Denius-Sams Gaming Academy
In August 2014, twenty students became the inaugural participants in an intense, 9-month game development program taught by gaming industry leaders.
Warren Spector, thirty-year game industry veteran, (M.A., Radio-Television-Film '80) directs the program, designing the curriculum and serving as a part-time instructor. Spector partnered with donors, Paul Sams (Blizzard COO) and Wofford Denius (Cain Foundation) and with the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin to create this one-of-a-kind game development academy. They are supported by a development council of industry notables.
Admitted students receive a tuition waiver and a $10,000 stipend to assist with fees and housing expenses–the only game development program to do this–and graduates earn a post-baccalaureate certificate upon completion of the program.
The Academy experience is intense, combining in-class coursework covering leadership issues with a 5-day a week lab in which students work as a team in a professional environment, putting coursework lessons to use in a development effort that spans the entire school year. The goal of the program is to give students the skills they need to take the next steps in their careers, whether they come to the program straight out of school or from industry.
Warren Spector, earned a master’s degree in radio-television-film from UT Austin in 1980. Heis a 30-year veteran of the video game industry who has worked on more than 20 production teams as designer, director or producer. He is best known for his work on the "Ultima," "System Shock," "Deus Ex" and "Disney Epic Mickey" game series.
Joshua Howard has been building, growing and leading video game development teams for many years, for companies big and small. Believing that great games come from great teams and great teams are built by great leaders, Joshua has spent several years working to improve the quality of leadership across the industry as an industry speaker, guest lecturer, and consultant.
David (D.S.) Cohen has been working in video game production, publishing, and licensing for over 16 years, with more than 50 titles to his credit. In addition to having produced console, handheld, mobile, online, and MMO games for Disney, National Geographic Society, Schell Games, and Oddworld, he has worked on numerous productions and partnerships with WB Games, Konami, Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft, 2K Games, Sony, and many others. In 2009 Cohen co-authored the book, “Producing Games: From Business and Budgets to Creativity and Design” for Focal Press, and has written over 400 published articles on video game history and industry.
Lisa Ha earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Grand Valley State University and is currently pursuing her master’s in Management. She has been working in higher education since 2009 with experience in Admissions and Academic Advising. Lisa is originally from Grand Rapids, MI. She moved to Austin to begin her career with UT in 2012 and now serves as DSGA's Administrative Associate.
We are pleased to welcome the inaugural class of the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy.
Dates and Deadlines
Feb 01 2015
Application process begins
May 01 2015
Early application window closes
Jun 01 2015
Early acceptances begin
Last day for international applicants to apply
Jul 01 2015
Final application deadline
Jul 15 2015
Aug 26 2015
First day of class
May 17 2016
Last day of class
Warren Spector and associates on creating
the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy