December's Featured Faculty: Tim Samoff, B.F.A

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Written by Nicole Johnson

Tim Samoff started working at Azusa Pacific University in August of this year and has loved how open and encouraging everyone around him is. Before working at Azusa Pacific, Samoff worked in AAA Games from 1992 - 1999, and then as a serious game designer (training games) for major telecom companies from 2005 - 2008. In between he was a Web/UX designer and motion graphics artist.

He loves games, how they create community, and how they teach. Games are as old as humanity and Samoff is happy to be a part of something which brings so many people joy and friendship.

Samoff knew his calling from the start. He got his start in the game industry when he was only 19 years old. At that time, Samoff said, “ [he] had always dreamed of working on games, but actually getting to do it came as an amazing surprise.” At some point along the way, he realized everything he did was connected in some way to education, and it was only natural for him to transition his industry skills over to teaching those skills to others.

His advice to someone pursuing a career in this field is, “Don’t wait for school to teach you everything. School can help -- and often will provide students with a sense of professionalism and dedication that can't be found elsewhere (which is immensely important in the game industry) -- but waiting for school to provide the skills is waiting too long.”

He loves seeing students create games which are far above his own capabilities. “It is amazing to teach the basics and then watch students soar,” Samoff explains. When it comes to teaching this new generation, he wants to impart a sense of lifelong learning. It doesn't matter what the subject matter is as long as people want to continue improving themselves by learning more about it.