Warren Spector Is Trying To Create The ‘Navy Seals’ Of Game Development

Warren Spector Is Trying To Create The ‘Navy Seals’ Of Game Development

Game Development is increasingly competitive and, in the real world, many graduates coming out of game development courses feel ill-equipped to deal with the realities of the industry. The solution? Hire 30 year veteran Warren Spector to design, from scratch, a course that helps prepare students for what they might face in the rapidly evolving world that is the games industry.

This is precisely what is happening now at The University Of Texas. Warren Spector is in the process of building and running a brand new games development course that will hopefully provide a more adequate preparation for life as a games developer.

His solution? A 30 week course that will separate the wheat from the chaff and help train a new generation of game creators.

“[W]e’re looking at it as kind of the Navy SEALs of game development training,” he told Games Industry International. “Not everybody makes it through the whole training and it’s gonna be tough.”

Interestingly, unlike most courses that have students working in smaller groups together on projects, Spector wants to get students working in groups of 20 to simulate game development on a larger scale.

“Everybody’s going to be working on one game, and everybody thinks I’m crazy for that but I’m going to try it anyway,” Spector said. “Twenty people all working on one game… Part of the program is going to be “Why make this game? Why is this game going to stand out? What’s the thing that differentiates this? How are we going to market it?””

Later he explained that it’s all about getting students to work in a replication of a real life environment.

“With a four-person team you get together with your buddies,” he explained. “With twenty people you’re going to end up with people who don’t like each other, you’re going to end up with people with different skill sets, you’re going to get people with different work ethics. So you’re naturally going to encounter a lot of the challenges that you really do encounter in the real world, even on a relatively small team. So there are those inevitable failures that we can’t predict.”

It’s an interesting take. I wonder how the approach will actually work in practice.

Spector aims to build “Navy SEALs of game development training” [Games Industry International]


  • I’m curious to see how he’s going to teach everything, and include practical application in 30 weeks. Unless the course is aimed at students who have already graduated from their chosen discipline, there’s going to be a lot of people being completely overwhelmed as they try and understand things they’ve had no education in. Especially so since it sounds like he’s going to be covering the art, marketing, management, design, production, sound engineering, programming, and testing as part of the course and most people are only going to specialise in one thing and have moderate to basic skills in all the rest.

    Still, this is a really good idea for a post graduate course. Uni did nothing to really prepare me for the work force, especially since I’ve only used about 10% of what I learned. That being said though, the practical application (time with a company as an intern essentially) was the most useful part of my course.

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