Program Overview

Get a head start! Explore game majors. Make a game prototype.

The Champlain Game Academy 2020 will now be offered online as a unique virtual program. Featuring six hours of synchronous instruction by Champlain College faculty every day, our exciting curriculum will be delivered via virtual classroom software in order to achieve the same learning outcomes as our on-campus program.

Our rigorous virtual programs are designed for students to explore what it's like to study game development at the college level. Using the learning model of the acclaimed Champlain Game Studio, students in these programs will work in a creative cohort that stresses the importance of teamwork and creative collaboration. At the end of the Academy, students will have a well-rounded understanding of the behind-the-scenes operations of a professional game studio.

Our Curriculum

The Champlain Game Academy

Session 1: July 13–24, 2020
Session 2: July 27–August 7, 2020  FULL

The Champlain Game Academy introduces students to all aspects of game development—including game design, game art and animation, programming, sound, testing and production. Under the direction of  professors and industry professionals, students will gain real-world experience in their areas of special interest in this field. By the end of this program students will have an understanding of the behind-the-scenes operations of the world's professional game studios, first hand experience of working on a collaborative game development team to produce a game prototype, and an introduction to what it will be like to study game development in college.

The Advance Game Academy

July 27–August 7, 2020   FULL

* The Champlain Game Academy is a prerequisite for this program.

The Advanced Game Academy explores the field of game development at an advanced level. Building off of the curriculum of the level one program, this course offers students the opportunity to focus more specifically on one particular aspect of game development. Students learn advanced skills through higher level classes and work closely with faculty to develop a more advanced game prototype which can be used in a portfolio for college applications! By enrolling in this course students are able to build more knowledge and experience, becoming that much more prepared for college level courses!

Program Fee

Fee for the Virtual Game Academy 2020: $2,750.00

Fee for the Virtual Advanced Academy 2020: $2,750.00.  

Fee includes all aspects of your program:

  • Academic program

  • Class and LAB materials

  • Social and recreational activities

Financial Assistance:

Limited financial assistance is available. If you are interested in applying for financial assistance please ask for information in the comments box at the bottom of the registration form.

Sample Daily Schedule:

The daily program will include morning and afternoon instruction/LABS, and a combination of instruction/LAB and recreational activities in the evenings. We'll work right through the weekend to take full advantage of the time we have together.

9:00 AM Morning Meeting
9:15 AM - 12:15 PM Classroom Instruction / LAB work
12:15 - 2:00 PM Lunch Break
2:00 - 5:00 PM Classroom Instruction / LAB work
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM Evening LAB / Recreational Activity

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In order to participate in our virtual program all students will need the following:

  • High-speed internet connection
  • Either a Windows PC or a MAC
  • Webcam
  • Microphone

The two main pieces of software we use are Unity 3D and Maya 2020. All of the software can be downloaded for free, and the system requirements for these particular pieces of software can be found here:

We will provide registered students with specific set-up instructions before the start of their session.

Link to this FAQ

The Virtual Game Academy, while not offered as a residential experience this summer, will give students a convenient and cost-efficient opportunity to dive into the world of game development with a group of peers who share their passion for the game industry. This online format will still provide a collaborative learning environment where students work in teams as they learn the various aspects of game development and create a finished portion of a game.

Link to this FAQ

The Academy will benefit most greatly students who are seriously considering studying game development in college and/or are considering the game industry for a career. Previous experience is not necessary as our curriculum includes instruction for how to use the tools needed for game development. However, students with some background will also find themselves challenged by this college level curriculum.

Link to this FAQ

In the Champlain Game Academy you will learn how to use a 3D game engine to develop interactive games. Depending on your interests, you can focus on creating 3D art and animations, designing games (emphasis on level design), programming, creating music and sound effects, or testing and the production process. At the end of the Academy, you will have a finished portion of a game that was created by you and students from other disciplines working together as a team. The game can serve as the centerpiece of your game portfolio (many schools require portfolios for admission into their game development programs). Most importantly, you will have your love of games and interest in how they are made confirmed before you embark on your college search.

The Advance Program will build on the foundation you have gained from your first program to build a more complex level of understanding and experience. You will be able to create more complex art and design features. You will also be able to focus in more depth on a preferred area of concentration.

Link to this FAQ

The program director is Dean Lawson. Dean is a professor of Game Programming at Champlain College and has been a game developer since 1994. He has worked on over 15 published games for PC, PS2, Nintendo DS, Web and iPhone. 

Bridget Ryan is the administrative director and is the contact person for all questions regarding registration. Contact Bridget Ryan at or 802-383-6287.

Link to this FAQ

All classes are designed and instructed by professors of game development at Champlain College.  In addition to years of teaching experience, our professors are industry experts with professional experience in the industry. Current and recently graduated game development students will assist in the classroom as teaching assistants.

Link to this FAQ