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Today’s Training, Today’s Careers: Game Development

Want a job that’s in demand in Central Texas? ACC is your source for affordable training that connects you to today’s careers. The college offers more than 235 degrees and certificates, many in high-demand fields.

ACC is profiling programs that prepare students for industries that call Central Texas home. At ACC, you can Start Here. Get There.

Game Development Institute

Video gaming is a fast-growing, multi-billion dollar industry, and Austin is a national hub for game development. ACC’s Game Development Institute (a Visual Communication Department/Computer Science Department interdisciplinary program) prepares students for careers in this field through training in design, art, and programming, taught by industry veterans.

Find out more about the profession and ACC’s Game Development Institute by checking out the following Q&A. You can also read a recent Austin American-Statesman article highlighting the program – or visit austincc.edu/info for information on other affordable career training paths.

Q&A with Garry Gaber, Assistant Chair of the Visual Communication Department

What do game development professionals do?

People in our industry design and develop game products. Job areas include design, art, programming, and production, among others.

What skills and interests are associated with these jobs?

Garry Gaber

Garry Gaber works with GDI students.

Students come to the game development industry from many different backgrounds, and there is a diversity of jobs: artistic roles, other creative positions, jobs on the business side – but all of our students share a love and passion for games.

What training opportunities for this field are available at ACC?

The Game Development Institute balances technical training with the development of writing, programming, and aesthetic skills. Students have multiple options for their course of study:

  • Associate Degrees
    • Game Visualization Programming Specialization
    • Game Art Specialization
    • Game Design Specialization
  • Certificates
    • Game Art
    • Game Design

It is very important to stress that the game industry largely looks at skill and experience. The Game Development Institute gives students access to advanced equipment and interaction with members of the local game development industry, in order to give students the qualities employers want.

What do students study for jobs in the game development field?

For programming, students take classes in logic and programming fundamentals, programming languages, scripting, and team-based game development.

For art, students take classes in 2D and 3D animation fundamentals and apply those concepts using modeling and art tools like Adobe Photoshop, 3DS Max, and ZBrush. The last two semesters are used for creating assets for team-based game development projects.

For design, students take classes in design fundamentals, designing levels and games, programming, game production, testing and quality assurance, and team-based game development.

How successful are ACC graduates at finding jobs in this field?

We are seeing students get jobs at virtually every major studio in Austin, as well as finding employment in other cities. In addition, some of our students establish startups, building their own games and self-publishing. We are currently implementing a tracking system to maintain data on our graduates.

The Game Development Institute encourages industry networking and has several avenues for students to make network connections. We also pass along job openings as they arise.

This is a great industry, and there are lots of people who want to be in it. The Game Development Institute is focused on giving students the best preparation possible to turn their passion into a career.

What about paying for classes? Are there financial aid options?

There are a number of financial aid options and scholarships available for students. There are also outside agencies that assist students with tuition, books, and supplies. Here are some resources:

                ACC Financial Aid
                ACC Foundation Scholarship Programs
                Capital IDEA
                Workforce Solutions – Capital Area Workforce Investment Act Program

How do people get started?

To learn more about ACC’s Game Development Institute, contact one of our department advisors (Colin Blankenship, cblanken@austincc.edu or 223-4864, or Deanna Whaley, dwhaley@austincc.edu or 223-4830). You can also visit austincc.edu/info/game.

posted in: ACC Newsroom, Banner Stories, Current Students Feature, Faculty and Staff News


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