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New York Film Academy Faculty

FACULTY

Game Design Department

Chris Swain Chris Swain
Chair

Chris Swain is a game designer, entrepreneur, and educator. He led over 50 games and interactive products in industry for companies that include: Microsoft, Disney, Sony, Activision, MTV, Warner Brothers, Discovery, BBC, PBS, Intel, and many others. His projects have won over two dozen design awards. Notable games include the world’s first massively multiplayer casual game NetWits - original IP which Swain sold to the Microsoft Network; Multiplayer Jeopardy!; and Multiplayer Wheel of Fortune. The Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune games were landmark hits for Sony Online that helped establish the then new, business of online casual games. Chris was a founding member of the design firm R/GA Interactive in NYC which grew from 4 people to over 100 and $0 in revenue to over $50mm annually. Chris has lectured widely including at Harvard, Oxford, MIT, Columbia, Carnegie Mellon, UCLA, NYU, and others. He has taught games at USC, School of Visual Arts in NYC, City University of Hong Kong. He co-founded the Electronic Arts Game Innovation Lab at USC. Chris has led funded game research projects for Rockefeller Foundation, Gates Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, National Science Foundation, LA Times, and others. He speaks about games at events around the world including GDC, Korean Game Conference, Games for Change, and many others.

John Zuur Platten John Zuur Platten
Instructor

John is a creative director at Google's Niantic Labs which makes Pokemon Go and Ingress. He is co-author of the acclaimed book "The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design." He has extensive experience in the game industry and film industry. John was a producer on the Sega CDs Ground Zero Texas and Double Switch. As a result of his relationship with Sega, John designed, produced and wrote the highly successful Sega CD Tomcat Alley. John's work as designer, writer and producer on Johnny Mnemonic for Sony Imagesoft lead to an overall production agreement with Propaganda Code, during which he developed several titles for Philips Media. His many other game projects include The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, (Xbox, PC), I am Alive (Xbox, PS3, PC), Scooby-Doo 2005, Constantine, Red Ninja and Taxi Driver.

Scott Rogers Scott Rogers
Instructor

Scott Rogers is the game designer and creative director of more than 50 AAA games for Disney, Sony, Capcom, Namco and THQ. His games have sold over 50 million copies worldwide. Over his career, Scott has partnered with major licensors including Warner Brothers, Nickelodeon, MGA and DC Entertainment. For the last four years, Scott was an Imagineer at Walt Disney Imagineering's R&D department where he helped create interactive experiences installed in Disney's parks including: Mickey’s Fun Wheel Challenge, Legends of Frontierland and several app-based interactive games. Scott has authored two books on game design: "Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design" and "Swipe This! The Guide to Touchscreen Game Design." Both books are top sellers and "Level Up!" is the #1 best seller on Amazon.com.

Brandii Grace Brandii Grace
Instructor

Development positions at Microsoft Game Studios, Monolith Productions (Warner Brothers), Renaissance Games, Amaze Entertainment (working on Call of Duty: Roads to Victory, and Shrek the Third), Hidden Path Entertainment. Teaching experience at Digipen Institute of Technology. Community leader at International Game Developers Associations. Education: Western Washington University, Computer Science

Glenn Storm Glenn Storm
Instructor

Glenn is a game designer and programmer with experience bringing many games to market, including Sonic The Hedgehog and Star Wars: The Clone Wars for the LeapFrog, Didj handheld console; which took Children's Technology Review: Editor's Choice Award in 2008. His game work draws upon ten years' experience as an animator at Warner Brothers Feature Animation, Dreamworks Feature Animation, and other firms. During that time he worked on the films: The Iron Giant, Osmosis Jones and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.

Felipe Lara Felipe Lara
Instructor

Felipe is a leading Creative Director and Art Director for games. He was Creative Director for Toontown Online and the Disney VR Studio with the Disney Interactive Media Group. In addition he held leadership positions with Disney Imagineering, Disney Interactive, Six Degrees Games. He was founder and CEO of Insurgent Labs in Los Angeles. Education: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, BSc, Pratt Institute, MFA

Andy Ashcraft Andy Ashcraft
Instructor

Game design positions at: Sony Computer Entertainment of America (working on God of War and God of War 2), Electronic Arts, THQ, Disney Mobile, Disney Consumer Products, THQ. Teaching: Game Design Workshops at GDC. Entrepreneur: Giantsdance Games. Education: UCLA

Brian Upton Brian Upton
Instructor

Brian was Creative Director on the top-selling franchises Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon. Other titles include: Here They Lie, Bound, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, Fat Princess, Escape Plan, Unfinished Swan, Sorcery, Warhawk, Shadow Watch, Force 21, Rogue Spear, Tom Clancy's SSN. Leadership positions: Sony Computer Entertainment of America, Red Storm Entertainment. Specialties: Creative leadership, writing and storytelling, system and level design, virtual reality. Books: The Aesthetics of Play (MIT Press), Level Design: Processes and Experiences (CRC Press). Education: UNC Chapel Hill, MS, Computer Science, Rice University, BS Electrical Engineering

