Stephen Gonzalez

Jueno – FINAL FANTASY XI –  Jueno is a recreation of a city that exists in the game FINAL FANTASY XI and was a passion project to reimagine it with next generation graphics.  The game is old and was released in 2001 in Japan, and then 2002 in the states.  It can still be played, but the graphics haven’t aged well.  Since XI was such an influential and lasting game to me, it forever holds a special place in my heart.
The School – The School was a project created at NYU to explore and learn how to develop a game for Virtual Reality.  I reprised my role as the level designer and environment artist in a team of 3 to create this game.  You play as a Ghost Hunter for your ghost hunting YouTube channel.  Rumors of a haunted abandoned high school spur your curiosity to investigate and document any paranormal activity.  So you set out to explore its unsettling and chilling halls only to uncover it’s dark past and come face to face with a sinister entity.
2012 End Prophecy: My final project at Vancouver Film School where I was tasked as the level designer.  It was made with a team of 4 people using Unreal Engine 3 back in 2009.  The project is old, but is still a good visual showcase and shows how far games have gone.  The game features a resurrected Mayan hero from a long slumber to stop the events of the end of the world by piecing together a shattered mayan calendar.  Reassembling the calendar and resetting it’s time prevents the end of the world.
Gallery Bergen director Tim Blunk interviews Stephen Gonzalez about his education in game design beginning at BCC, the art itself, and his new role as adjunct professor.

A passion for gaming

I am one of those people who was born with a controller in my hand. I lived most of my childhood in Washington Heights, New York, at a time when it was too dangerous to play outside. I was fortunate enough in my childhood to receive a Nintendo Entertainment System at a very early age where I poured many hours into playing videogames. Ever since, I’ve been hooked on gaming and it has become a part of who I am. This lead me to embark on a journey of passion for games and to pursue a livelihood that would allow me to continue to work my imagination and make a living off what I enjoy the most.  

    In my quest to learn I’ve pursued all of my educational endeavors in the hopes of creating my own videogame. I am also dedicated to helping others create their videogames, and I teach a wide array of skills towards that goal. I’ve taken my education very seriously and have received a number of degrees tailored towards achieving this such as my Associates in Applied Science for Computer Animation, going to Vancouver, Canada to get my Diploma in Game Design, and receiving my Bachelor’s in Game Design from Bloomfield College with high honors.  I currently teach the game design courses at Bergen Community College as an adjunct professor where I help students who share my dream of making games and keep relevant with the latest technology and programs in the game industry. 

My journey now takes me to NYU where I’m currently working on my Master of Fine Arts for Game Design as I continue to pursue my dreams. In obtaining my MFA, I hope to do two things:  I hope to be fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work at a Game Development studio and be part of an amazing team of game developers, and I also want  to continue my current job as a professor at Bergen Community College with the prospect of becoming a full-time professor once I have my MFA. Both paths are a joy and a pleasure. 

    Videogames are my passion and my livelihood, my dream, and my career goal. All of my education and choices have lead me here in my pursuit to be part of the game development community. I do the best to my ability to not only achieve my students expectations in game design, but to exceed them, and I’m confident my passion in game design will push me to new heights both academically and professionally.”