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SXSW 2019

Bridging the Employment Gap for Game Dev

There exists a gap between those with knowledge but no experience in video game development, and those who might give them their first job but lack easy means to fish out viable candidates. There are many places to learn how to "do game dev," from high schools and colleges across Texas, but many graduates of such programs have few options to get in on the ground floor, or receive good advice about how to stand out.
Beginning in January 2018, Game Design & Development Lab, based at HOFT Institute in Austin, has worked to prepare its students for its first jobs. With advice from and connections to local pros, Game Lab students have 8 months to make themselves presentable, and local studios get an externalized vetting process. Come hear what worked and was learned in Game Lab's 1st year.

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  1. Video games remain a fascination for many creative and technical people, but employment in the field eludes even the smartest.
  2. Half of landing a job is demonstrating skill, but the other half is who knows and can vouch for you. Games are no different.
  3. While video games can be defined as a glamour industry, career counseling for it is scarce. As such it's difficult to find those who need help.



John Henderson, Program Coordinator, Game Design & Development Lab at HOFT Institute

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: Game Design & Development
  • Level: Beginner
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