Following our original article on the formation of the DigiPen (Singapore) Alumni Committee in May, we reached out to the founding members of the group to learn more about them and their motivations for joining the committee. The following are some of their responses to an email interview, condensed for brevity and clarity.
Q: What is your current job title and duties?
Fuadz Kassim, Alumni Committee President, is currently a CG artist at Koei Tecmo, where he creates 3D game assets.
Teo Hong, Treasurer, is a 3D generalist at Industrial Light & Magic, where he creates CG environments and visual effects for movies.
Timothy Tham, Secretary, works at 12 Gigs Asia as a Unity game developer. He predominantly works on casino-based games like Slots by implementing the game’s features.
Howard Sin, RTIS Representative, is the technical lead at Jules Ventures. He is in charge of all technical aspects of the company.
Muhammad Firman, BAGD Representative, is a lecturer at NYP School of Interactive and Digital Media (SIDM). He teaches course modules in the Diploma in Digital Game Art & Design (DGAD) and covers subjects including 2D game assets, digital painting, illustration and motion comics, and gamification techniques.
Jason Wang, BFA Representative, is currently a lecturer for the Higher NITEC Games Art and Design course in the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).
Gavin Yeo, BSGD Representative, works at Ubisoft Singapore as a game designer. He is involved with Ubisoft Singapore’s newly announced AAA title, Skull & Bones.
Greyson He, CET Representative, is the 3D art lead at Battlebrew Productions. He’s in charge of creating and managing 3D art assets and setting the workflow pipelines and guidelines for interns and junior artists to follow.
Q: Why did you take on the alumni committee appointment?
Everyone agreed that remaining in touch with their fellow alumni was one of the major reasons for being a part of the committee. Timothy hopes that the committee’s events can create more friendships, and Greyson wants to give back to the industry by sharing what he’s learned since graduation. Fuadz joked, “My friends think I’m married to DigiPen (Singapore) because of my time spent over there even after graduation,” and he’s excited for the committee to bring DigiPen (Singapore) graduates back together. All of the committee founders expressed an interest in fostering the DigiPen community and bridging the gap between graduating classes. Firman put it succinctly: “I have a strong sense of belonging at DigiPen (Singapore). The relationships I fostered with my schoolmates and faculty are invaluable. I want to continue this tradition with the alumni committee and build new relationships with the alumni and current students of DigiPen (Singapore).”
Q: What event or activity are you most looking forward to?
The committee plans to host a number of movie outings and game competitions, including games outside of the digital realm. “I’ll be interested in activities that involve friendly competition, such as laser tag or paintball — things that are not often played,” said Timothy. Fuadz said he is looking forward to the unofficial annual beachside DigiPen (Singapore) BBQ event becoming official. “A group of us organized the BBQ the past two years and once in 2011. It’s a simple gathering where we just eat, talk, laugh, and sing in the evening beside the beach. Nothing else in the world is as good as that,” said Fuadz.
Q: What is the biggest challenge that you’ve faced so far as a committee member?
The group said that juggling their full-time work with committee responsibilities has been their greatest challenge so far, while a few mentioned that it’s hard to keep in touch with every graduate (“Especially those who are not on Facebook or don’t use social media,” said Jason), and hope that the new activities they’re planning will attract more alumni to participate.
Q: What are your strengths? What do you bring to the table for the alumni club?
Teo Hong and Gavin both claim to be “idea guys” who can propose different events to organize. Timothy and Firman mentioned that they are more sociable and like to add life to the party and help people out. Greyson and Howard said that their greatest strengths are their connections in the games industry, and said they’d like to help bridge the DigiPen community to the Singaporean game community.
Q: What’s your favored class in an FPS?
If FPS games could support eight players, the committee would make a well-balanced team. Greyson would be the tank, because “that’s what art leads do — they shelter the team from peripheral production and administrative issues to let the DPS players focus on their tasks at hand.” Fuadz said he would be the support or specialist class, as he doesn’t “prefer to be in the frontlines, but somewhere underneath,” where he can quietly provide crucial assistance to other players to ensure success for the team. Firman likes playing big damage-dealers, such as the Heavy in Team Fortress 2 or Pharah from Overwatch. Timothy and Gavin prefer to play high-DPS characters, and Jason and Howard prefer snipers. Last but not least, Teo Hong joked that he would be the team’s NPC; after all, every good group needs a quest-giver.
You can contact the DigiPen (Singapore) Alumni Committee by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.