Graduate Story: Ellis Tucci '20, Saturn Interactive

ellis tuccio poses
"Dickinson equipped me with skills in lateral thinking, which I use every day to resolve development roadblocks."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        —Ellis Tucci
Former economics major Ellis Tucci '20, founder and independent game developer at Saturn Interactive, uses multifaceted skills in the development of the video game Spectra, which will be released in a public demo later this year.
Tell us a little about your position.
I'm currently the project lead developer at Saturn Interactive, a small indie publishing label that I've created to handle and organize the development of Spectra, a video game of my own creation that is currently entering its fourth year of development. In my role, I'm responsible for planning and executing every aspect of production; from sourcing reference images, to creating textures and 3D models, to rigging, animating, coding gameplay mechanics, creating environments and designing sounds. I'm currently working toward releasing a long-anticipated public demo later this year, and from March 21-25 I'll be traveling up to Boston to present my work at PAX East, which is a very exciting opportunity that I'm happy to be a part of. My position as an independent game developer affords me a great deal of freedom to approach the creative process however I please, allowing me to refresh myself by changing artistic disciplines. One day I may be writing a vertex displacement shader that melts your enemies into piles of goo, the next I may be creating a mechanically accurate astrolabium clock, or an interactive cinema that plays the entirety of the 1963 Audrey Hepburn film Charade.
What was your Dickinson experience like?
I very much enjoyed my time at Dickinson; I was highly active in a number of clubs and campus groups, from WDCV to the Octals, which helped me build a number of close friendships that still play an important role in my life. Thanks to Dickinson's small size and professor-to-student ratio, in my four years I was not only able to become friendly with a large proportion of the student body, but it was also possible for me to form relationships with my professors that were critical to my intellectual development. 
How did Dickinson help prepare you for where you are today?
I would say Dickinson prepared me for where I am now in two significant ways. I was a major in economics, which admittedly does not bear much relation to what I do now. Rather, Dickinson equipped me with skills in lateral thinking, which I use every day to resolve development roadblocks; the nature of the liberal arts education also allowed me to explore a wide array of topics that were critical to my development as a well-rounded creative professional, as well as helped me understand more about myself. 

Published May 6, 2024