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June 6, 2002

UMBC CCTC Named Discreet Video Game Development Training Center

Video game industry leader Discreet, a Division of AutoDesk, Inc., has designated the UMBC Computer Certification Training Center (CCTC) as an authorized training center for video and computer game development.

The license agreement makes the UMBC Center one of only 14 authorized training institutions in the country. The deal allows UMBC to offer training on the industry-standard 3ds max game development platform, using official Discreet courseware and instructors.

Doug Kendzierski, President/CEO of UMBC CCTC said, "We anticipate that this program will be a popular training option, with appeal for game developers, game enthusiasts, computer professionals and even those who are just curious about the prospect of a career in computer game development."

Kendzierski noted that Baltimore boasts the largest concentration of game developers on the East Coast, with pioneers like Sid Meier of Firaxis calling Hunt Valley home. "We are anxious to join the County and State's efforts to support this fast-growing sector of our local economy," said Kendzierski.

Discreet looks forward to the services UMBC CCTC provides to train its growing client base throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. "We are excited to add UMBC to the Discreet Training Center Network," said Diane Duffey, Discreet's Manager of Training andEducational Programs Worldwide. "UMBC not only fills a great need for training services in the region, but we feel they will also greatly contribute the sense of community around our products in this area."

Baltimore County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger saw the agreement as further evidence that the region is gaining national recognition as a video game industry hub. "Baltimore County is proud to be one of the nation's premiere centers of activity in the $9 billion computer and video game industry," said Ruppersberger. "By training both experienced professionals and prospects for the next generation of game developers, UMBC is supporting the growth of a unique technology sector in Baltimore County."

Joe Biglin, Chief Operating Officer of Hunt Valley-based Breakaway Games, Inc. agreed. "Clearly, the local recognition of the rise of the gaming community is catching up with the national attention that we have already garnered. Initiatives like the UMBC program will increase that awareness, advance the skills of the current developers, and potentially spark interest from future employees."

UMBC CCTC will offer non-credit certificates for two levels of "Computer Game Development: Effects & Animation." The Fundamentals Track will focus on using 3ds max software for character animation, game development and visual effects production. The Advanced Track will cover more sophisticated features of the suite, with an emphasis on product integration.

The UMBC Center continues its tradition of putting real-world experience in the classroom with two Course Directors employed by Infogrames, Inc., in their Hunt Valley studio formerly known as MicroProse, the original Hunt Valley-based game publisher.

The first Computer Game Development training classes are scheduled for August 2002. Both part-time evening/weekend and full-time day sections are being planned. For more information, visit www.umbc.edu/cctc.

Posted by dwinds1 at June 6, 2002 12:00 AM