I have known Eric Nersesian both as a Professor and a mentor all throughout my three and a quarter years at NJIT. Entering school with little to no game design knowledge I believe that I have learned the most under his tutelage. He has taught me how to use and apply software such as Autodesk Maya, Adobe Photoshop, and Unity3D, and has also helped me achieve my professional goals as well. He has provided me with internships as well as in-school and out-of-school projects. And the skills he has taught me over the years have become essential in obtaining a high-paying out of school career.
In classes that I have taken with Eric, such as Video Game Production and 3D Modeling and Animation, Eric has always employed a project-based and real-world teaching style which I found very appealing and effective. One such example was the crowd-sourced video game by InExile called Wasteland 2. During Eric’s class, we studied the techniques of building a game asset from the ground up and then submitted our 3D model assets to the InExile project, while also learning techniques of how to market our work on online asset stores. My game asset as well as several other students’ were then chosen by the company InExile to appear in Wasteland 2. The tutorial-based teaching style that Eric has developed, connecting the school projects to actual real life instances, made learning fun and interesting for me. I knew that I wasn’t only doing work for a grade but also had it benefit my future career.
Out of school, I have helped Eric with several freelance projects designing and building websites as well as helping to furnish and develop an Intellectual Property. From personal observation and experience Eric is not only a great team leader, able to compile and effectively manage a variety of students with varying skillsets, but he is also an excellent businessman and producer. When the graffiti artist, Carmelo Sigona, has come to Eric to help him develop an interactive comic book idea, Eric has compiled the best and brightest of his former students to sit down, come up with a business plan, and make the idea happen. He has not only coordinated the meetings both offline and online, but he has also lead the production of various aspects of the idea from animation of the initial trailers, to design and development of logos, social marketing, and release to the public. The lessons and techniques that Eric Nersesain has taught me were the most effective out of my college experience and I plan to utilize them in my everyday hobbies and professional life. I highly recommend Eric and I wish him the best of luck in all of his future endeavors.
Valeriya Kozhynova | New Jersey Institute of Technology | Information Technology, Game Development Specialization | Fall 2015
While attending the New Jersey Institute of Technology I had the pleasure of taking three classes under Eric Nersesian, as well as an independent study, and three internships set up by him which were not affiliated with my college. The first classes I took with Eric were Maya 3D modeling classes where I learned the process of designing, modeling, UV-ing, and adding textures to models. While I am primarily a programmer, I took these experiences to the Global Game Jam in 2013 and 2014 where I designed games in 48 hours with a team of graphic designers, programmers, and sound engineers. During 2013 a 3D modeler was taking a particularly long time and our group leader quickly became confused when the student chose to only use terms associated with graphic design to explain why. When I approached him about the issue he tried to give me the same run around but I quickly understood nothing had been getting done was able to pressure him into making the assets we needed. Without Eric’s classes exposing me to the process and terms of modeling I wouldn’t have been able to make the same distinction, a skill which will help me tell the difference between a good and bad employee in the future.
During the summer of 2013 Eric found me an internship at Picatini Arsenal where I obtained valuable real world experience with Unity 3D programming and animation. By Global Game Jam 2014 I was an expert in both and was able to lead a team by both programming and working closely with the graphic designers to provide artistic direction, feedback, and solutions to animation problems as we ran into them. During 2014 Eric introduced me to two companies, Rain Drop studios where I made several design documents to provide direction and in-depth solutions for mechanics they wanted in their game. The second was Fly Dragon Studio where I was able to work in depth with Unity 3D and mobile design to create Augmented Reality experience. I had the pleasure of working closely with Eric during this internship, which was so successful it would later become my senior project.
After graduating I started Starfall Studios LLC, a game design company with two of my fellow students whom have all taken classes taught by Eric. He has not only been an invaluable teacher and friend during our college experience, but has continued to support us as we take next step in our lives as graduates and business owners. I have never had a teacher who went as far as him to help me succeed inside the classroom and out. I cannot thank him enough for all he has done for us.
James Wolff | New Jersey Institute of Technology | Bachelor’s Degree Information Technology, Concentration Game Design | Spring 2014
I first met Professor Nersesian second semester of my freshman year at a character design workshop at NJIT. He took the time to explain to me the process of breaking into the game industry and emailed me the links to some tutorials for me to practice game art over the summer. The following semester (Fall 2014), I took his Game Asset Media Production class. As I got to know Professor Nersesian, it became apparent that he had a myriad of knowledge of the game industry, an extensive background in game art and programming, and a desire to help every student in his class take their skillset to the next level. Professor Nersesian is extremely selfless with his time. On numerous occasions, he would assist me via google hangouts over weekends, for anywhere from one to seven hours, depending on how long it took to solve the problem I was facing. He never left me hanging and was extremely patient and helpful. I felt so strongly about his abilities to effectively teach and design games that I created a petition to assist him in getting hired full time. I was able to get over 50 signatures which comprised most of the game design student body.
Aside from assisting me with coursework, Professor Nersesian also set aside time to work one-on-one with me on my resume and portfolio. I usually stayed after class to talk to Professor Nersesian about obtaining internships, assembling a portfolio, and writing an effective resume. These conversations would last anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour and a half, and Professor Nersesian was always there to give me astute advice. I made multiple iterations, and he kindly looked over each revision, always giving me perspicacious feedback on how to better present my skills to potential employers. Since then I have been offered interviews with companies for both art and programming. This semester, I am taking Professor Nersesian’s 3D Modeling and Animation course. I leave every class with pages full of notes and new insights as to how to better approach 3D modeling and preparing work for a game art portfolio.
