The University of California at Santa Cruz has announced the hire
of game design veterans Brenda Romero and John Romero. The two are expected to head up the university's new professional degree program in games and playable media
The program is a 12-month intensive professional program "focused on combining technical and design innovation." Students who complete the program are awarded a Master of Science degree. John Romero will serve as creative director of the program, while Brenda Romero -- who previously served as a UCSC game designer in residence -- will serve as program director and oversee the degree's curriculum and faculty. The two are joined by an advisory board which includes Will Wright (SimCity
), Derek Yu (Spelunky
), Robin Hunicke (Funomena) and Harvey Smith (Arkane Studios).
"Industry connections are very important for this program, so that students can interact with people in the game industry through visiting speakers, master classes, internships, and other opportunities," says Brenda Romero, as quoted in the university's announcement. "The individuals of our advisory board represent a diverse cross-section of the game industry, from the hardcore triple-A space to those defining the indie space."
The Romeros are both known as heavyweights of computer game development. Brenda Romero is best known for her work on the Wizardry
franchise and non-digital games including Train
and Siochan leat
, while husband John Romero is best known as a co-founder of id Software, having worked as a lead developer on titles including Doom
and Wolfenstein 3D
. In 2010, John and Brenda Romero (then Brathwaite) founded the independent studio Loot Drop, which produced 2012's Ghost Recon Commander
Applications for the program's first year cohort will open October 1st. You can learn more about the program here