Craig Caton-Largent Craig Caton-Largent
Chair of Animation and Game Instructor

Craig Caton-Largent has been creating VFX for the motion picture industry for over 37 years and has contributed to over 100 films. He has created animatronic puppets and worked as a puppeteer on movies such as “Jurassic Park,” “Terminator 2,” “Tremors,” “Batman Returns,” “Ghostbusters,” and “Return of the Living Dead.” Craig has maintained and puppeteered E.T., The Extraterrestrial, for commercials and public appearances since 1992. Craig has also worked as a technical director/visual effects artist on many films, including “Apollo 13,” “How To Train Your Dragon 2,” “Rise of the Guardians,” “Tangled,” “Total Recall” and “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.” He is one of the eight co-founders of Digital Domain.

Matt Gallupo Matt Gallupo
Associate Chair

Matt Galuppo has been working in entertainment for over 10 years and has worked on 15 films as a pre-vis artist, including "The Amazing Spider Man II," "Warcraft," "Poltergeist," and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." Matt recently began his directing career, making commercials for fortune 500 companies including Toyota, Fiat, Netflix, and Nintendo.

David Fratto David Fratto
Instructor

Executive Producer, BBC Worldwide; Sr. Director of Development, Scholastic Inc.; Director of Development, Vivendi Universal Games, Executive Producer, Knowledge Adventure; Education: Harvard University, BA.

David Fratto Adam Reilly
Instructor

Adam is a game designer and programmer. He has created multiple indie games on his own including: Melvin's Meltdown, Holy Moly Dragons, and Epic Dragons. He has worked on games with USC Institute for Creative Technologies, Vicarious Visions, Hangout Industries, and Abandon Interactive Entertainment. Education: University of Massachusetts - Amherst, BA

NYFA Game Design School faculty member Scott Gillies Scott Gillies
Instructor

Creative Director, Fourth Wall Studios; Game Designer Disney Imagineering; Designer EA Pandemic, EA Maxis; MFA in Interactive Media, USC, BA, USC

Bryan Jaycox Bryan Jaycox
Instructor

Bryan has worked on AAA titles for LucasArts and at Hollywood director Gore Verbinski's pioneer game studio Blind Wink games. Bryan also works in the physical design and engineering sector with his business The Build Shop. The Build Shop was founded by Bryan in November of 2011 with a desire to take specialized high tech fabrication tools needed for his own craft and make them available to the public at large at a rate everyday people can afford. This shop follows in the footsteps of the larger Maker Movement that has seen instances of shops, hackerspaces and makerspaces like this one sprouting up across the United States and abroad.

Shlomo Sher Shlomo Sher, PhD
Instructor

Shlomo is a Philosophy professor and professional ethics workshop facilitator committed to encouraging critical and ethical self-reflection in his students. He as a passion for practical ethical issues, which he seeks to extend to others both in and out of the classroom. He began his development as an educator as a trainer at the USC Marshall School of Business’s groundbreaking Experiential Learning Center. From 2003-2009. There he facilitated workshops on topics such as organizational communication, group decision-making, power dynamics, and cultural sensitivity. In 2007 he was asked by the center to apply my ethics expertise to such workshops, and in the next two years developed several multimedia-driven business ethics training workshops that have since been used by MBAs, undergraduates, and even high school students. From 2009 to 2011, he was a Fellow at the USC Levan Institute of Humanities and Ethics, where he became involved in the Institute’s events and projects aimed at engaging USC’s students, faculty, and staff with a wide range of ethical issues. Central to his pedagogical approach is the recognition that every single person cares about ethical questions, though they may not realize this or may lack the education necessary to clearly articulate and critically evaluate their beliefs. I has appeared as speaker in a variety of venues including ABC’s “Lost” and Fox’s “Fringe”. Education: USC, PhD, University of Warwick, MA, UCLA, BA.

Jeb Havens Jeb Havens
BS in Cognitive Science, Brown University. Jeb has designed games for Google, Electronic Arts, Disney, Marvel, YouTube, and other companies. At EA Maxis he worked on Spore and SimCity. Jeb is also an award-winning board game designer and professionally-published puzzle writer. He has a love of travel and other cultures, and has backpacked through 50 different countries around the world.

James Root James Root
BFA, University of Colorado, Boulder. James teaches game marketing and was Global Online Marketing Manager for Electronic Arts. Additionally, he has led marketing teams for Pandemic Studios, Microsoft, 20th Century Fox, LivePlanet, and other companies.

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