Kiwi Makes Flight To Intl. Gaming Developer Conf.
Kiwi Makes First Flight To International Gaming Developer Conference
Tim Nixon is taking his first trip to California this month, thanks to a generous sponsorship grant from Electronic Arts (EA) NZ. The 19-year-old student is making history as the only student from the Asia Pacific region, and one of only 25 applicants worldwide to receive a prestigious scholarship to the annual Game Developers Association symposium in San Jose, California, from 19 to 23 March 2002.
"I'm thrilled to have been chosen to attend one of the most established and respected game developer conferences in the world," says Nixon, a double degree science and design major from Otago. "This kind of opportunity is extremely rare, especially for students on this side of the world, so I'm extremely grateful to both the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) who provided the scholarship, and to Electronic Arts for making this dream a reality."
EA is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company and owner of leading development houses, Westwood and Lionhead Studios. General manager of EA NZ, Mike Wynands is pleased to be sponsoring Nixon, and hopes he will use the skills he learns to help foster gaming development in New Zealand.
"EA is very supportive of gaming development and facilitates localised content in our sporting titles such as Rugby and Cricket from New Zealand and Australia," says Wynands. In the future, we hope to establish studios on these shores to capitalise on the strong creative and development talents that we have in New Zealand. In addition, the favourable exchange rate helps to promote New Zealand as an ideal location to produce leading-edge content within internationally competitive budgets."
Nixon's dreams of becoming a developer first emerged when he encountered gaming at the age of three with the arcade-style Horris game. Since then, he has kept close tabs on the international development community through the web and monthly magazine subscriptions.
Now he believes he has a chance to be part of a generation that refines the gaming industry.
"I want gaming to achieve the same level of respect and responsibility that is inherent with movies and television," he says. "I want to be able to develop games that inspire, entertain, educate and motivate, and I believe the gaming medium has the potential to achieve this."
Nixon shares these aspirations with many friends from university, who are also consumed by dreams to become developers.
"In New Zealand, there is a small but dedicated community of people aspiring to become developers," says Nixon. "However, we are impeded by the lack of courses, or specific university papers to see our dreams materialise. I want to see this change."
With more than 300 sessions and tutorials on various components of gaming development, Nixon is assured of satisfying his own quest for knowledge.
"I really enjoy the design and production side of things, and will be attending these lectures," says Nixon. "I'll also go to a variety of more generic tutorials so that I can gain tips and insights on how budding Kiwi developers can nurture the right skills to get a job."
When asked on his opinion of EA, Nixon was very candid in his respect for the company.
"EA NZ is extremely generous in funding my trip to San Jose, and I am very grateful for this. I believe EA's enthusiasm in developers spawns from its respect and understanding of the whole spectrum of gaming, from initial development, to publication, distribution, and final point of sale. With each new game, EA creates a vision and this is maintained throughout the development process. I want to create games for EA because of this."
Nixon hopes to develop real-time strategy games one day, such as Command & Conquer (C&C).
Nixon departs New Zealand bound for San Jose this Sunday, 10 March 2002.
*** About Electronic Arts Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts posted revenues of more than $1.3 billion for fiscal 2001. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for the Internet, personal computers and video game systems. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTS, EA GAMES, EA SPORTS BIG and EA.COM. More information about EA can be found on the Internet at http://www.info.ea.com.
Electronic Arts, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS BIG and EA GAMES are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. EA.COM is a service mark of EA.com Inc. PlayStation is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance are trademarks of Nintendo of America Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.