Alumnus offers video gaming internships to students
Although he didn’t take a single computer science class while at MCLA, David Kubicki ’01 of Dalton, Mass., a teacher with Pittsfield Public Schools, is in the midst of starting up a video gaming production company, Rebel Games Interactive (RGI).
“I’ve always been a fan of video games. I grew up playing them. After college, I actually worked in the video game retail industry for a few years. Then, I went into teaching, but was drawn back into the creative side of video games. I met a few guys with a similar mindset and we got rolling on it.”
With plans to release the first game in the next month or so, Kubicki – who wanted to give back to his alma mater – is getting some help from three MCLA students who are serving internships at RGI this spring semester.
“I felt this was an opportunity to build a relationship with MCLA and see some of the talent the students have,” Kubicki said. “I wanted to create an environment where I could find future employees for the company. It’s a good way to give those students an opportunity to get involved in the process of making a video game while they give us some quality work, as well.”
Kubicki (pictured above, on the right), along with fellow MCLA alumnus Jared Sprague ’10 (on the left) and two other partners started RGI about a year ago. Although they’ve no shortage of ideas for new games they’d like to create, they started with a story-driven game about a disgraced knight who must redeem his family name by going on an “impossible” quest.
“It’s something we love, so it’s not like work. The interns fit in really well with us. They are very eager to get involved. They have great ideas. We’ve seen some of their work and it’s really, really good,” Kubicki said.
The MCLA student- interns – who are earning degrees focused on graphic design, fine arts and computer programming – all came to RGI with knowledge and skills that matched the company’s needs. RGI also provides tutorials in areas they are less familiar with.
“We opened it up to everyone – to freshmen, to seniors. Ultimately, we wanted some people with some experience, and we wanted some students who were close to getting into the job market so they get a feel for it, see how the games were made and if they wanted a career in it,” Kubicki explained.
“We also wanted some people who could benefit us with some new ideas and approaches. It’s very collaborative.”
Manat Wooten, assistant director for CSSE/Career Services, considers it a “lucky break” that Kubicki contacted her office when he did.
“He is not only trying to create jobs in the North Adams area as opposed to Boston, he also is adamant about hiring MCLA students for his business, which is why he wants to nurture the talent pool through his internship opportunities,” Wooten said.
“I loved MCLA. I thought it was great. I had a great time there,” Kubicki said. “The teachers were fantastic. It was a really good experience for me. I really benefited from the smaller atmosphere.”