If you’ve played a video game in the last decade, there’s a good chance it was developed by Electronic Arts (EA). The video game mega-company is famous for games like Battlefield, NFL Madden, Mass Effect, and The Sims. One of the companies subsidiaries, EA Tiburon, is located in Orlando, Florida. Originally ‘Tiburon Entertainment,’ EA acquired the studio in 1998. According to company structure, EA Tiburon publishes realistic, casual & freestyle sports-based titles like FIFA Football, Madden NFL, NBA Live, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, NHL Hockey & more.
One of Florida State’s School of Information alumni, Andrew Bertino, has been working for EA Tiburon for three years.
While he was a student at FSU, Bertino was involved with STARS Alliance, serving as the Administrative Assistant. He also worked as a Data Analyst for Real Estate Data Services (RDS), while working towards his degree in Information Technology. “I handled various real estate data for both print and the web,” he shared. “After I graduted in ’08, I continued to work for RDS as a PHP Web Developer.” He remained at RDS for several years, when he had a change of heart. “I decided to go back to school and pursue my passion for Game Development,” he said.
Andrew attended the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA) at University of Central Florida. While he worked through the program, he interned with Electronic Arts Tiburon in 2011. Working as a Metrics Analyst, he helped track various metrics for the studio’s games like EA Sports Golf Challenge, Madden, and MLB Super Stars. “I helped further develop and maintain the web based metrics Dashboard on the EA Sports Online group,” recalls Bertino. When he graduated with his Master’s in Interactive Entertainment, he continued work at EA Tiburon as a UI Scripter. “The technical and transferable skills I learned at Florida State have helped me immensely in my career,” he said. “They’re some of the key reasons for my success as a Game Developer.”
Now, in his third year with EA, Andrew works as a UI Technical Artist. In this position, Andrew specializes in the development and design of various Front End User-Interface elements for the NBA LIVE franchise. Mainly working with ActionScript and Flash, he develops interface elements like menus, screens, buttons, lists, and in-game overlays. “I work to better and improve our UI pipelines and processes.” During his time at EA, he’s worked on three NBA titles, shipping NBA Live 14 for Xbox One and Playstation 4 in November 2013, and NBA LIVE 15 later this month.
Looking back on his educational path, Andrew shared that, “Florida State helped me prepare for my career in both Web and Game Development.” Andrew recently hosted a visit by FSU STARS students at EA. Facilitated by Associate Dean, Ebe Randeree, the group toured the facility before sitting down with Andrew for advice. Randeree said, “It was great to connect the current STARS students with Andrew (former STARS Alliance member) – we have been in touch every time I get down to Orlando and he has always been supportive and available to our students.”
Andrew shared, “I do lots of different things at EA; but the skills I learned at FSU are used the most: project management, people skills, good design, the ability to constantly learn new things, and to adapt. I wear many hats on the team; these skills are transferable to any IT job.”
To learn more about the Information Technology program that boosted Andrew into his career, click here.