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  • A Conversation With NYFA Alum Jeffrey Lay on What It’s Like to Create a Video Game Funded by a Kickstarter Campaign And The Exciting World of ‘TitanReach’

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    I had the pleasure of teaching Jeffrey Lay (BFA in Game Design) in several Game Design classes at the New York Film Academy here in Los Angeles. When he graduated, I had heard he got a job as a level designer at Square Root Studios. I recently found out that Square Root Studios had a new game on Kickstarter, so I contacted Jeffrey to find out more about it.

    Scott Rogers (SR): Hey Jeffrey! Congratulations on launching TitanReach on Kickstarter! How did you join Square Root Studios?

    Jeffrey Lay (JL): Hi Scott! Thank you very much. Funny story, I was in the middle of working on my own project, which was also heavily inspired by RuneScape, however it formed into a more idle-passive (mobile) version due to my limited coding experience. After a few weeks working on it, I saw a Discord post about the game and joined these two guys from Australia, both experienced programmers, and thought the idea was perfect. Now we’re now at about five to six developers. 

    SR: What can you tell me about TitanReach?

    JL: TitanReach is an old school type MMORPG (an online role-playing video game) that focuses on skilling systems and action combat in a massive fantasy open-world with unique quests and a warm social experience! The game is heavily inspired by RuneScape, which had a very warm and calm feeling for it’s skilling system, along with great music, and was a “happy place” you could go to; which we’re combining with the nice warm environment. 

    SR: I think we all could use a “happy place” these days! What makes TitanReach different from all of those other MMORPGs that have come out in the past?

    JL: The biggest adjustment for us is that we’re using action combat, which will be the contrast to it’s skilling system.  

    SR: What are your job responsibilities at Square Root Studios?

    JL: While I’ve been part of TitanReach, I’ve focused on:

    • Level Design: Concepting out areas including the level design of Glimmermoore, the tutorial village, which is seen in the Demo.
    • Game Design: Coming up with the game world & environmental design, content design such as the Slayer Skill with all its details, skilling bosses, mini-games, along with combat design, economy and other various content coming down the line. 
    • Project Management: Throughout the earlier months, this included checking developers are doing their tasks and prioritizing what needs to be done. This also includes finding other issues that need to be addressed although we have someone else who has since filled this position, though I still do some of it.
    • Marketing: I worked a lot on creating the Kickstarter campaign, including the written part of the Kickstarter. I’m also in charge of reaching out to various blogs, websites and content creators to gain exposure.     

    SR: It sounds like they keep you pretty busy! Why should someone back the TitanReach Kickstarter?

    JL: We are being as open to the community as we can be in terms of our development. 

    We’ve released a free demo for anyone to play to see the exact stage we are in, which comes with its bugs and issues (ignore the quest). That demo is continually being patched each week for the community to see how fast we can turn around bugs and add some rough content in a week’s time for people to play around with. 

    With more time, these things can then be cleaned and polished. By backing us it will guarantee the cost of us continuing working on the project in order for us to deliver a polished, nice game. Having gotten this far with a penny, we’ll be able to focus full-time on the project. 

    The biggest benefit for backing us right now is that our Alpha/Beta is unlike most other companies (being 3-10 days) will be throughout the months of the game’s development stage (meaning months of playtime throughout those stages), although a player’s progress will be wiped at game launch, as we don’t want any unbalanced values (economic-abuse) to be transferred over to the official launch like what has happened with the dual universe beta to launch.

    SR: That sounds like a good idea. Too many games have had issues with that in the past. What are some of the issues you find in games nowadays? 

    JL: An issue we see in games nowadays is that they are overwhelmed with Microtransactions (MTX) that bring an unfair advantage to many other users, although it’s understandable why they do it. We want to remain free from MTX, which gives a player any unfair advantage such as gold/xp rates or other unfair benefits. We try to level out the field and give everyone the same chance!   

    SR: That sounds really fair! I think your players will really appreciate that. So, where can we find out more about TitanReach online?

    JL: Our Kickstarter has a lot more information along with our other social media! Feel free to join our Discord of over 12,500 Members and check out our website here!

    SR: Thanks Jeffrey and good luck with the game!

    JL: Thank you!

    New York Film Academy would like to congratulate NYFA Game Design alum Jeffrey Lay on his new game TitanReach and wishes the Jeffrey all the best on the kickstarter campaign.

