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Warren Spector's game program to teach students about leading 'a team to greatness'

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The Denius-Sams Gaming Academy, spearheaded by game designer Warren Spector and Blizzard chief operating officer Paul Sams, aims to reflect the "professional experience" found in the gaming industry.

Speaking about the program on Intel Software TV, Spector said the program is designed to "teach the leaders of tomorrow what it means to lead a team to greatness." The designer wants to avoid duplicating other programs, he said, and instead take a "Navy SEALs" approach to push people to their creative limits.

"There's a crying need in the games industry for leaders, producers, directors, lead designers, lead arists, lead programmers that isn't being met by industry and isn't being served by those other game development programs in universities and colleges," Spector said. "That's where we're really going to be focusing."

Spector and Sams announced the University of Texas program last May. The Denius-Sams Gaming Academy offers a 12-month course load to 20 students, during which they create a "small-scale" game. In the video above, Spector adds that if the team finishes the year without completing a game, he's alright with it.

"In the word of academia, failures are learning opportunities," Spector said. "In the world of development, failures are firing opportunities. For us, the end product is not the game itself. The end product is the students — the skills they've learned, the new tools in their toolbox and the knowledge they have as a result of going through the program."

For more on how Spector hopes to bridge industry gaps with the program, check out our interview.