This week marks the end of the second cohort of GLITCH’s Immersion Program, an intensive 4 week course to give aspiring game developers a taste of the many different aspects that go into making a digital game.
Topics range from the initial design all the way through marketing the finished product, while participants receive hands on mentorship from local experts with opportunities to make valuable connections along the way.
Mentors included Andy Fischer from Fantasy Flight Games, Chip Pederson and Rawson Stovall of Concrete Software, Matt Gravelle from Graveck, Mike Geig from Unity3D, Michelle Hoffman from Gage, and Adam May from Gearbox Software. Many of the sessions were hosted at the companies to provide the cohort with a more clear idea of what it is like to work in the industry.
One of the highlights of the program is the creation and presentation of the participants’ capstone projects.
Last weekend, teams of five had 24 hours to create a working prototype and business plan for a game. The event culminated on Sunday evening when participants presented their projects to a panel of expert judges for critique.
Participants were all smiles as they talked about their creations. Abdiwak Yohannes summarized the general sentiment all participants in the cohort expressed. He said, “I’ve learned a lot in the last month. Putting that knowledge to use in a game jam was challenging, but super rewarding.”
GLITCH Immersion is run twice per year with 40 Participants having gone through the program since launching in Winter of 2016. The majority of individuals who have completed the program have begun working on games at a full-time or part-time capacity through many different avenues. Here are a few examples:
- 100% of Summer 2016 cohort have stated that they are planning to continue building off their prototypes, form independent studios to publish, and bring their games to market within the next year.
- Acceptance or enrollment in a graduate degree (MBA, MFA, PhD) with a focus or emphasis on digital games.
- Received offers for entry-level positions in development, design, marketing, and production at various game studios.
- A few have even discovered that the digital games industry is not for them and have accepted offers in software development, design, marketing and production at traditional tech companies instead.
GLITCH will continue running the program twice in 2017, one in the winter and another in the summer, with cohorts of 20 again; applications will open in November for the winter 2017 (Early Jan – Early Feb) cohort.