    For more information on NYFA’s Game Design programs, click here. For more information about about TitanReach, you can reach out to: press@titanreach.com or support@titanreach.com; or check out their social media pages below:

    Facebook |Reddit |YouTube
    Twitch |Twitter |Instagram

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    October 5, 2020 • Game Design, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 673

  • Masters of Game Design: David Jaffe interviewed by NYFA Games

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    On June 18, 2020, Video Game Designer David Jaffe talked with NYFA’s Scott Rogers as part of the Masters of Game Design speaker series.

    Game designer David Jaffe

    Jaffe discussed how he entered the games industry, ending up at Sony Santa Monica. Jaffe chronicled his experiences working on games such as Mickey Mania before leading a team to create the car combat game Twisted Metal.

    Original cover art for ‘Mickey Mania’ video game

    Jaffe touched on the subsequent games of the classic game franchise and the origins of the acclaimed action game God of War. Jaffe also discussed starting his own companies – Eat Sleep Play and the Bartlett Jones Supernatural Detective Agency – and the games those teams created: Calling all Cars and Drawn to Death. Jaffe also took questions from the Zoom audience.

    A recording of this talk will be available at a future date. To learn more about upcoming Masters of Game Design speakers, please join the NYFA Game Mentor Network at Meetup.com. For more on NYFA’s School of Game Design, click here

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    June 23, 2020 • Game Design, Guest Speakers • Views: 389

  • GAME ON: Making Art in The Age of COVID-19

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    A few days ago, I got a message from former NYFA Games student Shaquan Ladson (1-Year Game Design Program, 2017), who finds himself quarantined in the rural Pacific Northwest. “This time at home is making me miss being around good company and creatives,” he wrote me. We texted for a bit and I advised him to see the wealth of opportunity in this time alone. What will the world do, I wonder, on this global artist’s retreat?

    Those of us lucky enough to be stuck at home during “Borentine” (as a friend so aptly dubbed this time) have a unique opportunity to flex our creative muscles, and create without the usual restrictions of time and commerce. 

    While the news inundates us with frightening stats and global uncertainty, and we marvel at the courage of healthcare professionals and those services we consider essential for our modern life, humanity has been connecting in the most inventive and intimate ways. We’re getting our groove on at home with Instagram Live DJ sets from people like celebrity darling @DNice and my hometown hero @DJ_Oso_Fresh, as well as exploring the magical self-expression of distance nightlife through #ClubQuarantine

    TikTok insanity has gripped everyone from Jane Fonda’s 9 to 5 send-up to my in-laws’ happy Birthday Abuela dance. Let’s hope you’ve seen some variation of the high fashion Trikini for summer 2020. We’ve gotten weird, people, and I. AM. HERE. FOR. IT.

    And that’s all happening when we’re not scrolling, streaming, or gaming. According to SuperData Research, we spent a record $10 Billion in March on digital games – that’s the biggest monthly expenditure on games, ever. Nintendo’s brand new Animal Crossing: New Horizons sold 5 million units in March alone – the most any single title has sold in one month. It’s no surprise that a lot of that spending is on MMORPGs and networked multiplayer games, across all platforms. When we can’t be together, we play together.

    I’m not gonna lie, my Farmville 2: Country Escape obsession had definitely cooled until I was forced to find ways to disconnect from all this high-intensity family time. While I farm away 5 minutes at a time, my students are playing hours of FIFA20, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and reliving their youth through fan-supported servers of  Club Penguin. Other worthy titles include:

    • Armchair epidemiologists and politicians have a chance to save the world in Pandemic the board game.
    • Bring your darkest sense of humor to the browser based Pandemic 2, where you play as a virus that aspires to become a species-decimating disease. 

    Photo Credit: Club Penguin Online

    Whatever your pleasure, games are a way for us to connect, to comfort, and to escape.

    I don’t want to sound trite: millions of people are losing their jobs, many are facing life-threatening illness and death on a daily basis, and all the burdens we struggled with before feel a lot heavier now. 

    The beauty of creativity is that it is in you, in me, and in us. It’s in the ways we are providing and caring for each other, and the ways we’re finding laughter even in grief. So whether you’re alone in the woods, or stuck in your 5th floor walkup, you have something inside you that deserves to be seen and heard. If games are your artform, I hope you’ll join us in making something meaningful and magical.

    Classes in our 1-Year Conservatory, BFA, and MFA programs start every quarter. Click here for more info.

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    April 28, 2020 • Game Design • Views: 1392

  • Masters of Game Design Series: Bill Roper Talks Games With NYFA

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    On April 8, 2020,  video game industry legend Bill Roper talked with NYFA’s Scott Rogers as part of the Masters of Game Design speaker series.

