Program Overview

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

The Champlain Game Academy offers two intensive 12 day residential programs designed to explore what it will be like to study game development at the college level. Using the learning model of the acclaimed Champlain Game Studio, studentsin these programs will work side-by-side in a creative cohort that stresses the importance of teamwork and creative collaboration. At the end of the Academy, students will have a full understanding of the behind-the-scenes operations of the world's professional game studios.


Our Curriculum

The Champlain Game Academy

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

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 

* 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 Champlain Game Academy 2020: $4,450.00

Fee for the Advanced Program 2020: $4,450.00.  

Fee includes all aspects of your program:

  • Academic program

  • On-campus housing

  • All meals

  • Class and LAB materials

  • Social and recreational activities

  • Transportation to and from field trips

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.

8:30 - 9:00 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Classroom Instruction / LAB work
12:30 - 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 - 2:00 PM RECREATION
2:00 - 5:00 PM Classroom instruction/LAB
5:30 - 6:00 PM Dinner
6:00 - 10:00 PM Evening LAB/Recreational Activity
10:00 - 11:00 PM Leisure Time
11:00 PM Lights Out



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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 gameacademy@champlain.edu 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.

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We do not have a day student option at this time.

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Please note that the Academy is not staffed by a nurse or other medical care provider, and does not stock any medications. Students must bring any medications they may need and they must be able to self-dispense their medications. Academy staff is not able to supervise dispensing of medications. Emergency medical services are available at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington. 

Link to this FAQ