Associate Dean, Game Software Design and Production
Program Director, Bachelor of Arts in Game Design
Program Director, Bachelor of Science in Game Design
Jen Sward trained to be an electrical engineer and computer scientist at the University of California, Davis, receiving a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering. After completing school, she worked for three years as a programmer and project manager specializing in fiber optics and satellite communications for the Naval Electronics Systems Command in Vallejo, CA.
Sward left to work for the next 15 years in the video game industry as a manager, project leader, producer, and designer at companies such as LucasArts Entertainment, Westwood Studios, Philips New Media and RealTime Associates. Sward worked on the first “talky” game (Loom) released in the United States. She has also worked on real-time strategy games, adventure games, puzzle games, and console games, focusing on user-centric design. Later, she combined her game design and electrical engineering skills while working at LeapFrog Toys, designing online user experiences for parents and children, and developing new technologies for electronic educational toys.
She is currently an Associate Dean for Game Design at DigiPen, where she teaches in the Game Design and Software Production Department. As Program Director for the Bachelor of Science in Game Design and Bachelor of Arts in Game Design, Sward constantly plans and develops curriculum across all media. She was also the International Game Developers (IGDA) Seattle Sputnik leader for four years, coordinating and leading meetings for local professional game developers on a monthly basis.
“One of the best reasons for teaching at DigiPen is the passion and commitment of the students to their education and to the game industry," Sward says. "It makes it more challenging for us as instructors, as they are constantly pushing the cutting-edge of technology and game development, and thereby constantly pushing us as well."
“Most recently, DigiPen has started the Bachelor of Science in Game Design and the Bachelor of Arts in Game Design programs, which I was highly involved in developing. It's a passion of mine to see great games get made and to see students receive the training they need.”
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