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Digital Arts & Media Student Profiles

Students in the Digital Arts and Media BDP form a community with shared interests in creating innovative digital media and analyzing its impact on society. Digital Arts and Media students have come from a wide range of majors at UT, including American Studies, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Plan II, Psychology, Radio-Television-Film, Studio Art, and many others.

Name: Paul Marbach
BDP: Digital Arts and Media
Major: Music (Electronic Music)

What/where was your connecting research or internship experience?

My Connecting Experience was the first-ever UT Game Development Course. This “class,” which was more like a super-intense project/crash-course in game design essentials, took 10 students from completely different backgrounds, gave them the basic tools to develop games (namely Game Salad, a visual programming environment for game development), and let them loose. Our programming background was limited. Very few of the students came from a Computer Science background, while 3 out of 10 were musicians. We were quickly thrown into the fire of adaptation and began developing our games immediately based solely on our own creative gut. What emerged was a sleek Game Development Showcase with 8 fully-functioning GameSalad games, an iPhone game, and a 3D Half-Life mod with an unforgettable story.

What were the highlights of your connecting experience and what did you learn from it?

I learned a LOT about my own creative process through attacking a medium which was foreign to me. I learned what a game developer acts like, and what a game developer actually wants from a composer. I learned how to program, which was pretty useful. The highlight of the course was getting to know all of the amazing and passionate individuals crazy enough to devote a huge chunk of their time to game development. They helped me remember why I want to write video game music: because I love it so much!

How have the BDPs helped shape or influence your plans for the future?

I have always had a passion for video game music. In the BDP, through my Connecting Experience, I was able not only to write my very first video game scores, but design, program, and market games as well. I gained perspective on the larger issues of game design, which in turn augments my ability to write effective game music and empathize with the needs of future clients.

See also past profiles of Digital Arts and Media students.

To read about Digital Arts and Media students who have participated in Connecting Experiences, see the Digital Arts and Media Connecting Experiences page.