    Roper discussed his career at Blizzard Entertainment, starting with him creating music and performing as a voice-over actor for the hit game Warcraft.

    Video game designer Bill Roper

    Roper chronicled his rise to creative director, leading the teams for Diablo and Starcraft. He discussed starting his own company, Flagship Entertainment, and creating Hellgate: London. Roper also talked about his time as Vice-President at Disney Interactive, guiding the teams for Disney Infinity and Fantasia: Music Evolved. He talked about his recent transition to Chief Creative Officer at AuthorDigital/Adept Games. Roper also took questions from the Zoom audience.

    ‘Hellgate: London’

    A recording of this talk will be available at a future date. To learn more about upcoming Masters of Game Design speakers, please join the NYFA Game Mentor Network at Meetup.com. For more on NYFA’s School of Game Design, click here

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    April 13, 2020 • Game Design, Guest Speakers • Views: 246

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) AFA Acting for Film Alum Gonzalo Martin Nominated for BAFTA Game Award for ‘Life is Strange 2’

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) AFA Acting for Film Alum Gonzalo Martin has been nominated for a BAFTA Game Award for his voiceover work in the critically-acclaimed video game Life is Strange 2. Martin will be competing in the Best Performer in a Leading Role category, along with notable actors Logan Marshall-Green (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Prometheus) and Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead, The Boondock Saints). The winners of the prestigious awards will be announced at the 2020 British Academy Games Awards ceremony on Thursday, April 2.

    Gonzalo Martin

    NYFA AFA Acting for Film Alum Gonzalo Martin

    Gonzalo Martin stars as lead protagonist Sean Diaz, who the player controls throughout the game. Martin is an Acting for Film alum from New York Film Academy, having attended the AFA program in 2015, and has previously been a part of the Academy’s admissions team. 

    Life is Strange 2 is a graphic adventure video game, available on nearly all major platforms (including Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC and macOS), and is the sequel to the smash hit and critically-acclaimed Life is Strange, originally released in 2015. That title has sold over three million copies to date and comes from Square Enix, the Japanese developer and publisher of wildly popular games Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, and Dragon Quest, among others. 

    The game was developed by Dontnod Entertainment (Vampyr, Twin Mirror) and has already been nominated for several gaming awards and won the Special Jury Prize at the 2018 Ping Awards. The game tells the story of young brothers Sean and Daniel Diaz, who are on the run from the police. The game is a third-person story adventure, with dialogue trees and gaming decisions affecting the story and future episodes.

    “It’s an honor to be nominated for such a prestigious award in a field that I am just getting my feet in,” Martin tells NYFA. “I already feel like I have won, just because of being nominated side-to-side with all these other amazing actors, whose work I admire so much, such as Norman Reedus.”

    Martin’s previous acting roles include BuzzFeed Murder Mystery Stories, and the films I’ll Be Next Door for Christmas and When It Rings. He is currently finishing with post-production of the first feature film he’s produced and starred in, titled Back to Lyla, which features more than five other NYFA alumni on the production.

    “I am a very, very proud NYFA alum,” adds Martin. “And the most fulfilling thing about this nomination was the ability to go back to school and share this amazing news with all my teachers and mentors. They are a big part of the reason why I have made it this far.”

     

    UPDATE (4.3.20): Gonzalo Martin was awarded the BAFTA Game Award for Best Performer in a Leading Role for Life is Strange 2. The winners of the BAFTA Game Awards were announced at the 2020 British Academy Games Awards ceremony via livestream on Thursday, April 2.

    New York Film Academy congratulates Gonzalo Martin on his exciting BAFTA Game Award win for Best Performer in a Leading Role for Square Enix’s Life is Strange 2!

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    March 20, 2020 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1129

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Game Design Presents ‘Death Stranding’ Game Deconstruction Dinner

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    On February 19, over 40 students and game industry professionals gathered at New York Film Academy’s Burbank-based campus for an analysis of the hit video game Death Stranding as part of a series of Game Deconstruction Dinners. The Game Deconstruction Dinner is an ongoing educational, inspirational, and networking event sponsored by the NYFA Game Design department.

    Scott Rogers, a NYFA Game Design instructor and industry veteran whose credits include God of War, Pac-Man World, and Darksiders, conducted the deconstruction using the Playcentric System.

    The Playcentric System, which originated in the book Game Design Workshop by Tracy Fullerton and Chris Swain, analyzes the dramatic, formal and dynamic systems of a video game.

     Death Stranding is the newest PS4 video game from famed game director Hideo Kojima. The player inhabits the character of a deliveryman who attempts to connect America’s survivors after a supernatural catastrophe.

