Academy of Art University Grad Works on Highly Anticipated Game Star Wars: The Old Republic
For Sungho Lee, the name of the game is Star Wars: The Old Republic. After earning his Masters degree in Game Design at Academy of Art University, Sungho recently won a position as a 3D Environment Artist at BioWare, working on the upcoming Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game.
BioWare is the company behind such popular and critically acclaimed video games as Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Baldur’s Gate and Knights of the Old Republic, another game based on the Star Wars franchise. Star Wars: The Old Republic is set 300 years after the events in the Knights of the Old Republic games. Players will be able to choose to play as a Jedi, Sith or a variety of other classic Star Wars roles.
Though Sungho received his BFA in Illustration at Academy of Art University, a long time interest in video games and computers led him to get his MS in Computer Engineering. Wanting to use his artistic talent in this growing field, Sungho returned to the Academy to pursue Game Design degree.
“As soon as I started my graduate program at Academy of Art University, I decided to become a 3D Environment Artist,” he said. He credits the advice and support that he received from Christopher Schenck, Director of Game Design; Vince De Quattro, Online Director of Animation; and Chris Armstrong, Director of Animation 3D, with guiding him to achieve this dream.
When working on environments, Sungho has a personal goal to build a well-crafted and functional environment that enhances the excitement of the game’s users. He plays many video games keeping an artist’s eye on the aesthetics of the game. “I believe that game environments should be designed to make the experience of game play fun,” he said.
Prior to working at BioWare, Sungho was a texture artist intern at Digital Domain. With film credits including Academy Award-winning visual effects for Titanic, What Dreams May Come and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Digital Domain is a well-respected company working in advertising, film and more.
Sungho also found recognition while still at Academy of Art University. Many pieces from his thesis project were displayed in the Annual Spring Show in both the Animation and Game Design departments. The show, an exhibition of the top talent from students, draws recruiters and creative professionals from around the country. In addition, his artwork has been featured in 3D Artist Magazine and in 3D World Magazine’s “Best New Personal Artwork Around the World.”
Sungho believes that pursuing your passion and striving to reach your personal best leaves no room for regrets, no matter what the outcome. He shares this advice with current students, “Don’t limit your potential. Walk proudly toward a new path no one has ever walked before.”