September 11, 2013

Game Changers: Women game artists discuss life in the industry

Moore College of Art & Design
Jessica Hara Campbell, Wii Project: Rabbits and Variations, courtesy of the artist.

To kick off its innovative, new Interactive & Motion Arts major, Moore College of Art & Design is hosting “Game Changers: Women Game Artists Discuss Life in the Industry,” a day-long event in the College’s Great Hall featuring a dynamic roster of women game artists. It is being presented in partnership with the Philadelphia Game Lab’s 2013 Grassroots Game Conference, scheduled for October 14–20 in locations throughout the city.

Thursday, October 17
Keynote Speaker: Jessica Hara Campbell

Jessica Hara Campbell is a 2007 graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art’s Illustration program (MICA). During her time at MICA, through friends on the art college’s ultimate Frisbee team, she was given a chance to work as a temporary intern at the Baltimore-based video game studio, Big Huge Games.  At the time, Campbell had never taken a 3D animation or modeling course.  Campbell began at Big Huge Games building layouts and visuals for multiplayer maps on the real-time-strategy game, Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends. When she graduated from MICA in 2007, her internship became a full-time job as an Environment Artist, focusing on creating outdoor assets. Following Rise of Legends, Campbell worked on Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties, as well as an unannounced Wii title. By the time the company began working on what would become Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Campbell had become something of an artist and designer hybrid, focusing not only on the visuals of a level but also on its layout and gameplay. This would eventually be made official, as she became one of the three World Designers on the project. Campbell would remain at Big Huge Games until the studio closed in 2012, but not before being the primary World Designer on the KOA: Reckoning DLC pack, The Legend of Dead Kel. Campbell then joined a number of Big Huge Games alumni at the Epic Games start-up, Impossible Studios, developing the dungeon-crawler iOS title, Infinity Blade: Dungeons. In 2013, however, that studio would also be shuttered. Campbell now lives in Montreal, Quebec, working as a Level Designer at BioWare on the next installment of the Mass Effect series.

3:30pm–5:15pm: After-school workshop and activities for high school students and art teachers

5:30 pm–6:30pm
Panel: Moderated by Dave Inscore, Co-Founder of Big Huge Games and featuring Helen Zhang, Animator, Backflip Studios; Taylor Fischer, Concept Artist, Firaxis; Tatiana Malinko, Character artist, Zenimax; and Zoe Brookes, Irrational: Join us for an engaging discussion and exploration of what it means to be a woman in the industry. Each panelist will share her experience in this creative field, its highs and lows, and will offer thoughts on where the industry is heading for the next generation of talented developers. A reception will follow.

Moore is the first and only women’s visual arts college in the U. S, providing a creative, close-knit, career-focused culture for contemporary art-making.  Moore’s undergraduate programs for women are designed to cultivate each student’s creative talents, and provide the technical and professional skills essential for building a successful career in the visual arts. Students learn from award-winning, professionally active faculty who bring real-world knowledge and expertise into an intimate and inspiring classroom environment that encourages excellence, creative exploration and risk-taking.  Moore is the only art and design school that provides every undergraduate student with a paid internship, providing them with a first-hand experience in a professional setting.


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