    Rogers illustrated the Playcentric System using examples collected from over 50 hours of video gameplay. Overall, Rogers’ opinion of the game was positive and many of the guests left the event excited to try Death Stranding for themselves.

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    February 27, 2020 • Faculty Highlights, Game Design • Views: 1050

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Represented at 2020 Visual Effects Society Awards

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) was well-represented at this year’s Visual Effects Society Awards, awarded by the Visual Effects Society (VES) entertainment industry’s only organization representing the full breadth of visual effects practitioners including artists, animators, technologists, model makers, educators, studio leaders, supervisors, PR/marketing specialists and producers in all areas of entertainment from film, television and commercials to music videos and games.

    Visual Effects Society Awards

    NYFA MFA Game Design alum Guillermo Quesada worked on the VR technology used for 2019’s The Lion King, which won the evening’s top honor for Outstanding Visual Effects, as well as awards for virtual cinematography and created digital environments.

    NYFA 3D Animation & VFX alum Alexandra LoRusso worked on the Game of Thrones finale “The Iron Throne,” which won Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project and did effects animation for nominee Gemini Man.

    NYFA 3D Animation & VFX alum Francesco Panzieri worked as a compositor on two nominees–Spider-Man: Far from Home and Terminator: Dark Fate. Both of these films were also worked on by NYFA 3D Animation & VFX instructor Nate Usiak.

    His colleague, NYFA 3D Animation & VFX instructor Kelley Williams, did tech animation for Frozen 2, which earned multiple nominations and won Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature.

    Craig Caton, the NYFA 3D Animation & VFX Chair, worked as an anim servo on nominees Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Jurassic World: The Ride; the latter won Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project while the former won Outstanding Special (Practical) Effects in a Photoreal or Animated Project.

    Here is a full list of this year’s Visual Effects Society Awards nominees and winners:

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

    ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL
    Richard Hollander
    Kevin Sherwood
    Eric Saindon
    Richard Baneham
    Bob Trevino

    AVENGERS: ENDGAME
    Dan DeLeeuw
    Jen Underdahl
    Russell Earl
    Matt Aitken
    Daniel Sudick

    GEMINI MAN
    Bill Westenhofer
    Karen Murphy-Mundell
    Guy Williams
    Sheldon Stopsack
    Mark Hawker

    STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
    Roger Guyett
    Stacy Bissell
    Patrick Tubach
    Neal Scanlan
    Dominic Tuohy

    WINNER: THE LION KING
    Robert Legato

    Tom Peitzman
    Adam Valdez
    Andrew R. Jones

    Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

    1917
    Guillaume Rocheron
    Sona Pak
    Greg Butler
    Vijay Selvam
    Dominic Tuohy

    FORD V FERRARI
    Olivier Dumont
    Kathy Siegel
    Dave Morley
    Malte Sarnes
    Mark Byers

    JOKER
    Edwin Rivera
    Brice Parker
    Mathew Giampa
    Bryan Godwin
    Jeff Brink

    THE AERONAUTS
    Louis Morin
    Annie Godin
    Christian Kaestner
    Ara Khanikian
    Mike Dawson

    WINNER: THE IRISHMAN
    Pablo Helman
    Mitchell Ferm
    Jill Brooks
    Leandro Estebecorena
    Jeff Brink

    Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature

    FROZEN 2
    Steve Goldberg
    Peter Del Vecho
    Mark Hammel
    Michael Giaimo

    KLAUS
    Sergio Pablos
    Matthew Teevan
    Marcin Jakubowski
    Szymon Biernacki

    WINNER: MISSING LINK
    Brad Schiff
    Travis Knight
    Steve Emerson
    Benoit Dubuc

    THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART
    David Burgess
    Timothy Jason Smith
    Mark Theriault
    John Rix

    TOY STORY 4
    Josh Cooley
    Mark Nielsen
    Bob Moyer
    Gary Bruins

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

    GAME OF THRONES; “The Bells”
    Joe Bauer
    Steve Kullback
    Ted Rae
    Mohsen Mousavi
    Sam Conway

    HIS DARK MATERIALS; “The Fight to the Death”
    Russell Dodgson
    James Whitlam
    Shawn Hillier
    Robert Harrington

    LADY AND THE TRAMP
    Robert Weaver
    Christopher Raimo
    Arslan Elver
    Michael Cozens
    Bruno Van Zeebroeck

    LOST IN SPACE; “Ninety-Seven”
    Jabbar Raisani
    Terron Pratt
    Niklas Jacobson
    Juri Stanossek
    Paul Benjamin

