Video games have become one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the modern era.
According to the Entertainment Software Rating Board, about 67% of American households play video games. And some Salt Lake Community College students are doing much more than playing games — they’re designing them.
The Game Development certificate contains 25 to 28 credit hours of visual art, animation and software development — all essential skills for a career in video game design.
Video games combine art and technology in a way few other fields can. SLCC instructor Dan Haring, who teaches multiple courses in game development, says most of his students are stronger in one of these areas and the program helps students grow their strengths.
Many students in the program plan to transfer to the University of Utah.
“The U’s gaming program is one of the best in the country,” Haring says.
Austin Jones and Alex Mouchey are taking the Game Development course this spring. The pair is working with other students in the class to create a short game.
“[The class] is really fun,” Mouchey says. “You basically get a published game out of it.”
Their game was built on a shoestring budget. Jones, the art director for the project, put together some music on GarageBand. The group also used free software to build the game and they’re publishing it on a free website.
Mouchey hopes to transfer into the game design program at the U. Jones, an animation major, hopes to continue his studies at Brigham Young University.
Haring says the program is open to any interested student, regardless of skill level. And thanks to the many Visual Art and Design classes at SLCC, gamers can explore a different side of the industry.
“Everybody should take [Game Development],” Haring says. “There are a lot of jobs out there … It is fun and you get to make something that people enjoy.”