If I could describe Professor Nersesian in three words, he is selfless, approachable, and adroit. He is truly a gaming virtuoso, with the ability to create compelling game art, write efficient code, and conceptualize effective, immersive game designs. I am elated to have such a reputable industry professional and compassionate professor in my corner to be there for me as I strive to obtain an entry-level position in such a competitive field. He has brought me many steps closer to attaining my professional goals.
Robert Gioia | New Jersey Institute of Technology | Information Technology, Game Design Concentration | Spring 2017
My name is Brandon Simms and I have recently graduated New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) last year May. I have known Eric Nersesian for about 5 years now, and he has really helped me to get on my feet as a designer.
I first met Eric in an intro to modeling class at NJIT and there he helped me to further expand my skillset. It was in that class he also helped open a lot of doors for me in my field, offering me internships, giving me a heads up on potential job opportunities and helping me out with my resumes and portfolios. I remember being in Skype calls with him talking about internship projects and job opportunities at nights.
I am really appreciative of Eric taking the time to help me out and guide me in the right direction in this very competitive field.
Brandon Simms | New Jersey Institute of Technology | Digital Design | Spring 2014
As a game development student at NJIT, I had the opportunity to take a 3D modeling class under professor Eric Nersesian. I was skeptical about the class for I found my passion was on the technical side of game development. I quickly found myself falling behind the digital designers in the course because I was really there just to learn what was involved for the sake of collaborating with digital designers rather than picking up the skills myself.
When I approached professor Nersesian, rather than require me to continue to struggle with the class projects he presented me an alternative. He pushed me to work with the students around me to help bring their projects to life. The class quickly shifted from something I worried about to something I was excited about.
While I did learn how to model and texture 3D objects I also learned so much more. I had to collaborate with multiple people, establish pipelines for bringing their work into the game engine I was using, and help them prepare their work for a game engine. I believe I took a lot more out of that class then the class’s own description conveyed.
Nicholas Costello | New Jersey Institute of Technology | Information Technology, Game Development Specialization | Fall, 2013
I had Eric as a teacher for a game art and modeling class at NJIT. From the beginning he was very understanding with my hectic schedule and allowed me to work from home and participate online when I wasn’t able to make it to class, which was often. His feedback on my work was always helpful and constructive, positive in the aspects that deserved it and negative (constructively) in the aspects that needed more polish. He worked to get us a great opportunity with the developers of the game Wasteland 2 who were seeking crowd-developed assets, and pushed us to take advantage of the chance since it could be very good experience for students trying to get into the field. His experience in the field was very helpful in guiding us towards making assets that would fit what the developers were looking for.
After that class, Eric has helped me on personal projects of mine, inviting me back into his class to talk about what I was working on with his current students and giving me feedback on what he saw. He gave helpful feedback not only on the game, but also business and legal advice for the next steps we would be taking in developing it into a full-fledged product. Recently he has also started working with me on the game itself, providing much-appreciated artwork assistance with generous offers to help with many other aspects ranging from animation to project management to sound effects to video editing. He has an enthusiasm for game development which is matched by his enthusiasm for helping others, and his involvement always makes for a better end result.
Michael Sullivan | New Jersey Institute of Technology | Information Technology, Game Development Specialization | Spring 2014
I would like to offer my recommendation to Eric Nersesian who is both an excellent teacher and valued colleague. He served as one of the “advisors” for my 4th year design studio. Throughout the class Eric was a welcome source of information and helped me refine my project; what was most helpful was his knowledge regarding asset developed pipelines. Thanks to his encouragement and advice I have been able to continue developing my career it the gaming industry. It is also thanks to his connections that I was able to get my current job with WisEngineering.
Stephen Haddock-Weiler | New Jersey Institute of Technology | Digital Design | Graduated Spring 2013
I had Mr. Nersesian for two classes (GDD101, GDD210) at Quinnipiac University during my freshman year. I came in a wide-eyed freshman, dreaming of the potential I could have in the gaming industry, and he really helped me work towards those goals I had set for myself. As a Game Design and Development and Computer Science double major, I learned most of my programming from my Computer Science classes, but Mr. Nersesian really helped me reinforce a lot of those lessons in GDD210, which aided in me in my Computer Science courses at the time.
Mr. Nersesian also was a big help outside of class. Although he was not my direct advisor, he helped me work on my resume and an online portfolio as well as look for an internship. He took his personal hours, sometimes later into the evening, to ensure I had all my questions answered and did a thorough job. He did this for not only me, but the class as a whole. He is very approachable and is very easy to communicate with. I am happy to have had him my freshman year.
John Aromando | Quinnipiac University | Game Design and Development/Computer Science | Spring 2017
During my time with Professor Eric Nersesian, he taught me so many things about Photoshop, Unity, Maya, and some coding basics. All of the skills that Eric taught me, I still use to this day when working with Photoshop, Maya, and Unity. Eric’s knowledge of Photoshop and Maya made him to be a great teacher who was very effective in getting his point across as well as being around for after hour lessons. Eric provided his classes with extra hours of work, and stayed behind after classes to help students that were having difficulties. I can’t count the amount of times that Eric helped me in my studies of Maya and Photoshop.
If somebody was to ask me of what I thought of Eric I would have to say that he is a very personable, humble and very good at what he does. He knows his art inside and out, whenever we had a problem with Photoshop he would laugh and smile. Then he would show us how fix the problem then he would teach us how to avoid running into the same problem. Eric was always in a good mood no matter what happened, and he always listened to the class to see what problems students were having and would change his lecture to accommodate fixing those problems. If I had the possibility of having Eric as a teacher again, I would take that opportunity in a heartbeat, because I know that if it’s a class with him, I’m going to learn things that I could use in the future.
Vincent DeStefano | Quinnipiac University | Game Design and Development | Spring 2016