This summer, Champlain College invites middle and high school students and recent high school grads to join us for an exciting two-week virtual program that teaches them how to make video games.

The Game Academy was created to give middle and high school students the tools and information they need to create games. They’ll explore what it’s like to study game development at the college level, work in teams to develop game prototypes, learn the importance of creative collaboration, and gain a well-rounded understanding of the behind-the-scenes operations of a professional game studio.

For the second summer in a row, we’re excited to announce that the program will take place as a unique virtual program. Featuring six hours of daily face-to-face virtual instruction by Champlain College faculty, our innovative curriculum will offer the same learning outcomes as our on-campus program.

Game Academy students build games in a professional team-based environment.
Take a look at the program overview to see what’s included in the program.

For students who want to make game development a big part of their future, the Champlain Game Academy will give them a huge head start—they’ll build the foundation for their college portfolio and expand their game production skills to impress potential employers. Middle and high school students will have the opportunity to explore Champlain’s acclaimed Game Studio and its four innovative majors: Game Art, Game Design, Game Programming, and Game Production Management.

Co-founded by Dean Lawson, the head of Champlain’s Game Programming major, and Bridget Ryan, the Game Academy was created to give students a taste of their future college experience and help them decide if a certain major is right for them. A student who originally thought they might want to study Game Design but really enjoyed programming during the Game Academy, will come out of the program knowing which major to apply to.

By the end of two weeks, students attending the Game Academy will have learned the importance of teamwork in creating games.

“The Academy totally mirrors what goes on at Champlain.” says Dean Lawson, a Programming Professor at Champlain, “It’s an abridged form of the Game Studio. Everything students do in the Academy is what they will experience as part of the undergraduate program.”

The Game Academy totally mirrors what goes on at Champlain. Everything they do in the Academy is what a student would experience as part of the undergraduate program.

Dean Lawson, Game Programming Professor

The Game Academy is taught by professors Dean Lawson, Greg Bemis, Joe Manley, Peter Wehr, and Joshua Buck who all have extensive experience in the game industries. Students involved in the program will learn the necessary tools and requirements needed to create various types of games, and get a feel for which game major suits them best.

From left to right : Assistant Professor Greg Bemis (Game Design, Game Programming); Professor Dean Lawson (Game Programming); Professor Joshua Buck (Game Art); Professor Joseph Manley (Game Design); Professor Peter Wehr (Game Production).

To participate, students will need a strong internet connection, access to a microphone for communicating with others and the professors, and a webcam. As part of the program, Champlain will provide students with Maya® (a 3-D animation software) and Unity3D (a coding software) and teach students how to use them.

During the 2019 Game Academy, Matt Slockbower, a rising senior from Mahwah, NJ, discovered the benefits of teamwork and collaboration. “Usually, I have to work by myself or with one other person,” Matt explained, “and it’s hard to get anything done. In these groups of four or five people, we’ve been able to get a lot done that I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to do.”

We were looking at Champlain and found the Game Academy program. We had researched other programs, but realized at Champlain you’ll actually make a game.

Matt Slockbower, Game Academy 2019

The Game Academy gives students the opportunity to dip their toes into the process of developing games and find the perfect fit for themselves as part of a team making games.

Registration for this program ends July 7th, and spots are filling up fast! The event has two sessions, July 12–23rd and July 26–August 6th, as well as an advanced program available during the second session.

If you have any questions, please visit the Game Academy website, or contact us. We hope to see you there!

Interested in learning more about the Game Studio at Champlain? Visit our website or contact the admissions office.

Danni Johnson

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