Game Design Education Career Highlights

With well over a decade in the technology classroom, I have been lucky enough to fill my career with creative projects around every turn. Below is an assortment of projects and themes that have followed me throughout my career. I hope you enjoy learning about them as much as I enjoyed facilitating the opportunities for my students. 

Recent Highlights Of Student Work

The following video showcases work developed by students in my classes at the Manlius Pebble Hill School and Cazenovia College. 

Coursework includes:

  • Blender 3D modeling and animation
  • Pixel character and prop design
  • Games developed in Scratch
  •  Orthographic character design
  • Environmental renderings
  • Animatics
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Game Design Across Curriculum

At Manlius Pebble Hill, I often added gamification development exercises into my classes. From Introduction To Programming and 3D Modeling to Broadcasting and Computer Graphics classes, students built video games in Scratch, developed 3D fabricated assets for board games, re-contextualized materials to develop new tabletop games, and developed strategies to better interact with the outside world while livestreaming. 

Most recently at Cazenovia College, my 2D Animation students developed concepts for player-controlled narratives while my Interactive Graphics students are learning how to program in the Scratch and Processing languages to develop their own games.

3D Modeling

At Manlius Pebble Hill, 3D Modeling was one of the first classes I created as I recognized a need for our students to experiment with new methods of content development. The interest in 3D creation quickly grew and students soon had the opportunity to learn OpenSCAD, Sculptris, Blender, Maya, TinkerCAD, and various other platforms to solve 3D problems. Students also saw their creation come to life through the use of our Makerbot Replicator 2 3D printers and Oculus VR headset.

3D development is also a large part of my current teaching at Cazenovia College with 3D Animation soon starting to focus on Blender and Video Production learning 360 and VR filmmaking

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Coin-Op Amusements And Community Building

When I started Syracuse PINheads in 2016, my goal was to find a way to further connect the local gaming community and enhance my ties with the coin-op industry. Now 7 years later, my vision has morphed into the Skill Shot Pinball Arcade & Event Space which has created a place for people seeking gaming experiences of yesteryear in central NY. Below will give you an idea of the ways I have used pinball as a vehicle for connecting people from all walks of life. 

Pintastic New England

I was honored to be invited as a guest speaker at Pinstastic New England in the summer of 2022. As the show is heavily focused on innovations in technology, I wanted to shift gears and focus on the ways in which pinball can be appealing to a younger audience through thoughtful guidance.

The presentation became “Finding Pinball’s Next Generation: Strategies For Growing Youth Pinball Culture” and it looks at barriers that most amusement enthusiasts tend to overlook when communicating to children. 

Skill Shot Pinball Arcade & Event Space

In October of 2021, I opened an arcade and amusements event space hoping to create new entertainment offerings in Syracuse. 

No longer in its infancy, Skill Shot has become a community center for gamers, the home of various youth summer programs, a regular meet up location for the LGBTQIA+ group Syracuse Gaymers, and a resource for people looking for a unique experience. 

Skill Shot is also often home to various coursework with my students at Cazenovia College from a meetup location for student groups to being the an internship experience opportunity.

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Pinball Freelancing

Pinball is more than just a game; it’s an amalgam of art, visual interface, user interaction, various forms of engineering, and gamification principles. I love evolving the sport by working with clients who want an element of pinball culture in their daily lives.

For this project, I collaborated with Avalon Printing to develop a pinball machine that would be in one of their flagship locations. This 6-month project transformed a 1977 machine into a fully-functional pinball game that was on-brand with Avalon’s internal employee development program. 

Thanks For Visiting!

I hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse into my career in gaming. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or would like to learn more.