The lights are on
Two of gaming's most well known designers have joined the faculty of University of California Santa Cruz. Brenda Romero (neé Brathwaite) and her husband John Romero will serve as program director and creative director respectively of the Games and Playable Media program.
Prior to this, Brenda Romero (Wizardry, Jagged Alliance) served as the first game designer in residence at the school. She will oversee curriculum development and work with students and instructors. John Romero (Wolfenstein 3D, Doom) will help design the creative vision of the program.
The program has an advisory board of industry luminaries, including Will Wright (SimCity), Harvey Smith (Dishonored), Derek Yu (Spelunky), Robin Hunicke (Journey), Ben Prunty (FTL), and Brian Schwab (Blizzard). The degree awarded at the end of the program is an M.S. in games and playable media. The program is an intensive twelve-month course of study.
The students will create games under the mentorship of John Romero, and the pair will inspire students to explore innovative approaches to design. The games and playable media graduate course work builds on the undergraduate program at UCSC founded in 2006.
[Source: University of California Santa Cruz, Image: IGDA Chicago]
Our TakeThere is a demand for students learning how to design and make mistakes in a classroom setting. The UCSC program is designed to give students fundamental skills to give them a leg up when entering the work force. Shipping a game matters more than anything, and the Romeros' students should come out of this program better prepared to do just that.