are due to who they knew prior to the job. So, I will continue to network and hopefully in 3 years I will have a great Rolodex of some of the most amazing people in the industry.
The thing I love the most about these guest speakers and Q&A sessions that Full Sail hosts, is that we get to see the direct results of our efforts in action. Most of the speakers I have seen have been Full Sail alumni or they got their degree in something similar. It really inspires me to see these people come and give back to Full Sail, not just for the love of the school, but for the love of the students who are in the very seats they sat in just a few years ago. It shows us that we CAN do it, and we CAN be just like them and in hopefully a few years after graduating we can be a guest speaker that the new students of the future will want to come see.