Texas Aggie Game Developers (TAGD) is Texas A&M's student chapter of the International Game Developers' Association (IGDA). As such, we are geared toward preparing members for a career in the games industry. We accomplish that through workshops, guest speakers, recruiters, group projects, game jams, studio tours, and more. TAGD works in conjunction with the Texas A&M chapter of ACM SIGGRAPH, the LIVE Lab and other students to organize the annual Chillennium game jam, where our members can meet like-minded students from other schools, as well as professional mentors, all while making a fun game that they can show in their portfolio. Each semester we take on a group project with a longer lifespan and a more professional-like workflow for our members to gain experience in professional workflows and make more material for their portfolios. We make it a goal to host at least two recruiters and guest speakers and visit one successful Texas studio each semester.

Our Industry Program

TAGD’s industry program involves hosting guest speakers as well as trips to conferences and studios. TAGD has had concept artists and level designers from the local company Triseum give presentations on their jobs and tips on how to excel at it. We have had a game night with representatives from Blizzard. In the near future, we plan to host more Triseum employees for workshops, more high profile guest speakers, and take a tour of EA Bioware’s Austin studio. Our goal is to host at least two recruiting guest speakers, host at least two educational guest speakers, and tour at least one successful Texas game studio each semester.

Our Workshop Program

Of course, networking would mean nothing if our members didn’t actually know what they were doing. That’s why we host regular workshops on useful game development topics that aren’t covered in classes. We have workshops on game design, development, and art. In development, spent the last year covering the ins and outs of Unity and version control with GitHub, and will soon begin covering Unreal Engine and version control with Perforce. In art, we have covered concept art and making sprite sheets in Photoshop, and will soon begin covering 3D art. Our designers learn fundamentals of mechanics, level, and story design, while gaining valuable experience communicating their thoughts to the rest of the team and recording them in design documents.

Making Games with Friends

Each semester’s workshop series culminates in making a game as a group. The best way to learn is by doing. Our projects will soon be displayed online as well. In addition to being a great learning experience, our group projects make good portfolio work and are just fun. Our members might start as strangers, but after making a game together, they will be friends.

History

Texas Aggie Game Developers was formed at Texas A&M University over the summer of 2003 by a group of students who all shared a similar passion: making video games. Realizing that getting a job in the games industry with solely a degree in Computer Science was simply not realistic, this organization was established by Jacob Foshee to help students learn and gain experience in game development. Over the years, TAGD has evolved its ways of learning, gaining experience and setting priorities for its members to be coherent with the present and the future expectations of the industry. In the spring of 2015, a professional chapter of IGDA was formed in Bryan/College Station, and TAGD quickly joined them by becoming a student chapter in the fall of 2015.