    STRANGER THINGS – “Chapter Six: E Pluribus Unum”
    Paul Graff
    Tom Ford
    Michael Maher Jr.
    Martin Pelletier
    Andy Sowers

    WINNER: THE MANDALORIAN; “The Child”
    Richard Bluff
    Abbigail Keller
    Jason Porter
    Hayden Jones
    Roy K. Cancino

    Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

    WINNER: CHERNOBYL; “1:23:45”
    Max Dennison
    Lindsay McFarlane
    Clare Cheetham
    Paul Jones
    Claudius Christian Rauch

    LIVING WITH YOURSELF; “Nice Knowing You”
    Jay Worth
    Jacqueline VandenBussche
    Chris Wright
    Tristan Zerafa

    SEE; “Godflame”
    Adrian de Wet
    Eve Fizzinoglia
    Matthew Welford
    Pedro Sabrosa
    Tom Blacklock

    THE CROWN; “Aberfan”
    Ben Turner
    Reece Ewing
    David Fleet
    Jonathan Wood

    VIKINGS; “What Happens in the Cave”
    Dominic Remane
    Mike Borrett
    Ovidiu Cinazan
    Tom Morrison
    Paul Byrne

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project

    Call of Duty Modern Warfare
    Charles Chabert
    Chris Parise
    Attila Zalanyi
    Patrick Hagar

    WINNER: Control
    Janne Pulkkinen

    Elmeri Raitanen
    Matti Hämäläinen
    James Tottman

    Gears 5
    Aryan Hanbeck
    Laura Kippax
    Greg Mitchell
    Stu Maxwell

    Myth: A Frozen Tale
    Jeff Gipson
    Nicholas Russell
    Brittney Lee
    Jose Luis Gomez Diaz

    Vader Immortal: Episode I
    Ben Snow
    Mike Doran
    Aaron McBride
    Steve Henricks

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial

    “Anthem Conviction”
    Viktor Muller
    Lenka Likarova
    Chris Harvey
    Petr Marek

    “BMW Legend”
    Michael Gregory
    Christian Downes
    Tim Kafka
    Toya Drechsler

    WINNER: “Hennessy: The Seven Worlds”
    Carsten Keller
    Selçuk Ergen
    Kiril Mirkov
    William Laban

    “PlayStation: Feel The Power of Pro”
    Sam Driscoll
    Clare Melia
    Gary Driver
    Stefan Susemihl

    “Purdey’s: Hummingbird”
    Jules Janaud
    Emma Cook
    Matthew Thomas
    Philip Child

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project

    Avengers: Damage Control
    Michael Koperwas
    Sherief Fattouh
    Ian Bowie
    Kishore Vijay
    Curtis Hickman

    Jurassic World: The Ride
    Hayden Landis
    Friend Wells
    Heath Kraynak
    Ellen Coss

    Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
    Asa Kalama
    Rob Huebner
    Khatsho Orfali
    Susan Greenhow

    WINNER: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
    Jason Bayever

    Patrick Kearney
    Carol Norton
    Bill George

    Universal Sphere
    James Healy
    Morgan MacCuish
    Ben West
    Charlie Bayliss

    Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature

    WINNER: ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL; Alita
    Michael Cozens
    Mark Haenga
    Olivier Lesaint
    Dejan Momcilovic

    AVENGERS: ENDGAME; Smart Hulk
    Kevin Martel
    Ebrahim Jahromi
    Sven Jensen
    Robert Allman

    GEMINI MAN; Junior
    Paul Story
    Stuart Adcock
    Emiliano Padovani
    Marco Revelant

    THE LION KING; Scar
    Gabriel Arnold
    James Hood
    Julia Friedl
    Daniel Fotheringham

    Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature

    FROZEN 2; The Water Nøkk
    Svetla Radivoeva
    Marc Bryant
    Richard E. Lehmann
    Cameron Black

    KLAUS; Jesper
    Yoshimichi Tamura
    Alfredo Cassano
    Maxime Delalande
    Jason Schwartzman

    WINNER: MISSING LINK; Susan
    Rachelle Lambden
    Brenda Baumgarten
    Morgan Hay
    Benoit Dubuc

    TOY STORY 4; Bo Peep
    Radford Hurn
    Tanja Krampfert
    George Nguyen
    Becki Rocha Tower

    Outstanding Animated Character in an Episode or Real-Time Project

    LADY AND THE TRAMP; Tramp
    Thiago Martins
    Arslan Elver
    Stanislas Paillereau
    Martine Chartrand

