NewSchool and UX Speakeasy Host ‘UX of Games’ Panel Featuring International Game Design Experts

Date published

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

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

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