Game Design MFA Advisory Council and Industry Partners
Paolo Pace is a senior designer at Treyarch working on Call of Duty Black Ops. A former graphic designer, photographer, and entrepreneur, Paolo transitioned to pursue his passion in interactive entertainment on such titles as For Honor, Splinter Cell Blacklist, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War, to name a few. His career has spanned 15+ years and he has held positions from Production Coordination and Project Management, to Level Design and Game Design, including a lead role on Shadow of the Tomb Raider for the introduction of open word systems to the franchise. His passion for crafting games includes sharing what he has learned with those eager to enter this exciting industry.
Derek Sunshine is an American game developer and creative leader known for video game titles such as Wildstar, Sorcery, War Commander Rogue Assault and Megalith. He graduated from the Art Institute of Ft Lauderdale Florida in 2006 and has been leading the charge on innovative and engaging games from all angles of development. His background in art and design along with his passion for team building and mentorship has landed him in creative leadership roles at companies such as KIXEYE and Amazon. With deep expertise in free to play games and diverse experience across PC, console, mobile, and VR using the industries newest and best technologies, puts Derek in the position to deliver results that matter.
Chris Remo is a game designer, writer, and composer with a particular focus on interactive narrative experiences. His credits include Firewatch, Gone Home, Star Wars Rogue One: X-Wing VR Mission, Half-Life: Alex, Thirty Flights of Loving, The Cave, and several others, and he has worked across several disciplines at Valve, Campo Santo, Double Fine Productions, and Irrational Games. He has spoken at conferences worldwide about many elements of game development, including the exploration of interactive narrative as demonstrated in the critically- and commercially-successful Firewatch. For over a decade, Chris produced and co-hosted popular podcasts such as Idle Thumbs and Important If True through the podcast network he co-founded.
Todd co-founded Carbon Project Inc., a creative agency in Southern California, to provide strategic and experience based design for brands such as Nike, The Walt Disney Company, Ford Motor Company, and the Johnson & Johnson Medical Device Companies. Carbon Project also assists start-ups with innovation mapping and brand development.
For over 25 years as a creative director, Todd has synthesized his experiences, inquiry and curiosity to create unique solutions for a wide range of companies. Whether global brands or startup ventures, Todd’s focus is to understand the big picture thinking in order to construct strategies for his clients. These strategies impact business growth, brand awareness and customer experiences. He believes design is where business and empathy meet to create a dialog with the audience. As an Industrial Designer and persistent polymath, his passion is to connect the abstract through observation and investigation, along with a healthy dose of humor, to arrive with an innovative solution.
Todd has been part of the most creative in-house teams as a designer and as an executive. He has built and nurtured strategies, products and experiences for Fortune 50 brands. He has collaborated with talented people in varied disciplines and in different industries. This cross-pollination of expertise provides opportunities that organizations look for and elevates the brand bar to new levels.
Besides his experiences within Carbon Project, Todd worked as the Global Director, Brand Image for Global Creative and Fashion and Home at The Walt Disney Company. He led global teams of graphic and environmental designers, coordinated with film property releases as well as evergreen franchises to create compelling communications, packaging and retail experiences. He worked closely with Disney’s licensees across all product categories to ensure accurate character and story guidelines were followed. Todd served as Global Creative Liaison to the Disney Consumer Products (DCP), Brand Council, networking with and directing internal and external Creative/Product Design stakeholders.
Prior to Disney he joined a marketing/design think tank for Ford Motor Company in Southern California, focusing brand strategies for their portfolio of car brands. Having a collective view of all the brands, the team developed strategies that differentiate and delineate based on their attributes and personality qualities. Being a small team of 9, with 9 different disciplines, the strategies were able to be executed at every opportunity. He was part of creating brand statements that included concept cars, corporate aircraft, showrooms, international show stands, branded immersions and corporate architecture.
Before joining Ford Motor Company Todd was recruited to Nike’s Image Design group, where brand storytelling was interlaced in every detail and at every touch point. He was lead designer on many projects and created experiences at every scale, including:communications, X-Games, Super Show. He was lead designer for Niketown, which established innovative 70,000 square foot retail destinations across the globe that immersed guests into the athlete’s story and technological advancements in product design. He helped bring Nike’s Digital Sizing technology to the athlete and customer with Nike’s Advanced Technology Exploration group (ATE). Always inspired by Nike, Todd continues to collaborate with the company.
Todd is a graduate from the Industrial Design program at Art Center College of Design. He returned to the Art Center to teach Graduate and Undergraduate classes. Through Art Center, he was asked to be a visiting Professor at INSEAD Business School for the World in Singapore, blending Industrial Design and MBA students in a cross discipline curriculum.
Dan Frost has extensive experience in education, software development, and policy. His Ph.D. is in artificial intelligence and automated reasoning. For twenty years he has been a faculty member at the University of California, Irvine, in the departments of Computer Science and Informatics. He has taught topics ranging from artificial intelligence and software engineering to social impacts of computerization and game engine design. Dan led UC Irvine’s innovative Computer Game Science major, which he co-founded in 2010. Dan now works at a technology start up in Newport Beach.
