NewSchool and UX Speakeasy to Host Pre-Comic-Con ‘UX of Games’ Panel Featuring International Game Design Experts

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Includes UX designers from Next Games, Riot Games, Daybreak Games and faculty from New Zealand’s top ranked college for VFX/animation and game art, Media Design School

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Mike Porter of Media Design School in Auckland, New Zealand, works with NewSchool of Architecture & Design and will be on a "UX of Games" panel Wed., July 8 on the San Diego campus.

I’m very excited to see how we can further develop the next generation of game art teaching by integrating global industry leaders in the classroom in an even deeper way.

Prior to the start of San Diego’s internationally renowned Comic-Con on July 9, NewSchool of Architecture & Design (NewSchool), in conjunction with San Diego's largest User Experience group UX Speakeasy, will host the “UX of Games” panel on Wednesday, July 8 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. in Studio Five on the NewSchool campus. Participants will hear firsthand about the challenges and opportunities of designing player experiences from leading UX practitioners and creators of today's top games. Panelists include New Zealand-based Media Design School’s Mike Porter—who helped launch Halo 3 and is a veteran in the gaming industry with more than two decades of experience in the U.S. and New Zealand. Porter will be joined by Teemu Huutanen, the CEO of Next Games who has worked at Rovio (Angry Birds) and Sulake (Habbo Hotel); Sebastian Strzalkowski and Cesar Kobashikawa of Daybreak Games; and Weszt Hart and Christopher Dome from Riot Games.

Porter currently serves as the Program Leader of Bachelor of Creative Technologies at Media Design School, a top globally ranked college for visual effects, animation and game art based in Auckland, New Zealand, that has a unique collaboration with NewSchool’s Media Design School of Digital Arts. In his 20-plus years of experience in the gaming industry, Porter has worked for Sierra, Microsoft Games Studio, and Bungie. He has mastered various gaming platforms including Dreamcast, PS2, PC and Xbox 360, creating 3D art work and level design.

“I look forward to visiting with the game design and development industries to discuss the rise of indie gaming in San Diego and Auckland, as well as the possibilities for collaboration amongst our two game art communities,” said Porter. “We’ve already begun to explore global game art collaboration through the partnership between NewSchool of Architecture & Design and Media Design School and I’m very excited to see how we can further develop the next generation of game art teaching by integrating global industry leaders in the classroom in an even deeper way.”

The two schools have worked together since 2012, when Media Design School of Digital Arts at NewSchool first launched as part of a collaboration within the Laureate International Universities’ network. The NewSchool department enables students to gain a global perspective on design that’s incorporated into digital arts degree programs, including game art and media design. On its own campus, the Auckland-based digital art college offers specialist degrees in emerging creative industries. Its alumni are working with world-renowned companies such as DreamWorks, Pixar, BBDO Worldwide, and Saatchi & Saatchi, as well as working on blockbuster movies such as The Hobbit, Avatar, King Kong and films from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. These industry connections, faculty expertise and student experiences are also transferred to NewSchool students.

In addition to Porter’s involvement in the UX panel on July 8, he will also speak at the 20th annual gaming conference QuakeCon 2015 in Dallas, discussing his role with helping to bring New Zealand’s game art and programming curriculum and industry experts to San Diego’s NewSchool. Each January Media Design School also participates in the Global Game Jam, a ‘hackathon for game development,’ and both MDS and NewSchool will participate in the 2016 event that takes place Jan. 29-31.

For more information on the Media Design School of Digital Arts at NewSchool visit and to register for the UX panel on July 8 visit

About NewSchool of Architecture & Design:

Located in downtown San Diego, NewSchool prepares students for career success in design fields through an emphasis on interdisciplinary and global design skills, industry collaborations and real-world projects. Programs of study include architecture, construction management, product design, media design, game art, interior architecture & design, and strategic design & management. The school’s design environment provides inspiration for the school’s students and faculty, recognized for their work regionally and internationally. NewSchool is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission. NewSchool’s Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture and Executive Master of Architecture programs are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). NewSchool is a member of the Laureate International Universities network – a global network of more than 80 campus-based and online universities in 29 countries. Through this network, students at NewSchool are prepared to work in a global and diverse work environment through the school’s collaborations with award-winning schools around the world, such as: Domus Academy in Milan, Italy and Media Design School in Auckland, New Zealand. For more information about Laureate International Universities, visit

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