Amarillo College sees increased enrollment in new game design program

Amarillo College has seen an increase in enrollment of students pursuing careers in video games since the introduction of its new program.

“Our students are extremely excited about our new Game Design certificate, and we’ve seen an increase in enrollment, which is exciting as the video game industry is exploding,” said Karen Boatman, program coordinator for AC.

According to Boatman, this spring the college has already doubled the number of students pursuing the new certificate since its first semester last fall.

The 18-hour program has been designed to appeal to beginners in the field and is offered by the computer systems department.

Joseph Melius, a computer information systems instructor at AC, said the addition of the new program has also attracted students from other college departments, such as art, programming and business.

“The design of the game is kind of unique in that it merges those two things, the creative side and the technical side. It gives students who are in an art degree a new outlet to express themselves and learn in a new medium. And on the other hand, business and programming students also have the chance to experience this new creative outlet that they might not see in their typical curriculum,” Melius said.

Amarillo College game design students learn how to create their own game, which will be presented at the end of the four-course, 18-hour program.

The certificate includes four required courses, including Game Design and Creation, Video Game Design, Basic Animation, and Game Engine. Students then have the option of choosing two additional courses from the electives in web programming, animation art, game scripting, and 3D modeling and rendering.

To complete the certificate, individuals and their teams present the completed video game project to people affiliated with the program.

Clara Garcia, a student currently enrolled in the design program, spoke about her experience.

“Taking the Game Design course at Amarillo College was invaluable to me. I learned everything from game aesthetics to programming itself. This program is perfect for anyone looking to get into the industry,” Garcia said.

For more information about the Game Design Certificate Program at Amarillo College, individuals should contact Melius at [email protected], or Boatman at [email protected]

Ryan H. Bowman