I know very little about games and gamers….you have now officially been warned. So please bare with me as I begin. This past weekend the Bees came together with Microsoft and The Game Fanatics to host Codename: G.A.M.E. (Games. Accelerating. Minority. Excellence); a free event for middle schoolers geared at promoting minority innovators in the field of gaming. The event went perfectly and we all had so much fun, but this is not the recap. That is coming very soon. This is me, in the Microsoft store at the Galleria surrounded by gamers feeling like a foreigner.
Now I’ve always been around gamers. I have three brothers so growing up I was always around it. I can remember for each of their birthdays we had dozens of kids at our house surrounding the T.V. and calling “next”. And I can’t say that I hated it by any means. You can catch me playing Mario bros, Sonic, and my fair share of Tomb Raider, though Mortal Kombat was always my game of choice. But I could never be considered a “gamer” by any means. So being in this Codename Game environment was so very interesting to me. There was even one point when one of the kids asked Andrew about “glitiching of DLC’s”… I thought to myself ” No Entiendo” before I realized I was wrong and he was speaking english.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Andrew Augustin, based out of Austin Texas, is the 2012 founder of Notion Games and says they hope to inspire many to create and get involved with game development and art! We were pleased to have him as one of our panelists for Codename: G.A.M.E.
“Notion is all about bringing fun 2d games to the masses! Andrew Augustin is an award-winning 2d illustrator, game designer, and founder of Notion Games LLC, an independent game development studio specializing in fun 2d indie games. He has created the characters for The Sims 3 Pets (EA 2011) and the creator of his own games such as Up Up Ubie, Super Ubie Land, Up Up Ubie Remix, Team Notion, and more! Andrew has been published in various magazines including Pure Nintendo, Nintendo Force, Black Enterprise, The Source, Advanced Photoshop magazine and has won “The Best Graphic Designer in Austin” award from the Austin Chronicle and his game, Super Ubie Land, was listed in “The Top 10 HTML5 games of 2013” list from Gamasutra.” –Notiongames.com
Conversing with Andrew was an intriguing experience. I learned a lot about the field and what it is that motivates a person to create games and chase that dream.
The interesting thing is that he never went to college, though he briefly thought about attending the Art Institute, but soon found that he would not be able to afford it. Andrew Augustin is self-taught, spent his time in high school in all the “geeky clubs” from the gamer clubs to the comic book clubs.
Augustin goes on to say how those things made him become more passionate about his art. He went on to say how he would design artwork for his friends who rapped and recorded music. After a good recommendation from a friend, Andrew started working with EA on The Sims. At the age of 19, he won Best Graphic Designer for the Austin Chronicle, which helped him further pursue his dreams. He used the money he made at EA to start his own business and the rest was history.
Augustin is currently receiving his Post-Baccalaureate degree from the Game Leadership Academy at the University of Texas. For those who are unaware, a Post Baccalaureate Diploma (”post bac” or PBD) is a program designed for those who already have undergraduate degrees or the equivalent. It is not a master’s degree, but it is more advanced than a Bachelor’s degree. Though Andrew has not received his undergraduate degree, he is still able to bypass the undergraduate requirement due to his advanced accomplishments in his field. Congrats Andrew!
“We don’t have access to the same opportunities.”
Andrew goes on to explain that he was fortunate enough to have been exposed to magnet courses in school where he had the opportunity to see more and create a different dream for himself. “In Team Notion, the main two characters are women, one black and one hispanic,” not on purpose he says, but “because that is what [he] is used to “; what he relates to. The disproportion of minorities in this genre is more about under representation of our people. Touché Mr. Augustin.
As Andrew is now nominated for Forbe’s 30 Gamers Under 30, highlighting the most successful men and women under 30 years old in his field, he leaves us with a few last remarks. “Be unique, there’s always room for diversity. And practice makes perfect”.
We here at the Hive wish him nothing but success!!! We BEELIEVE in you!!!