Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Category: Alumni

Q&A With Paul Neurath and Jonathan Mintz

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Please join us Thursday November 20  at 4:00 PM in Sage 3303 for a GSAS Q&A with game industry professionals Paul Neurath (Looking Glass, Floodgate, Zynga) and Jonathan Mintz (Harmonix). They will be answering the question you want to ask: Where do I go from here? They each bring a unique perspective. Paul has owned several game companies and Jonathan is an RPI alum.
Disney Fantasia : Music Evolved (2013)
Terra Nova : Strike Force Centauri (1996)
Paul Neurath is a Boston-area serial entrepreneur who has been at the forefront of game innovation.  Paul started as an independent game designer in the “8-bit” 1980’s, working on such games as Ultima IVOgre and Space Rogue, and pioneering the first use of 3D texture mapping in games.   In 1990 Paul founded LookingGlass, a studio known for such titles as Ultima UnderworldSystem ShockFlight Unlimited and Thief.   In 2001 Paul founded Floodgate Entertainment, a studio focused on mobile games, including mobile versions of Madden Football and Pirates of the Caribbean.  In 2011 Paul sold Floodgate to Zynga and joined Zynga as Creative Director for mobile.   Currently Paul has a new startup in stealth mode.
Jonathan Mintz (EMAC ’04) is a Senior Designer at Harmonix Music Systems, where he is currently working as Design Lead of Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved for Xbox One & Xbox 360. Prior to joining Harmonix, he was at Activision’s Vicarious Visions studio in Troy, NY. His design credits there include Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure for Nintendo 3DS,Skylanders: Cloud Patrol for mobile, Guitar Hero for iOS, and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 for Xbox 360 & PS3. He has worked in a variety of design roles on over a dozen shipped titles, including narrative, UX, and motion control design. With a small team at Vicarious Visions, Jonathan also developed Mixed Messages, an original IP for Nintendo DSiWare.

Co-Founders of Vicarious Visions Named 2013 William F. Glaser ’53 Rensselaer Entrepreneurs of the Year


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Alumnus Karthik Bala ’97 and Brother Guha Bala of Hit Video Game Development Company To Be Honored October 9 

Vicarious Visions started out in 1991 as a “hobby” for Guha and Karthik Bala in their parent’s basement, while they were in high school in Rochester, N.Y.  A few years later they landed their first publishing deal when Karthik was a freshman at Rensselaer. They formed a team of eight friends from college and in 1999, they entered the first Independent Games Festival. They won two awards – Best Programming and Best Audio which put them on the map and provided visibility amongst the big game publishers.

Over the years that followed, they were able to secure angel investment and an acquisition which allowed them to stay independently run. They’ve shared the stage with Steve Jobs, debut new game releases regularly and are ranked 18th among the world’s top developers.

The Severino Center is proud to recognize the accomplishments of Vicarious Visions founders, Karthik and Guha Bala, at the 2013 Rensselaer Entrepreneur of the Year Award Celebration.

The celebration will include a showcase of student games from students in Rensselaer’s Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences Program.


Video of the event


Times Union

Times Union

The Business Review

Troy Record





Desktop Bomberkid


Reginald Franklin



Jaron Kong. Jon Ota. Greg Weil.



Ethan Richards – Producer

Ian Kettlewell – Lead Programmer

Christian Tewell – Art and Sound Design

J.J. Go – Lead Design

Prismatic Showdown


Nichoas Cesare – Producer, Programmer

Dennis Co – Programmer

Chris DeBartolomeo – Programmer

Grace Rhee – Artist / Designer

Tom Weithers – Programmer

Miles Beaven – Music/Sound




Gerald Franklin – Lead Designer, Lead Artist

Reginald Franklin – Lead Programmer, Co-Designer

Triangle Legacy Revolution


Matthew Chapman



Tom Astle – Game concept, main game programming

Jacob Knipfing – Game concept, cellphone programming

Russell Honor – Game concept, main game programmin, level design

Tom Lanciani – Character rigging, animation, additional models

Evan Gonzalez – Music, sound effects

Dan Spaulding – Character and world design, story, level design, additional art

Sylvia Forrest – Character and monster design, story, character models, additional models, animation, art, sound effects

Flo: The Watershed Project

photo1 my-streamhouse-building

Kathleen Ruiz, Ph.D. abd, Associate Professor of Integrated Arts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute:

Student Design Team Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute:
Dan Hawkins, Game Designer;

Bryce Miller: 2-D Artist;

Evan Minto: Project Manager/Web Designer & Programmer;

Colin Neville: Programmer;

Evan-Daniel Rose-Gonzalez: Music Composer;

Randy Sabella: 3D Artist/Designer;

Anthony Szymczyk: 3D Artist;

Beth Towns: Programmer;

Rosa Tung: 3D Artist/Level Designer;

Beth Werbaneth: Programmer/Game Designer;

Gabriella Ciavardoni: Artist/Animator


Kate Van Baren, 8th grade science teacher Onteora Middle School, Boiceville, N.Y.   (Watershed partner school)
Amber Bennett, 8th grade science teacher NYC MS x551 The Bronx Academy of Letters (N.Y.C. partner school)
Katie Palm, Education Director, The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development: Environmental Education Consultant

Science Team:

Kerissa Fuccillo, Ph.D. MS, Ph.D. candidate, Green Infrastructure Scientist and Director of Education & Research, The Ashokan Center
Elliot Schneiderman, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, NYC Environmental Protection: Watershed Science Modeling Consultant







Specter Seekers is a finalist in the 2013 IndieCade/Oculus VR Jam

specter_seeker_boxwide oculus_slow_jam

Specter Seekers is a first-person multiplayer horror game built for the Oculus Rift. It was initially developed for the 2013 IndieCade VR Jam competition, and has since earned the honor of being a Finalist in the global competition. The game is currently in development, and we are aiming to release the full version before the end of the year.

Specter Seekers is being developed by a team of seven in the US and Europe, led by Ryan Anderson (RPI GSAS ’13).

RPI Students and Alumni at Boston Festival of Independent Games


September 14, 2013

MIT Stratton Student Center & Johnson Athletic Center


BostonFIG is a free event celebrating independent game development in the New England area and neighboring regions.  It features terrific keynote speakers, a games showcase, and a game music concert (say, does that sound a little like any other awesome game festivals you’ve heard of ? 😉

This year the keynotes are Robin Hunicke and Chris Remo, a film screening, an art show, live music, tabletop games, live action games, and of course indie digital games.  Check out games from RPI students and alumni there including co.llide by Gradient Studios, Cognition: An Erica Reed  Thriller by Phoenix Online Studios, Hangeki by Pentavera, and Shock Jocks by Michael Andryauskas.

Zenith selected for the Independent Games Festival Student Showcase


Zenith by ArcaneKids is one of the eight winners of the IGF Student Showcase, selected from over 300 entries from around the world.  The Student Showcase winners will be exhibited at the 2013 Independent Games Festival at the 27th Game Developers Conference, March 25-29th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco and will compete for an additional Best Student Game award.  Now in its 15th year, the Independent Games Festival honors excellence and creative vision among independent game developers, and consistently showcases games that open new horizons for the medium.

Zenith was created in Kathleen Ruiz’s Experimental Game Design course at RPI, and was one of the winners at the 2012 Rensselaer Gamefest.  The ArcaneKids are Russell Honor, Jacob Knipfing, Tom Astle, Sylvia Forrest, Tom Lanciani, Evan Gonzalez, and Dan Spaulding.

More information:

IGF Student Showcase

Arcane Kids