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Stephen Gonzalez

Hello, I'm Stephen Gonzalez~ I'm a level designer, environment artist, and college professor who teaches game design. I've been teaching for 10 years and have strengthened my understanding and skill in the game development process along the way. I am proud to be part of NYU's Game Center where I hope to expand my skill set further and refine my knowledge to prepare for my ability to work in the game industry.

Projects By Stephen Gonzalez

The School VR


Why are you studying games?
I've been playing videogames all my life. They are my hobby and my passion. I am studying games because I wish to pursue my dream of being able to create videogames for a living. It's my dream job!
Describe your favorite project made by a classmate.
My favorite peer project is Sokoban World. It's fun, engaging, and pure in its gameplay experience. It was designed to be fun, challenging, and rewarding. That simplicity, in my opinion, makes it a wonderful game.
Describe your most embarrassing playtesting moment.
This one is difficult because as a professor myself, I'm used to rolling with the punches. Among peers, when something goes awry or isn't up to standards; I depend on their honest opinions and suggestions to improve on or fix what I have. Likewise with random strangers. Sometimes I would take what I was working on and let my class play what I'm making to see their reactions or get their opinions. Nothing like a whole classroom of students unloading on your game :)
What's your secret weapon?
My secret weapon is the access I have to assets and raw materials thanks to my professor position my college provides me. I use these to help me and my teammates have an easier time working on projects to reduce some of the stress and demands of our work. Which free's us to be more creative and liberal with our ideas without a big wall stopping you from your creative vision.
Describe one memorable lecture, assignment, or exercise you've had at the Game Center.
The most memorable assignment I had was a programming assignment I had during my first semester at NYU. I was so overwhelmed and in over my head with it, it was affecting my ability to work well in my other classes. But I was so determined to get it working and finished that when I finally did, it was the most liberating feeling. But it took everything I had to do it. One tidbit to the story, I never could get it working "perfectly". But hey, I won! Level up!
How has the Game Center changed your thinking about games?
We all love games, but no one has ever made me think of the "why" we do as much as the game center has. It really takes the concept of "games" and really looks at it from under the hood. The philosophies, theories, and motivational aspects games can have. How they can influence our lives and how raw and primal "play" as an activity is. It was interesting.
What do you hope to accomplish after school?
I hope to get a job in the game industry at a well-known studio. Barring that, I really enjoy teaching, so I may consider becoming a full-time faculty member instead. I would also like to begin building a personal project I've had in my head for a while now on the side. I hope I get to finish it :)
What's the last great game you played and what's great about it?
The last great game I played was Ghost of Tsushima. I'm a big fan of anything with Ninjas; though this was more a Samurai game. Nevertheless, I played it like a Ninja anyway and had a blast. I liked the level of realism the game went for as well as its historical influences and themes it utilized. The environments are gorgeous and the gameplay was fun and satisfying.
What's your favorite New York City spot?
As a chocoholic and lover of anything chocolate, my favorite city spot was Jacques Torres simply because of their hot chocolate. It's virtually liquid chocolate as a drink. A chocoholic's dream. Discovered this gem of a place on the recommendation of Charlie Harper :) But then the fire nation attacked (pandemic), and everything changed. Definitely gonna treat myself to a nice hot chocolate when all this is over.