There’s no substitute for experience.
In addition to impressive academic credentials, members of our program faculty have had professional careers before they joined academia, and many are still called upon to provide consulting services in their areas of professional specialization. There are no textbooks that can provide you with the real-world insights that our faculty members bring into the classroom.
Associate Professor of Game Art
Joshua Buck, Associate Professor of Game Art, is a veteran of the entertainment game industry with more than a decade of experience. He has worked as a production artist and lead animator at Stainless Steel Studios in Boston as well as a freelance artist and animator. Currently Josh leads the development of the Game Art curriculum and teaches an array of 3D art classes from animation to environments.
Josh has designed, created and animated hundreds of characters, buildings and vehicles for award-winning, AAA-rated personal computer game titles and real-time gaming environments. Among the game titles he’s worked on are Empire Earth, the winner of a Gamespy Award for PC Game of the Year, Empires: Dawn of the Modern World, one of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences’ Top 5 Computer Strategy Games of the Year, Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War and Empire Earth III. Josh has produced art-work for games published by Sierra, Activision, Midway and Vivendi Universal Games. Josh continues to contribute to the AAA game sector as well as to numerous side projects.
Josh holds a BFA from the University of Rhode Island and an MFA in Computer Art & Animation from Savannah College of Art & Design.
How does the Champlain Game Development “cohort” differ from the student culture at other schools?
Champlain College being a smaller school, the students really get to know each other and their faculty, and those two things alone really makes the culture a little bit different than at other schools. It’s a very tight-knit community. Students tend not to fall through the cracks here either with their peer group or with the faculty and their professional programs.
In the game development cohort it’s an especially close community. Students know from their first year here that at some point they’re going to be working with these people in close proximity for a significant amount of time to build projects together. So we rely a lot on the game development cohort community to support that process — they take each other under their wings and into the fold. It’s a learning process, and without the community and the way it functions right now, we’d have a lot more work to do as faculty.
Associate Professor, Assistant Dean for Game Development
Amanda has 21 years of experience in the electronic entertainment industry, specializing in products for children and families. She’s been on development teams at Mattel, Leap Frog, Lego, Brøderbund Software, The Learning Co., Animated Speech Corporation, Digital Chocolate and Plan B Enterprises. She has designed numerous popular CD-ROM titles in favorite family lines such as Carmen Sandiego, Kidpix, Lego Mindstorm, Rugrats, Leapfrog, and Dr. Seuss. Several of her software titles have earned consumer software awards for excellence, including the Family PC Recommended award for her first title, Math Workshop. Other projects include designs for the web, mobile phones, console platforms, and traditional board and card games. Crispel joined the faculty at Champlain College in 2005 and is currently teaching courses in game design and development. She is also the program director of Game Design and Game Art and Animation degrees and is responsible for developing curriculum for the program as well as establishing contacts with industry leaders. She is also the President and CEO of Hoozinga Game Media.
What is it about Champlain’s Game Studio that sets it apart?
The key to our success at Champlain is that we believe in a balance between professional preparation in the degrees, and collaboration in the studio space. This means a student is prepared to do the tasks asked them at a professional quality level from the start of their first job, and they can quickly integrate into the team, communicate well, manage their own workflow, and have the confidence to make decisions and be successful.
What in your opinion will be the next big “revolution” in gaming?
What excites me about the future of game media is that it is becoming an integrated component of the communications media landscape. Games have a great deal to offer. As well as being entertaining, they are great at teaching and delivering messages. Because they are active, not passive, the engagement factor is much, much higher. This gives them great potential as communication tools. If I look into my crystal ball of the future, I think we will see game media come of age. The entertainment space will continue to wow us with fabulous, mind-bending technological experiences for all manner of audiences, and we will see games and game technology used in new and exciting ways we haven’t even imagined yet.
Faculty List and Areas of Specialization
Greg Bemis – Production, and Narrative Design
Amanda Crispel – Program Director, Production, and Game System Design
Jonathan Ferguson – Production, Level Design, Open Source Technology
Joe Manley – Production, Scripting, Flash Development, Mobile Development
Peter Wehr – Production
Josh Buck – 3D Modeling, Texturing, Animation, Environments and Characters
JoAnn Patel – 3D Modeling, Texturing, Environment Lighting and Special Effects
Wei Kian Chen – Division Chair, C++, Linux, and Operating Systems
Dean Lawson – C++, Game Architecture, Artificial Intelligence
Game Production Management
Elaine Young – Assistant Dean of Business, Marketing, Social Media
Game Sound Design
Van Dora Williams—Program Director