EA's Tiburon office in Orlando
How a Course 6 Alum Turned His Love of Video Games and Football into a Career
Growing up, video games were always an interest for Richard Mancuso — whether alone or with friends, where they allowed him to take his love of competing in sports off the field. Over time, the idea of creating games grew even more alluring. “I was most interested in the idea that you could create absolutely anything with a video game — from a true-to-life simulation to something truly unique.”
Rick, a 2010 Course 6 alum, was a starting quarterback for the Engineers football team for three of his years at MIT. He was named New England Football Conference Rookie of the Year and awarded the Boston Globe Golden Helmet Award. No surprise, then, when he joined Electronic Arts in 2012 with an EA SPORTS NCAA Football Fellowship.
You know EA. They make some of the most popular gaming titles on the market: EA SPORTS FIFA, Need for Speed, Madden NFL, Battlefield, The Sims and Star Wars Battlefront. What you might not know is what it takes to make them. Rick’s opportunity as a Fellow was certainly eye opening. “You really don’t get a feel for just how much goes into putting games of this scale together until you are behind the scenes,” he says.
Game engineers at EA focus on an array of intellectually demanding challenges: gameplay, rendering, mobile, audio, physics, artificial intelligence. EA game engineers use technical tools at the forefront of gaming, like the facial and motion capturing systems for their sports games and the Frostbite engine, which allows interdisciplinary collaboration across groups of animators, designers, and programmers.
Engineers working on EA’s Digital Platform (EADP) team focus on the core technology shifting the way games are provided to players. EA’s efforts have evolved from an emphasis on packaged goods to a permanently active network serving over 300 million registered users. EADP’s teams of engineers take on big challenges in the ever-changing digital gaming world, a world that encompasses capabilities like commerce, business operations, infrastructure, mobile, scale, and performance reliability.
MIT helped prepare Rick for the rigors of working in that world. “More than anything else, MIT taught me how to look at a problem from many different angles and consider all of the tools at my disposal to determine the best solution. Those problem solving skills carry over to just about anything both at and outside of work.”
After excelling during his fellowship, Rick returned to EA’s Tiburon office in Orlando as a full-time software engineer on the Madden NFL team. His day-to-day entails discussions with designers, writing and testing code, and the occasional friendly game against coworkers to experience the game from the player’s perspective. He’s found a way to combine his passions for code, video games and football. His advice for students interested in working at EA or in the gaming industry: hone your C++ skills.
Electronic Arts is looking for more skilled technical minds for a variety of roles. In addition to Course 6, current intern and full-time opportunities may be of interest to students studying physics or math, and to students with an interest in cybersecurity or data analytics. Learn more and apply today.
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