William Crosbie

Assistant Professor - Computer Science for Raritan Valley Community College

William Crosbie has a long history merging art and technology. He began his career as a graphics programmer for Argonne National Laboratory developing visualizations of large data sets. Since 2011 he has worked to raise awareness of technical art in academia, first as co-chair of the IGDA Education SIG and later as the technical artist community’s adopted academic. He has produced a series of video interviews with technical artists from the industry and students frustrated by programming OR art in academia when they would rather explore programming AND art. He is presently working with industry partners to identify elements that must be highlighted in the game design curricula to encourage the development of the next wave of technical artists.

In addition to work on technical art, Mr. Crosbie has been an active member of the Global Game Jam community as a regional organizer for the US in 2013,2014 and 2016, and as a member of the executive committee in 2017. He is also an assistant professor of computer science at Raritan Valley Community College (NJ) where he coordinates the game design and development programs, and a lecturer in the game production concentration at the School of Communication and Information, Rutgers university. He holds an M.A. from Columbia University and resides with his wife and daughter in central New Jersey. He is owned by three cats.

Talk Description:

Calling all Progtists and Artammers – Developing the Nascent Technical Artist

Some students come to the field of game development with an interest in programming and art, and are told that they must choose on or the other. Based on interviews with working technical artists in the game industry, this has been the case for more than fifteen years. But there is a job in the game industry that sits at the intersection of these academic fields – the Technical Artist.

This talk builds off of work that has been in process at the technical art roundtables at GDC since 2011 and from the technical art bootcamp session, Tech Art for Educators, from GDC2017.

What will be covered:

What exactly is a technical artist?

What kinds of skills are needed and what work is performed by a technical artist?
What can we do as educators to develop aspects of game development curriculum to identify and challenge future technical artists at the undergraduate and graduate levels of study?

Session attendees will:

* gain an understanding of the field of technical art
* be provided with introductory exercises for use in common engines to explore aspects of technical art
* be invited to collaborate on developing recommendations for standard technical art curriculum.

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