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Drew Snyder

Associate Professor, Visual Arts
CADE 225

Drew Snyder teaches a wide range of digital design courses with a special interest in Gaming and 3D Computer Graphics. After studying fine arts for several years, he received his undergraduate degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Industrial Design (Product Design). His first job after school was as a toy designer for K’NEX, later becoming a consult to several companies. In 1998 he began teaching Design Arts at Lehigh University. In 2004 he received his Master Degree in Digital Imaging and Design from New York University. In 2006 he relocated from Bethlehem, PA to Silver Spring, MD and began teaching at AACC. Since starting at AACC, he has been working on developing courses and programs in game development and computer graphics.  


Video Games can be created by an independent developer working on his or her own or by a large team of Artists, Designers, Engineers, Testers, and Producers. Game Producers manage the team the makes the game, Game Artists create the visual and audio content of the game, Game Engineers (also known as Programmers) create the technology that makes the game interactive, Game Designer determines what the game is and how it will play, and Game Testers confirm that the game works as intended and is fun to play.


There are numerous game companies in the region, most noticeably Bethesda Softworks (the makers of the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series), and Firaxis (founded by Sid Meier of Civilization fame). In this region you can find small independent developers making games and apps for the mobile market, as well as medium to large size companies that make games for teaching and training (called Simulations) used by the government or military.


IGDA (International Game Developers Association) is a professional organization of game developers across the world.  There are chapters in both Washington DC and Baltimore. Attending an IGDA chapter meeting is a good way to make contacts with developers in the region. There are other events, including regional Game Jam, and national conferences like the Game Developers Conference (held in March in San Francisco). Some helpful websites include which has information about most of the game schools in the world as well as a range of articles about things like how to put together a portfolio or fund your own game, a good sight for game industry news and job opportunities, and a list of job opportunities specifically for Gaming, 3D Computer Graphics, and Special Effects.


Gaming courses and degrees are offered by both the Visual Arts Department and the Computer Department. The Visual Arts offers a range of gaming courses with a focus on providing skills for game artists, designers, producers, and independent developers. The Game Art & Design Associate of Arts degree is for students who wish to study at AACC and then transfer to a 4 year institution to complete a bachelor’s degree in gaming.  This degree can serve as a stepping stone to transfer into a 4 year game program located in a large game development region like Los Angeles San Francisco, or Seattle. The Game Development Associate of Applied Arts degree is intended for students who wish to become their own independent game developers.  Students need to make sure that they have the necessary drive and discipline to create their own games. Visual Arts also offers a Game Development Certificate.  For further information about these courses and programs contact Drew Snyder at or call 410-777-7029.