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Breaking into the Games Industry

Breaking into the Games Industry


Thursday, February 27th, 2020, 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm


Portfolio and Career Advice with Blizzard Entertainment, Insomniac Games, Naughty Dog, and Santa Monica Studio


On Thursday, February 27th, discover just what video game studios are looking for in an applicant when recruiters and artists from some of your favorite game companies join us for a night of career advice.

In this artist-centric event, speakers from Insomniac GamesNaughty DogSanta Monica Studio, and Blizzard Entertainment will take the stage to discuss their application processes and best practices to follow when applying.


Learn how to craft your resume, portfolio, and demo reel to best suit your needs, as well as how to specialize your collateral for a variety of disciplines, such as character modeling, environment art, animation, VFX, tech art, and more. Speakers will also be dropping tips and tricks on how to make a good impression during the application process and offer insight on how to get your foot in the door. If you’ve ever wanted to work in games, this event will be an excellent opportunity to learn about the technical and soft skills that can help get you that job.


This event will not be live streamed. Space is limited, so be sure to RSVP and arrive in good time to secure a place in line. Attendee check-in will open at approximately 6:30 PM and a valid Eventbrite RSVP will be required to get an event wristband. Admission is first-come first-served and a wristband does not guarantee entry in cases that the stage reaches capacity.


Attendees are welcome to join a guided tour of Gnomon before the event. If you'd like to schedule a tour, please email outreach@gnomon.edu.



Gnomon's Bachelor of Fine ArtsCertificate in Digital Production, and 10-week individual courses are designed to develop well-rounded artists that are skilled in the diverse disciplines within 3D production. For those outside of the US, virtual classroom-style online courses are also available.

Guest Speakers

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Rich Fleider
Senior Art Manager | Santa Monica Studio

Rich Fleider started in the game industry in 1992. After moving to Dallas to work alongside id Software, Rich co-founded Rogue Entertainment, making mission packs, ports, and full PC titles culminating in American McGee’s Alice. After a brief detour as Art Director on several board games, Rich joined the Sony Santa Monica team as Senior Managing Producer of Art in 2017.

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Bruno Velazquez
Animation Director | Santa Monica Studio
Bruno Velazquez managed to combine his passion of animation and video games by starting his career working as a computer animator on various Playstation 2 titles in 2002. Bruno is currently the Animation Director at Sony Santa Monica, and has worked on titles such as Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, God of War 2, God of War 3, God of War: Ascension and God of War (2018)
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Liz Wood
Gameplay Animator | Santa Monica Studio

Liz Wood is a character and creature animator specializing in gameplay animation. Starting with an engineering background, Liz made the leap into the entertainment industry and fell in love with animation. During her last term at Gnomon, she interned with Akupara Games as their creature animator, an experience that clarified her style and focus. After graduating, Liz joined Santa Monica Studio as a gameplay animator, where she utilizes all the skills acquired from her time at Gnomon to continue to grow and thrive.

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Gavin Goulden
Lead Character Artist | Insomniac Games

Gavin is a Lead Character Artist at Insomniac Games, having recently released Marvel's Spider-Man and previously, Sunset Overdrive. Prior to working at Insomniac, he was the Lead Character Artist on Bioshock Infinite, Character Artist on Dead Rising 2, The Bigs 2, Damnation, and contributed to titles such as FEAR 2, Dragon Age, and many independent projects.

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Angela Baker
Senior Recruiter | Insomniac Games
Angela Baker is the Senior Human Resources Generalist/Recruiter at Insomniac Games. She joined Insomniac in the fall of 2006 and has been a part of the HR team that helped Insomniac be recognized nationally 20 times as a Great Place to Work. Before coming to Insomniac Games, Angela was at G4TV, Activision, and The William Morris Talent Agency.
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Crystal Mora
Recruiting Generalist | Naughty Dog

Crystal joined the Naughty Dog recruiting team in 2016, bringing with her a lifelong passion for art and video games. As a Recruiting Generalist, she works closely with the studio’s art and animation teams to source creative and diverse talent from across the globe. Prior to Naughty Dog, Crystal worked at Gnomon where she assisted with alumni relations and was responsible for coordinating industry events on campus.

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Candace Walker
Recruiting Manager | Naughty Dog

Candace Walker is the Recruiting Manager at Naughty Dog with 20 years of recruiting experience in the gaming industry. She began her career in 2000 as an agency recruiter, before eventually joining Naughty Dog in 2009. During her tenure at the studio, she has helped source talent for the development of the award-winning Uncharted and The Last of Us franchises, as well as Sony’s ICE team.

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Samantha Brown
Associate Recruiter, Story and Franchise Development | Blizzard Entertainment

Over her career, Samantha has worked for industry leading studios including Sony Pictures Imageworks and Digital Domain. She currently supports the Story & Franchise Development group at Blizzard Entertainment, which includes artists from a wide range of disciplines including Rigging, FX, Storyboarding, Surfacing, Toy Design, and Animation.

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Danny Flannagan
Art & Design Recruiter, Game Teams | Blizzard Entertainment

Danny’s career began at Blizzard over twelve years ago. With one of the longest tenure’s in the recruiting team, he’s been able to work across almost every business function at Blizzard and has covered a variety of roles across recruiting including sourcer, recruiter, and university relations specialist. Currently Danny works as an Art and Design recruiter exclusively with the Diablo and Hearthstone game teams.

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Jo-Jo Rane
Associate Recruiter, Game Teams & SFD | Blizzard Entertainment

Jo-Jo provides support for the creative disciplines on the World of Warcraft and Overwatch game teams, and Story & Franchise Development team that is responsible for all the Blizzard cinematics. Her work covers real-time and rendered positions across a wide spectrum of roles including animation, FX, writing & story development, and conceptual and previsualization.

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Mark Anderson
Art Sourcer-er, Game Teams | Blizzard Entertainment

A founding member of Sony's Santa Monica Studio, Mark successfully created the company’s first technical art department. The combination of that teams’ artist tools as well as his contributions as an art director and FX artist were an integral part of building the God of War franchise. After his time at Santa Monica Studio, Mark continued to help make innovative, new games and build stellar teams as a technical artist, art director, and game director.

Mark continues his work helping to build world class art teams as principal art sourcer-er at Blizzard Entertainment, where he helps find some of best and brightest artists from around the world.