    WINNER: STRANGER THINGS 3; Tom/Bruce Monster
    Joseph Dubé-Arsenault
    Antoine Barthod
    Frederick Gagnon
    Xavier Lafarge

    THE MANDALORIAN; “The Child”; Mudhorn
    Terry Bannon
    Rudy Massar
    Hugo Leygnac

    THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY; “Pilot”; Pogo
    Aidan Martin
    Craig Young
    Olivier Beierlein
    Laurent Herveic

    Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial

    “Apex Legends”; Meltdown; Mirage
    Chris Bayol
    John Fielding
    Derrick Sesson
    Nole Murphy

    “Churchill”; Churchie
    Martino Madeddu
    Philippe Moine
    Clement Granjon
    Jon Wood

    WINNER: “Cyberpunk 2077”; Dex
    Jonas Ekman
    Jonas Skoog
    Marek Madej
    Grzegorz Chojnacki

    “John Lewis”; Excitable Edgar; Edgar
    Tim van Hussen
    Diarmid Harrison-Murray
    Amir Bazazi
    Michael Diprose

    Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature

    ALADDIN; Agrabah
    Daniel Schmid
    Falk Boje
    Stanislaw Marek
    Kevin George

    ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL; Iron City
    John Stevenson-Galvin
    Ryan Arcus
    Mathias Larserud
    Mark Tait

    MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN; Penn Station
    John Bair
    Vance Miller
    Sebastian Romero
    Steve Sullivan

    STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER; Pasaana Desert
    Daniele Bigi
    Steve Hardy
    John Seru
    Steven Denyer

    WINNER: THE LION KING; The Pridelands
    Marco Rolandi
    Luca Bonatti
    Jules Bodenstein
    Filippo Preti

    Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature

    FROZEN 2; Giants’ Gorge
    Samy Segura
    Jay V. Jackson
    Justin Cram
    Scott Townsend

    HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD; The Hidden World
    Chris Grun
    Ronnie Cleland
    Ariel Chisholm
    Philippe Brochu

    MISSING LINK; Passage to India Jungle
    Oliver Jones
    Phil Brotherton
    Nick Mariana
    Ralph Procida

    WINNER: TOY STORY 4; Antiques Mall
    Hosuk Chang
    Andrew Finley
    Alison Leaf
    Philip Shoebottom

    Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

    WINNER: GAME OF THRONES; The Iron Throne; Red Keep Plaza
    Carlos Patrick DeLeon
    Alonso Bocanegra Martinez
    Marcela Silva
    Benjamin Ross

    LOST IN SPACE; Precipice; The Trench
    Philip Engström
    Benjamin Bernon
    Martin Bergquist
    Xuan Prada

    THE DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE; The Endless Forest
    Sulé Bryan
    Charles Chorein
    Christian Waite
    Martyn Hawkins

    THE MANDALORIAN; Nevarro Town
    Alex Murtaza
    Yanick Gaudreau
    Marco Tremblay
    Maryse Bouchard

    Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a CG Project

    ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL
    Emile Ghorayeb
    Simon Jung
    Nick Epstein
    Mike Perry

    WINNER: THE LION KING
    Robert Legato

    Caleb Deschanel
    Ben Grossmann
    AJ Sciutto

    THE MANDALORIAN; “The Prisoner”; The Roost
    Richard Bluff
    Jason Porter
    Landis Fields IV
    Barry Baz Idoine

    TOY STORY 4
    Jean-Claude Kalache
    Patrick Lin

    Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project

    LOST IN SPACE; The Resolute
    Xuan Prada
    Jason Martin
    Jonathan Vårdstedt
    Eric Andersson

    MISSING LINK; The Manchuria
    Todd Alan Harvey
    Dan Casey
    Katy Hughes

    THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE; Rocket Train
    Neil Taylor
    Casi Blume
    Ben McDougal
    Chris Kuhn

    WINNER: THE MANDALORIAN; “The Sin”; The Razorcrest
    Doug Chiang
    Jay Machado
    John Goodson
    Landis Fields IV

    Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature

    DUMBO; Bubble Elephants
    Sam Hancock
    Victor Glushchenko
    Andrew Savchenko
    Arthur Moody

    SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME; Molten Man
    Adam Gailey
    Jacob Santamaria
    Jacob Clark
    Stephanie Molk

    WINNER: STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
    Don Wong

    Thibault Gauriau
    Goncalo Cabaca
    François-Maxence Desplanques

    THE LION KING
    David Schneider
    Samantha Hiscock
    Andy Feery
    Kostas Strevlos

    Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature

    ABOMINABLE
    Alex Timchenko
    Domin Lee
    Michael Losure
    Eric Warren

    WINNER: FROZEN 2
    Erin V. Ramos

    Scott Townsend
    Thomas Wickes
    Rattanin Sirinaruemarn

    HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD; Water and Waterfalls
    Derek Cheung
    Baptiste Van Opstal
    Youxi Woo
    Jason Mayer

    TOY STORY 4
    Alexis Angelidis
    Amit Baadkar
    Lyon Liew
    Michael Lorenzen

    Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

    GAME OF THRONES; “The Bells”
    Marcel Kern
    Paul Fuller
    Ryo Sakaguchi
    Thomas Hartmann

    “Hennessy: The Seven Worlds”
    Selçuk Ergen
    Radu Ciubotariu
    Andreu Lucio
    Vincent Ullmann

    LOST IN SPACE; “Precipice”; Water Planet
    Juri Bryan
    Hugo Medda
    Kristian Olsson
    John Perrigo

    WINNER: STRANGER THINGS 3; Melting Tom/Bruce
    Nathan Arbuckle
    Christian Gaumond
    James Dong
    Aleksandr Starkov

    THE MANDALORIAN; “The Child”; Mudhorn
    Xavier Martin Ramirez
    Ian Baxter
    Fabio Siino
    Andrea Rosa

    Outstanding Compositing in a Feature

    ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL
    Adam Bradley
    Carlo Scaduto
    Hirofumi Takeda
    Ben Roberts

    AVENGERS: ENDGAME
    Tim Walker
    Blake Winder
    Tobias Wiesner
    Joerg Bruemmer

    CAPTAIN MARVEL; Young Nick Fury
    Trent Claus
    David Moreno Hernandez
    Jeremiah Sweeney
    Yuki Uehara

    STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
    Jeff Sutherland
    John Galloway
    Sam Bassett
    Charles Lai

    WINNER: THE IRISHMAN
    Nelson Sepulveda

    Vincent Papaix
    Benjamin O’Brien
    Christopher Doerhoff

    Outstanding Compositing in an Episode

    GAME OF THRONES; “The Bells”
    Scott Joseph
    James Elster
    Corinne Teo
    Sean Heuston

    WINNER: GAME OF THRONES; “The Long Night”; Dragon Ground Battle
    Mark Richardson
    Darren Christie
    Nathan Abbot
    Owen Longstaff

    STRANGER THINGS 3; Starcourt Mall Battle
    Simon Lehembre
    Andrew Kowbell
    Karim El-Masry
    Miklos Mesterhazy

    WATCHMEN; “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice”; Looking Glass
    Nathaniel Larouche
    Iyi Tubi
    Perunika Yorgova
    Mitchell Beaton

    Outstanding Compositing in a Commercial

    “BMW Legend”
    Toya Drechsler
    Vivek Tekale
    Guillaume Weiss
    Alexander Kulikov

    “Feeding America; I Am Hunger in America”
    Dan Giraldo
    Marcelo Pasqualino
    Alexander Koester

    WINNER: “Hennessy; The Seven Worlds”
    Rod Norman
    Guillaume Weiss
    Alexander Kulikov
    Alessandro Granella

    “PlayStation: Feel the Power of Pro”
    Gary Driver
    Stefan Susemihl
    Greg Spencer
    Theajo Dharan

    Outstanding Special (Practical) Effects in a Photoreal or Animated Project

    ALADDIN; Magic Carpet
    Mark Holt
    Jay Mallet
    Will Wyatt
    Dickon Mitchell

    GAME OF THRONES; “The Bells”
    Sam Conway
    Terry Palmer
    Laurence Harvey
    Alastair Vardy

    TERMINATOR: DARK FATE
    Neil Corbould
    David Brighton
    Ray Ferguson
    Keith Dawson

    WINNER: THE DARK CRYSTAL: THE AGE OF RESISTANCE; “She Knows All the Secrets”
    Sean Mathiesen
    Jon Savage
    Toby Froud
    Phil Harvey

    Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project

    DOWNFALL
    Matías Heker
    Stephen Moroz
    Bradley Cocksedge

    LOVE AND FIFTY MEGATONS
    Denis Krez
    Josephine Roß
    Paulo Scatena
    Lukas Löffler

    OEIL POUR OEIL
    Alan Guimont
    Thomas Boileau
    Malcolm Hunt
    Robin Courtoise

    WINNER: THE BEAUTY
    Marc Angele
    Aleksandra Todorovic
    Pascal Schelbli
    Noel Winzen

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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) BFA 3D Animation & VFX Students Arina Andriushchenko & Nathan Hacker Work on ‘Borderlands 3’ Holiday Video

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) BFA 3D Animation & VFX students Arina Andriushchenko and Nathan Hacker were able to add some professional experience to their portfolios before even graduating their BFA studies at our Burbank-based campus. The pair recently had the opportunity to do some animation work for a commercial advertising the hit video game Borderlands 3.