Mark W.J. Kelly
co-founded Carbon Project Inc. in 2001, a strategic and experience based design consultancy in Southern California offering a holistic approach to design and business with emotional connections reaching all consumer touch points from micro to macro. The company offers services ranging from visual brand strategy and brand alignment, product/trend research, product/graphic/retail design as well as branded immersions. Clients include companies such as Nike, Disney, Columbia Sportswear, Samsung America, Fujitsu, Johnson & Johnson/Biosense Webster, Endologix, Allergan, Medtronics, Lincoln Automotive, Ford Automotive as well as the Premier Automotive Group. She was formerly a Brand Strategist and Head of Product Design for the Brand Imaging Group of Ford Motor Company in Irvine California. During the stay at Ford she was responsible for building visual brand alignment for the Ford Motor Company portfolio of brands with respect to image consistency and brand differentiation. She has been heading up projects, such as designing five branded corporate airplanes, corporate dealerships, visual design guidelines and the development of brand apparel and life-style products. Before joining Ford, Angelika worked as a lead footwear designer for the women’s category at Nike in Beaverton Oregon where she assisted the company to strengthen the public image of the current Nike women’s business. Some of her footwear products have won public recognition as receiving the Walking Magazine’s ‘Product of the Year’ Award. She also worked for several years prior as a product designer at Ziba Design in Portland Oregon, an internationally renown design consultancy. She was closely involved with the product research process and has designed award winning products for clients, such as Black & Decker, Microtek, Wacom Technologies, Rival, Whirlpool, Proctor & Gamble, Gerry Baby Products and Hyundai Celluar Phones. Angelika holds a Bachelor of Science Degree with Honors from the Art Center College of Design USA. She has received over 12 international design excellence awards from competitions, such as IDSA, IF Awards and Design Innovations and is a holder of 12 international design patents. Some of her product design work has been exhibited at the Design Museum Westfalen in Germany. Angelika also has taught Visual Brand Strategy Classes at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. She is a German native, has lived in the US since 1993 and is fluent in the English and German language.
Lee Sheldon is currently a professional game writer and designer; a professor in Interactive Media & Game Development at Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and author of The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game (2011) and Character Development and Storytelling for Games (Second Edition, 2013). For five years previously he was an Associate Professor in the Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. There he was co-director of the GSAS program for three years and created the first full writing for games program in the United States. Recent games include The Lion’s Song (PC, Mac, iOS, Android); Suburbia 2 (Facebook); Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved (Xbox); The Janus Door, a cybersecurity class designed as a game for California Polytechnic State University; Secrets: A Cyberculture Mystery Game, an online class designed as a game for Excelsior College; and Crimson Dilemma, a business ethics video game for Indiana University. Before his career in games Lee was a prolific television writer-producer with over 200 produced shows ranging from Charlie’s Angels to Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Founder, Executive Producer and Developer with over 25 years experience in virtual reality, augmented reality, video games and entertainment, with deep, hands-on experience building teams and managing creative content built on cutting-edge technology. More than a decade of administrative experience designing production and outsourcing pipelines outsourcing, business development, authoring and leading video game art and design programs at the Art Institute and LA Film School and leading the thesis program for video games and VR at USC’s GamePipe Lab. Career highlights include developing a string of multi-million-selling video game titles, including Disney-Pixar’s The Incredibles 2, Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants and Scooby-Doo! and virtual reality projects and patented VR technology at DreamWorks Animation.
Wyatt has been working in the game industry for 18 years at Electronic Arts, Totally Games, and the last 12 years at Blizzard Entertainment. Wyatt is currently Senior Technical Game Designer on Diablo III. He holds a B.A.Sc in Electric Engineering from Simon Fraser University.
From Video Games to Stage Productions, my passions lie in the writing and telling of stories and the adventures that flow within. With nearly twenty years worth of pen & paper role playing, several stage and screenplays, as well as untold amounts of side projects in the form of game quests, short stories, concepts, etc, my history with weaving a story that is either interactive or recorded extends to nearly every medium. There is little more exciting than to take the reader or player on an adventure and see where they end up. My ultimate goal is to find my way to either a Quest Design or Creative Development writer for a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. There are many game genres and many venues that I have found interesting in the past but ultimately this style of world building has captured my heart and imagination. I joined with Blizzard Entertainment specifically for their capacity of building Epic Games whose legacy can far outlive any genre it started in. While writing is my hobby and passion, my education background was primarily in Cinema/Television Video arts with a strong influence in Screenwriting. I have written and directed a number of stage productions and short films and have at one point or another filled nearly every role in a film, television show, or radio show. I have carried several productions from concept to audience and have loved every step of the way. Specialties: Technical and creative writing, quest design, game mechanic conceptualization, graphic design, presentation design, intranet and internal tools design, Wiki scripting, HTML markup, technical troubleshooting, game testing and crisis analysis, level building for RTS game environments, ancillary product concept and design (board games, RPGs, card games, etc)