Saturday, April 2, 2011

Plattsburgh Native, Video Game Programmer to Speak

A Plattsburgh native and Clarkson University alumnus who is lead programmer for High Moon Studios, maker of the Transformers video games, will give a presentation at Clarkson on “Transforming a Franchise: The Making of Transformers: War for Cybertron” on Tuesday, April 5.

Andrew Zaferakis will speak about his experience in the games industry, as well as give an inside-look into the game development pipeline for a high-profile game. The presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m. in CAMP building room 176 and is free and open to the public.

Zaferakis is a 13-year veteran of the computer and video game industry. He first began programming computer graphics demos on the Apple IIe in the early 1980s. His interest in programming brought him to Clarkson where he received a B.S. in computer science with a minor in mathematics in 1998.

He then spent two years working for IBM Microelectronics before going to graduate school to obtain his M.S. in computer science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a focus in real-time rendering and collision detection.

Zaferakis entered the games industry in 2001, and within a few years was hired by Rockstar Games to be the Xbox lead programmer for the multi-million dollar Midnight Club II franchise.

In his current position at High Moon Studios, Zaferakis has worked on multiplayer aspects of Darkwatch and led the programming development for both the Bourne Conspiracy and the critically-acclaimed Transformers: War for Cybertron. He continues to lend his programming expertise to future projects, as well as drive the vision of online and multiplayer aspects of game development.

The presentation is sponsored by Clarkson’s Digital Arts & Sciences (DA&S) Program. DA&S combines elements of strong scientific research with equally impressive technological expertise in the digital arts.

Clarkson’s program is rated as one of the Princeton Review’s top-50 game design programs and was named the Most Innovative Program in North America by the International Digital Media and Arts Association in 2010.

For questions regarding the DA&S program or the presentation, please contact Dave Beck, director of the Digital Arts & Sciences Program, at dbeck@clarkson.edu or 315-268-4205.

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