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Monday, March 8, 2021

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Campus partners to build studio


The Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council announced a partnership between the University of Houston System and TimeGate Studios to establish a state-of-the-art motion capture studio at the Sugar Land campus.

The deal released on March 22 will include facilities, equipment and training for students with internships.

“This agreement represents the beginning of a long-term relationship with UHS to develop a world-class computer science and digital gaming simulation program right in our backyard,” said TimeGate’s Chairman Alan Chaveleh in a statement. “The relationship will provide mutual benefits to both TimeGate and UHS through, among other things, furthering TimeGate’s in-house development capabilities and curriculum enhancement for UHS.”

The relationship between the UHS and TimeGate, award-winning video game developer and publisher located in Fort Bend, began with several conversations between TimeGate’s Chaveleh and GFBEDC president Jeff Wiley.

“Not many people are aware that Sugarland is home to one of the best and largest video game developers in the world,” Wiley said. “This will foster an educational and entrepreneurial atmosphere that is mutually beneficial for all parties involved.”

Dick Phillips, associate vice-chancellor for the University of Houston Sugar Land campus in an arranged statement said students would work with experts in the field.

“Students enrolled in UHS will have the opportunity to learn the latest technologies while being mentored by industry leaders. The end result will be a better-trained workforce for the industry and more recognition and opportunity for our graduates,” Phillips said.

“We are very fortunate to have programs already in place at the UHS-SL campus, provided by System partner University of Houston-Victoria that can be adapted to meet the needs of companies like TimeGate. UHS will continue to work with our off-campus partner HCC Southwest for transfer students from their established program and our on-campus partner Wharton County Junior College as they develop their gaming program.”

The University is set to pay for the motion capture studio, and TimeGate will provide the space and talent for the facilities. These studios are used not only in the production of video games but television and film, as well.

“It’s great. It’s a good idea for those programmers or computer science majors that are looking to program or design specifically in the gaming industry,” said network and security junior, Michael Beal, who attends the Sugar Land campus. “Having an experienced gaming company work directly with students is advantageous. Students will not only be able to utilize great equipment and resources but will also be taught by professionals who have direct experience in the industry.”

History senior, Kyle Komorita, hopes the video game industry will get some acknowledgement due to the studio

“The HCC video game program is in trouble, but I think it’s nice to see a more reputable company come in and train students who have been looking for ins into the industry,” Komorita said. “Now that it’s with a bigger educational system maybe the field will get some recognition, and its students an edge getting jobs. Every other field and industry I can think of has ties to higher education, it’s about time the video game industry has some of its own.”

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