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Jin Fan and Eddy Walters

Jin Fan and Eddy Walters

SIAT breeds success for talented trio

June 10, 2010

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Impossible is not in the vocabulary of three tech-savvy students graduating this month from SFU’s Surrey campus School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT). They’re already proving that the slow road to success is passé in this virtual age.

Jin Fan, who will receive a B.Sc. with fi rst class honors in interaction design and a minor in publishing, worked on the North House, an 800-square-foot, solar-powered building that took fourth place at the 2009 Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C.

Two years earlier she took a project she worked on with teammates in a third-year interface design class and refi ned the concept with SIAT master’s student Kevin Muise for Microsoft’s Imagine Cup.

“Our work stood out from more than 300 competitors worldwide and made it into the world final in Paris, France,” she says. Their design placed second in the 24-hour competition.

Fan, an international student from China, hopes to gain more experience as a designer before doing graduate studies and then starting her own design firm in both Canada and China.

Classmate Eddy Walters graduates with a BA with a concentration in media arts. Two years ago, he and his teammates were nominated for an Elans award, which honours the best in Canadian film animation and video games, for their original animation.

For two years running he was a member of the winning team in the Port Moody Arts Connect 48-hour Quick Flicks challenge. He and his peers also represented SIAT and their start-up company, Pixelante Game Studios, at the annual PAX gaming festival in Seattle last fall.

Another team member, Evan Miller, is the founder of Pixelante Game Studios. His flashbased game Hunted Forever was featured in Time magazine as one of 2008’s top 10 video games. He says Pixelante games have been played more than 25 million times worldwide.

“Over the next decade,” says Miller, “I’d like to build Pixelante into a world-class brand known for its creativity, integrity and soul.”

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