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The Madden man

Former EA graphics director makes switch to A&M

Published: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 22:02


Tanner Garza

Andre Thomas, visualization director, displays some of the EA games he worked on.

THE BATTALION: What did you do at Electronic Arts while you worked there?
THOMAS: I supervised the graphics for the football games, so all of the football games at EA during the last seven years. I started off as a computer graphics supervisor and finished as the head of graphics overseeing a team of software developers, artists, technical artists and project managers.

THE BATTALION: Which games did you work on at EA?
THOMAS: Madden NFL, NCAA College Football — and we got Reveille into the game a few years ago and we got yell leaders into the last-ever college football game — NFL Head Coach, NFL Blitz on all platforms … and I was responsible for supervising all graphics development.

THE BATTALION: How did these games develop while you worked at EA?
THOMAS: Our customers want to see a realistic Reveille in the game and feel like they’re at Kyle Field when playing the game. It was all about authentic, engaging experiences.

THE BATTALION: What research projects are you working on?
THOMAS: I am working with Dr. [Janet] Spurgeon on an art history game that is being used in the core curriculum and hopefully will make the course a more engaging and fun learning experience. Coming from EA, I have a little bit of experience creating fun and engaging experiences. Another project I’m working on is a collaboration with the center for education at the College of Veterinary Medicine where we are developing interactive classroom material for veterinarians so that they can explore different surgical methods.

THE BATTALION: What have you taken from your time at EA that you want to incorporate at A&M?
THOMAS: Making the classroom fun and interactive. It’s as simple as that. I don’t necessarily prescribe to a lecture method of teaching and I am a very interactive person myself. I like to have fun and I know students like to have fun. I think all of these elements can be combined to create a great learning experience. I learned the rules for American football by playing a video game. I think we can bring some interactivity and fun to the classroom.

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