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Warren Spector teams with University of Texas for new game school
Warren Spector teams with University of Texas for new game school
May 13, 2013 | By Kris Ligman

The University of Texas at Austin is joining forces with Warren Spector (Deus Ex, Epic Mickey) and Paul Sams (COO, Blizzard Entertainment) to found a new game design school, the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy.

Trumpeted as "the first video game program in the United States led and taught by gaming industry executives," the new school will feature both Spector and Sams as part-time instructors. Spector will also be guiding the academy's curriculum.

According to Spector, the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy -- which is set to open for the fall 2014 semester -- differs from other institutions because "it will focus explicitly on the bigger creative leadership aspects of game development - on the management and production side and on the creative leadership side."

Though the academy is a post-baccalaureate program, it offers a certificate rather than a traditional graduate degree. Instruction will be delivered over "an intense, 12-month program" in which students work in teams to develop a small-scale game. The Denius-Sams Gaming Academy refers to itself as "industry driven," aiming to produce graduates on a quick turnaround in order to "remain relevant and responsive to industry trends."

"The program will focus on building the skills required for students to lead teams and develop games from concept to completion," says Sams.

The academy is a cross-departmental collaboration among UT Austin's College of Communication, College of Fine Arts and Department of Computer Science. Those interested in finding out more should visit the College of Communication's website.

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Freek Hoekstra
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interesting idea, although I must question the plan to get people ready to lead in only 12 months,
especially creatively it takes a lot of time to mature in my opinion.

that is assuming these people are fresh, and not already industry veterans, I must also question the collaboration, if all these people are trained to be leaders, how dows one create a small game together, when small teams tend to have less overhead, and need for leadership. similarly not everyone can steer the ship on a vessel.

nevertheless looking at the people manning this particular ship, I will say it inspires confidence, and I hope this school will be expanded with artists and programming courses alike.

Ramin Shokrizade
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Austin is really heating up as an interactive media super hub.