Warren Spector, Paul Sams leading new game program at University of Texas

Deus Ex designer and Blizzard executive spearheading intensive 12-month course that will only accept 20 students.


Deus Ex designer Warren Spector and Blizzard president Paul Sams will head up a new postgraduate game development course at the University of Texas in Austin, the school announced today (via Polygon).

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The new Denius-Sams Gaming Academy post-baccalaureate certification program will begin during the fall 2014 semester and is designed for "top candidates looking for leadership training the field of video game production."

The University of Texas college of communication, college of fine arts, and department of computer science are working together to launch the program. According to Spector, the course will be "a little different" than the typical game-focused program.

He described the course, which will only accept 20 students, as a "much shorter, 12-month very intense program. It's kind of like the Navy S.E.A.L.s. It's going to be very competitive."

What will differentiate the program from other, similar courses is that it will "focus explicitly on that bigger, creative leadership. Both the management; the production side. And the game direction/creative leadership side. That's a space that isn't being served by a lot of the other development programs."

For more on the course, check out the video below.

Spector found himself out of a job when Disney closed Epic Mickey outfit Junction Point Studios in January.

He made headlines recently by lashing out at the new Wolfenstein game from Bethesda, though he later apologized for saying the world did not need a new "generically dark, monochromatic, FPS, kill-the-Nazi-giant-robot game."

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Avatar image for Konuvis

Man if there had been courses like this when I was in college...

Avatar image for _Roo_

Hook 'em!

Avatar image for johnofwar

Interesting, I hope it gets bigger so that more people could study.

Because many people want to be devs too... Like me :(

Avatar image for ArataWata

Surely he'll be able to make something original and creative since he's sick of dark and gritty stuff, right?


Avatar image for HaloinventedFPS

Shame Spector started making really bad games after Deus Ex, all though people blame IW & Thief DS sucking because of consoles, the story in IW was awful which clearly wasn't the fault of consoles

Avatar image for ArataWata

@HaloinventedFPS And terrible game design choices all around.

Avatar image for jurk182

I can't wait for the module on tricking huge media companies into thinking you are a successful game designer so you can waste more money on critical and financial disasters.

Avatar image for Jerian

Students have a choice between standard program and limited edition which includes an autographed coffee mug , Epic Mickey Boxers and a Crowbar.

Avatar image for baxwam

Well Texas is not a bad place to do this program because Texas has a lot of Game dev studious but they could have done it on Boston but IDK how Harvard would ever think this is a good idea I might be wrong. While California is just Publishers, but ,Blizzard ,Red 5 and Ubsidion. are very close by to UCI , oh and double fine but they are up the crazy north.

Avatar image for Konuvis

@baxwam It's really Austin, I live in Houston and there is 0 game presence out here sadly.

Avatar image for JimmeyBurrows

Teaching leadership, something you can surely only learn by being in a chosen industry for some time... I doubt any studio will hire them into a leadership role with 0 experience, so the time would be better spent learning skills that will make you better at some of the lower end jobs... Then you have a chance at working your way up.

Avatar image for da_bizz

What an insult to the Navy Seals

Avatar image for DarkSaber2k

If nobody will give you a job because you long ago since stopped being relevant to the industry, I guess teaching is all that's left.

Avatar image for tonyleo01

@DarkSaber2k I'm not in the same field but that's what I wanna do later after I'm done with my carreer. I get older, they stay the same age if you know what I mean ;)

Avatar image for DarkSaber2k

Well, teaching or Kickstarter anyway.

Avatar image for Zloth2

@DarkSaber2k Quiet you!! ;)

Avatar image for PixelAddict

Video Games 101: Syllabus

Week 1: Wolfenstein is Shite

Week 2: Why Another Wolfenstein is NOT necessary

Week 3: I'm Sorry About Weeks 1 & 2

Week 4: I'm NOT Sorry, Wolfenstein Really IS Shite

etc, etc, etc...

Avatar image for catsimboy

@PixelAddict I've got a few more if you don't mind

Week 5: Oswald may have been a terrible AI companion.... but he's still better than Wolfenstein

Week 6: Why a bad third person camera in Epic Mickey is still way better than a first person shooter perspective

Week 7: How to turn negative feelings like bitterness into productivity... no screw that I'm still gonna talk crap about Wolfenstein

Avatar image for PixelAddict

@catsimboy Awesome, but there's more work to do:

Week 8a: I'm Sorry about Weeks 1-7, Let's Start Over At The Beginning

Week 8b: Pong

Week 9: Wing Commander is the Best, You Guys. Here's Why.

Week 10: Why Preordering Wolfenstein will Get You an F

Avatar image for dragonkantus

how the day finds you?

Avatar image for dragonkantus


Avatar image for Adavanter

Games he will not help you learn to make.


For that you go elsewhere!

Avatar image for zerooo0

@Adavanter Lol I was just thinking the exact same thing lol.

Avatar image for Saketume

Sounds more like they want to recruit than teach.

Still could be a nice opportunity for some lucky ones.