Romello Martin, a Game Developer Instructor at CIIT

CIIT Journey: How Rome Turned His Passion into a Career

“I like to think that I will forever be a work in progress as I get to learn new things everyday. This way, I am always open to new opportunities that would create new experiences”

This is the lesson that Romello Martin, a CIIT Instructor, wants his students to learn. He is a Game Developer Instructor and is also working as a 3D Generalist. He loves anything about tech, video games, and 3D art. Ever since he was a child, he has always been fascinated with technology; from video games to gadgets. He even uploads his own videos on YouTube to showcase what he can do.

When he was in High School, he got hooked with image manipulation and video editing which started his love for computer graphics. He even made avatars for online forums and created short videos with VFX.

During his free time he plays video games with friends. He also tries to learn new things to improve his skills by watching videos and reading articles online. These interests and hobbies of his made him pursue game development as a career.

How did you become part of CIIT?

Teaching was not something I was expecting to be. After graduating, I had other plans, but the school was looking for a Game Developer Instructor to teach in college and contacted me to ask if I was interested. At first, I was hesitant because I don’t have the necessary credentials to be an instructor. I heard that you even need a master’s degree to teach (I’m pretty sure it’s the same today), but since CIIT is a tech school and what matters most is the experiences and tech skills, I was able to pass the assessment. So, I decided to give it a go and I can say that I don’t regret my decision at all.

Besides being an instructor in CIIT, what are you up to today?

I’m currently working as a 3D Generalist, mostly focused on prop and environment asset creation for video games. Aside from my work, I play video games with friends pretty much every night as this is the only way we get to bond during these trying times of the pandemic. We play a lot of party games, especially if everyone’s around. Other than that, I sometimes try to learn new things to improve my skills further during my free time, just watching videos and reading stuff online.

What are the highlights of your career?

During the time when I was still a college student, I became a very active participant in events that helped me progress through my career, thanks to my peers. Joining events such as GDAP’s Game On! Android Masters, and Game Jams just to name a few. This is where my technical and soft skills developed further and met new people with the same interests.

After graduating, I had the opportunity to work at CIIT as a Game Developer Instructor which, funnily enough, is something that I thought I’ll never be! But it’s something that I’m thankful for, as I got to experience what it’s like to be an instructor. At the same time, I have worked as a freelance game developer and 3D artist at various companies.

Fast forward today, I now work at a very awesome game development studio, which is something I’m excited to be a part of.

What are the subjects or programs you teach? Why did you choose to teach those subjects?

I’ve taught a lot of BS-EMC (BS Entertainment and Media Computing) subjects in the past, most of them are all Game Development related. This semester, I’m currently teaching an elective subject called EMC Elective 1 to 3rd year students, I believe. The subject is all about the introduction to a game engine called Unreal Engine 4, in which we explore this awesome platform that is being used by the video game industry and create a project from scratch. I chose this subject because it’s something that I’m proficient in and have the most fun in teaching. Plus, I want to introduce to my students a different environment in game development.

What do you love most about teaching in CIIT?

What I most love about teaching in CIIT is that I often get to learn new things from my students and colleagues.

What are the three things your students don’t know about you?

Well, first, I love working out. I don’t aim to have that perfect build; my goal is to be physically active. Second, I dig old school music, something that I got from my dad. It just hits you differently. Lastly, peanut butter is the best thing. It’s my go to snack, especially if paired with fruits like bananas, apples, and the likes.

What would you like your students to learn from you or the lessons you would like them to learn even after they graduate?

Realize that it’s okay to feel lost. You have your own path to carve and don’t let anyone dictate where and what you should be. Sometimes it will take a long while to end up where you belong, but if you don’t lose sight of what matters the most to you, your goals, and anything you want to achieve, you’ll eventually get there without even noticing it. Take things slowly, one at a time because sometimes for you to achieve more, you should be demanding less of yourself for you to not end up hating what you originally love doing.

What motivates you as an instructor?

The biggest motivation for me is probably imparting the knowledge and experiences that I got so far to students so that they’ll be able to avoid mistakes that would slow them from progressing and develop their skills.

What advice will you give to future generations that want to pursue technology programs?

There will always be challenges present in whatever chosen career you will take.

My advice is to trust the process and don’t restrict yourself in learning. Try to explore and learn things outside what school teaches you, because this way you’ll gain a different perspective and insights about your chosen career. Try and apply them and you’ll see how big of an improvement you’ll get while studying.

I like to think that I will forever be a work in progress as I get to learn new things every day. This way, I am always open to new opportunities that would create new experiences.

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