    Arina Andriushchenko and Nathan Hacker Borderlands 3
    The Borderlands franchise comprises a series of action role-playing, first-person shooter video games created by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games that merges western, fantasy, and sci-fi genres. Borderlands 3 was released earlier this year after much anticipation from the series’s passionate fanbase.

    The newest ad for the game arrived just in time for the holidays and recalls the stop motion wintry animation of classic Rankin/Bass productions like Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town.


    Andriushchenko and Hacker worked as part of the commercial’s art department, collaborating with NYFA instructors Tony Candelaria and Misha Klein on the video’s stop motion animation. Klein teaches stop motion at NYFA; Candelaria teaches sculpture.

    Andriushchenko worked on the character puppets for Sheep and Skag characters’ puppets as well as assisting Candelaria, who created all the sculptures for the puppets. Misha Klein was the main animator of the video.

    “We were very glad to work with our teachers together,” says Andriushchenko, “and, in general, it was just an amazing experience. We’ve learned a lot.”

    He and Hacker also did decorations for the sets, creating Christmas trees and their decorations, elements for the cave, gingerbread men garland, and other assorted props. Additionally, they worked on facial expressions for the puppets.

    New York Film Academy congratulates BFA in 3D Animation & VFX students Arina Andriushchenko and Nathan Hacker on their hard work and for getting a head start on their careers on animation!

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    December 30, 2019 • Faculty Highlights, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1597

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Welcomes Veteran Game Developer Tony Barnes

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    On Thursday, October 24, New York Film Academy played host to veteran game developer Antonio “Tony” Barnes.

    Tony Barnes
    Barnes came to speak at NYFA as part of the school’s Masters of Game Design program. The Masters of Game Design is a speaker series in which distinguished members of the gaming industry visit for an informal chat with NYFA Game Design instructor Scott Rogers about their careers in gaming.

    The event was attended by over 45 students and industry professionals who have been invited by the school. Barnes and Rogers talked about Barnes’ 30-year career, starting with his early days of making his own games, followed by his work at Crystal Dynamics, EA, The Collective, THQ, Double Helix, and other AAA companies. He has worked on hit games, including Medal of Honor (2010) and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005). 

    Barnes gave students advice on how to pitch games and how to be an effective creative director. Additionally, he discussed his recent IGDA BIG Lifetime Achievement award. Audience attendees were then invited to ask Barnes questions. 

    Tony Barnes
    New York Film Academy thanks veteran game developer Tony Barnes for taking the time to share his experience and expertise with our students! 

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    December 13, 2019 • Game Design, Guest Speakers • Views: 1243

  • Q&A with Veteran Game Designer and NYFA Instructor Andrew Ashcraft

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    On Thursday, September 26, New York Film Academy hosted veteran and award-winning game designer and NYFA instructor Andrew Ashcraft.

    Ashcraft came to speak at NYFA as part of the school’s Masters of Game Design series, a speaker series in which distinguished members of the gaming industry visit for an informal chat with NYFA instructor Scott Rogers about their career in gaming. The series has included industry luminaries like Insomniac Games president Ted Price and veteran writer and game designer John Zuur Platten.

    The event was attended by over 50 students and industry professionals who has been invited by the school. Ashcraft and Rogers talked about Ashcraft’s 23-year career, starting with his early years at UCLA, before moving on to his transition into the gaming industry and his vast experience creating games for Sony Santa Monica, Disney Mobile, THQ, and Activision. Ashcraft’s career as an independent designer of board games and LARPs was also discussed. Audience attendees were then invited to ask Ashcraft a series of questions. 

    Andy Ashcraft

    In addition to working for major game development companies, Ashcraft teaches for the NYFA Game Design school at our Los Angeles campus, where students are given the chance to make multiple games, work with a variety of different professionals, and build their portfolio to help them find a game design career after college.

    New York Film Academy thanks instructor and veteran game designer Andrew Ashcraft for taking the time to speak with our students and sharing his expertise. 

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    October 18, 2019 • Faculty Highlights, Game Design, Guest Speakers • Views: 1527