Friday, November 21, 2008

Talk: Mon Nov 24, 11 a.m. - Mike Goslin, VP, Disney Interactive Media Group


Disney's game VP will be talking shortly about the need for design/art/technology education and teamwork this coming Monday at Chapel Hill.




TALK: The Art, Science and Education of Creating Great Games
Mike Goslin '96, Vice-President, Disney Interactive Media Group


Abstract: Building great games requires not only a team with a diverse
array of skill-sets but also individual contributors who can
successfully work across disciplines so that the resulting product is
a consistent and seamless whole. Adding to the challenge is the need
to innovate both creatively and through technology in order to be
successful and continue to advance this rapidly evolving area of the
entertainment industry. In my talk I will discuss the various
disciplines required to develop innovative games drawing on my 12+
years of experience building games and theme park attractions at
Disney, specifically referencing:

Virtual Worlds:
- The World of Cars Online
- Disney Fairies: Pixie Hollow

Massively Multiplayer Online Games:
- Pirates of the Caribbean Online
- Toontown Online

Virtual Reality Theme Park Attractions:
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Buccaneer Gold
- Hercules' Adventure in the Underworld
- Aladdin's Magic Carpet Adventure

The game and entertainment industries are starved for the talent
necessary to support their continued rapid growth. There are many
educational programs that have emerged to help fill this need, but
they tend to be largely vocational in their approach to teaching. I
propose to create a program that brings talented students together to
develop both the deep technical and creative fundamentals as well as
the broad familiarity with other disciplines that is necessary for
true collaboration in the creation of great games. Students from this
program will be prepared for exciting jobs in the game and
entertainment industries today, but will also be equipped to
participate in the invention of the future of those industries.

Disciplines Include:
- Computer Science
- Creative Writing
- Dramatic Arts (acting, set design, lighting, special effects)
- Art (painting, sculpture, design)
- Music (composition)

Biography: Mike is currently Vice President of Virtual World Design
and Development at the Disney Interactive Media Group, where he
oversees the development of a portfolio of virtual worlds including
Toontown Online, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, Disney Fairies:
Pixie Hollow, and The World of Cars Online. Mike is also responsible
for community strategy and technology company-wide.

Mike formerly served as Vice President of the VR Studio, the
development team that created the award-winning Toontown Online at
Walt Disney Imagineering. Mike pioneered the Disney strategy around
virtual worlds with the launch of Toontown Online, which was the first
premium virtual world for kids and families, followed by the launch of
Pirates of the Caribbean Online based on the hugely popular movie and
theme park franchise.

Mike received his Master's Degree in Computer Science from The
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his Bachelor's Degree
in Psychology, cum laude, from Duke University.

Sponsored by the UNC Department of Computer Science

Kelli Gaskill '98
Publications Manager
Department of Computer Science
UNC-Chapel Hill

Benjamin Watson
Design Graphics Lab
Associate Professor
Dept. Computer Science
North Carolina State University
EBII 2280, 890 Oval Dr, Box 8206
Raleigh, NC 27695-8206
Phone: 919-513-0325
Fax: 919-515-7896
Lab: 919-513-0847

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