AUSTIN (KXAN) — You can now learn how to develop video games at the Universtiy of Texas at Austin.
The school announced this week it is launching a new gaming curriculum called The University of Texas Game Development and Design Program.
According to UT: “Texas is home to almost 20,000 video game specific jobs — second to California — with 10 percent growth expected during the next eight years.”
“Austin is obviously a lively place for game development,” said Michael Baker, Director of the Program. “It was a need that was unmet.” He said the dedicated bachelor’s program focuses on preparing students for entry level career opportunities.
“A course is like game art pipeline or technical art 1. Engineering is definitely a component of game development, but there’s also a very large art component.”
Alexander Iveroth, junior at UT Austin, told KXAN he hopes to be a 3D environmental arist.
“You’re an artist who’s a game artist, who’s a 3D artist, who’s one of these many different choices,” Iveroth said. “You have people who make the trees in games, people who make the characters and people who make the buildings.”
According to a study from JLL, a commercial real estate company, Austin is home to more than half of the video game development companies in Texas.
The study found Austin had 140 studios while the Dallas-Forth Worth area had 87.
In Austin, Kelly Versaggi with Bossfight Entertainment said it’s definitely about time a local university offered degrees in game design.
“We’ve been growing every year very steadily. We’re about 90 employees at this point,” she said. “There are always publishers knocking on our door asking, “Do you have the manpower to make the game that we need?”
Baker also said gaming is a $100 billion industry.
“There’s a lot of activity worldwide in this sector. We need people to make these things, so there are a lot of opportunities out there.”