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Denius-Sams Gaming Academy

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Applications for the 2015-2016 Denius-Sams Gaming Academy school year are open as of February 1, 2015.

The application for admissions to the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy consists of three parts:

  1. Application Fee ($75)
  2. Supporting Materials

    1. Portfolio
    2. Statement of Purpose
    3. Expanded Resume
  3. Applicant Questions

1. Application Fee

The application fee is the first part of the application. The payment processing link is at the beginning of the application. The directions are duplicated below for convenience.

  1. Go to the Application Fee Processing page (click the Apply button for the link)
  2. Enter your name, email address, and date of birth. We will use this information to match your payment with your application, so please enter accurate data.
  3. In the Quantity field, add 1. Click "Add to Cart." Click "Checkout."
  4. On the Cart Contents page, scroll down and in the Checkout Options section click the "Quick Checkout" button under the "Checkout as Guest" section. This will take you to a page to enter your billing and credit card information.
  5. When your payment is complete, you will be given an Order Number. Save this order number and enter it on the application.
  6. Once your payment has been processed, you will receive a confirmation email. Look it over carefully to ensure all the information is correct. If you do not receive a confirmation email within an hour, it is possible your payment was declined or was incomplete. If you run into issues, please contact dsga@austin.utexas.edu
  7. Proceed to the remainder of the application

 

Note: Should you leave the payment page for any reason, you can return to it by clicking the "Gaming Academy" link on the left-hand side of the screen and then clicking the "Application Fee" link. If you need to return, click ONLY the Gaming Academy link - clicking anything else will take you to the wrong place and your application fee payment will not be valid and your application will be rejected.

 

II. Supporting Materials

Supporting materials should be submitted online, as described below.

  • Sample game: Provide a Windows/Mac executable/installer. If for other platform, provide a link to or a video of your game.
  • Documents: Provide in one of the following formats: doc, docx, pdf
  • Videos: Provide in one of the following formats: avi, mp4, m4v, wmv, flv, or mov. Links to materials hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, or other in-browser video services are also acceptable.
  • Images: Provide in one of the following formats: jpg, png, or pdf.

I. Portfolio

All applicants must submit a portfolio demonstrating their expertise in a specific game development discipline. In other words, since all participants will be required to work as part of a game development team, you must be a programmer, designer or artist to be considered for admission. Though we want to speed people along on the road to Production or Direction positions, we can’t accept anyone who can’t function as an individual contributor on a game team in some hands-on role.

In addition, if you haven’t already made or worked on electronic games, on your own, as part of a degree program in game development or as a member of a professional development or publishing team, your chances of being admitted to the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy are slim. We expect all students to arrive knowing how to make games and what team role they are best suited to play as part of the development process. You must be best in class within your discipline. Your portfolio should reflect both your experience and the quality of your work. This can be achieved in a variety of ways:

  • In general, game submissions make for the strongest portfolio pieces, but artwork, documentation, videos and/or audio presentations can also provide the admissions committee with useful data.
  • Art and/or animation samples, 2D and/or 3D delivered as individual files or displayed on a website are best for artists.
  • Designers can submit world-building or level-design documents, interactive conversation files, system design specs.

Along with your portfolio, include an essay describing in detail what–precisely–you did (and did not do) in the creation of each piece of work. This essay should also include a frank assessment of the quality of the work you did and the overall quality of the portfolio piece itself–what works, what doesn't and why. We make no promise that we will return any materials submitted to us, so send original and/or unique work at your own risk.

II. Statement of Purpose

The Statement of Purpose is a written essay, video or audio presentation that tells us who you are today, how you got where you are and what you hope your future holds. The Denius-Sams Gaming Academy is dedicated to preparing the leaders of tomorrow. To that end, we want to know what you aspire to do and be as your career in video games unfolds. Perhaps most important, we want to know what role you see the DSGA playing in your journey–what can we bring to the table that will help you achieve your goals. And, of course, we want you to make the case for yourself as one of a maximum of 20 students per academic year admitted to this elite program.

III. Expanded Resume

In support of your portfolio and statement of purpose, we require a resume that includes the following information :

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Telephone number
  • Professional experience, if any
  • High school, undergraduate, or graduate education
  • Game projects worked on and roles played

The three elements of your Supporting Material should preferably made available to us via cloud storage service (e.g. Dropbox, Box.com, etc). Please create a folder in the cloud service of your choice using the naming convention: "LastName_FirstName_DSGAMaterials". Share this folder with dsga@austin.utexas.edu and list the access password, if applicable.

Materials too large to store online or ill-suited to digital storage, may be mailed to the following address: Denius-Sams Gaming Academy Admissions, Moody College of Communication, 300 West Dean Keeton St, A0900, Austin, TX 78712-1069. Be sure to include your name, date of birth, email address, and order number with your submission. Note: We cannot return any hardcopy materials sent to us as part of an application package.

3. Applicant Questions

The Applicant Questions ask different demographic and skill questions including:

  • What is your experience level with programming?
  • What is your experience level with 2D art production?
  • What is your experience level with 3D art production?
  • What is your experience level with game design?
  • In the space below, describe your specialty and/or experience within your discipline (e.g., UI design, engine coding, level design, character modeling, etc)
  • Any additional information/special circumstances

Post-Application Submission Review and Notification

As soon as we can (based on the number of applications and where you fall in the queue), we will acknowledge receipt of your application and alert you to errors or oversights, if any. Accepted applicants will be notified beginning in June 2015. Be patient.

Note: We reserve the right to request additional information and/or materials (e.g., school transcripts, proof of employment, etc.). Some applicants may be invited to participate in phone, Skype or in-person interviews.

 

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
Final acceptances

Aug 26 2015
First day of class

May 17 2016
Last day of class

 

Questions?

Contact dsga@austin.utexas.edu