Make your own games!
I'm Chris DeLeon. I'm a game developer, community builder, and independent educator. I'll help you learn to develop games with remote teams.
You can do this tonight in one sitting, no special software or download needed. Available free, or bundled with our full textbook at a discount.
I've given over 2,500 hours of live, private, one-on-one training. This course is based on my intro sequence, and today is used by thousands of new developers each month, reaching over 350,000 students worldwide.
Team up remotely with peers worldwide for mentored team practice. In the time since our community began in October 2015 we've developed and released over 100 games.
Membership includes one-on-one troubleshooting, peer networking, milestone planning, professional mentorship, industry speakers, and more.
I this educational game on an approach I developed while working with kids between the ages of 5-12, but it's useful for learners at any age. It starts easy enough, is simple to learn, and builds up towards enough concepts to improve your comfort diving into other coding tutorials.
HomeTeam GameDev is the third game development club I've established. I've been overseeing and improving this process for 15 years.
I first put similar processes in place when cofounding the Game Creation Society at Carnegie Mellon ("1.0" of the system) in 2004 and founding VGDev at Georgia Tech (a "2.0" iteration) in 2010. Both still operate to this day and have together developed nearly 200 games.
Alumni from these first two clubs have gone on to work in industry at Signal Studios, Schell Games, Disney, Microsoft Studios, Red 5, Activision, Double Fine, Bungie, Demiurge, Ready at Dawn, Pandemic, Electronic Arts, thatgamecompany, Zynga, Maxis, Sledgehammer Games, PopCap, Hi-Rez, Thrust Interactive, Turbo Button, Lumosity, Stork Burnt Down, Adult Swim Games, Side Effects Software, Oculus, 343 Industries, Golden Glitch Studios, and multiple startups.
I started HomeTeam GameDev ("3.0" – our latest and still evolving) so people worldwide can learn game development from home using this same process to build games while getting valuable and practical experience with long-term collaboration.
"I credit the Game Creation Society with cultivating my expertise in a broad range of disciplines as well as establishing my professional career in game development."
Game Creation Society Alumni
Feel Engineer at thatgamecompany on Journey
"VGDev is where I first met and worked with the people who would form our indie game company. It was a great place to meet like-minded people and learn how well you work together as a team."
Founder of indie studio developing Home Improvisation on Steam
"If asked to pinpoint the one individual who has had the strongest impact on the path that I've chosen today, I'd reply Chris DeLeon in an instant. Without Chris, I, and many others, may very well be dreaming of designing games, rather than centering a career around it."
Game Creation Society Alumni
Game Designer on Destiny with Bungie, previously with Ready at Dawn for Order: 1886 and God of War
"Making games was always something I'd been interested in but I was discouraged by the competitiveness of the industry and I had no idea where to start. DeLeon's continued emphasis on actually finishing games not only gave me tangible proof of my improvement, it built my portfolio as well. While searching for jobs, my portfolio with VGDev projects proved invaluable in every single one of my interviews, even outside of the game industry. I was told in multiple interviews that just having finished projects in my free time put me far ahead of much of my competition and showed employers that I was a serious candidate. I owe much of my success to Chris, the club he founded, and the processes he taught."
Gameplay Programmer at Hi-Rez
"I really appreciated how easy it was to get started as a contributor to others' projects. It was really great to be able to combine my own programming skills with others' skills in gameplay and graphic design. For example, one of the members of the project I led had experience packaging software for Linux, and he got our game included in Debian. It's still available today, and is maintained as an official Debian package. What a trip! One of the things I miss most about college is the opportunities to participate in groups like GCS. How awesome would it be if now, as a professional programmer, I could get together with a similarly diverse group of people? I can imagine we would make all sorts of neat stuff."
Game Creation Society Alumni
Investor, former software engineer at Nest and Twitter
"VGDev is where I got some of the most impactful and relevant education of my college career. There's no substitute for rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty developing (and perhaps most importantly finishing) a real game. VGDev provided a welcoming environment where people of all skill levels can come together and learn from each other and it's a part of what shaped me into the game developer I am today."
Engine Producer at Bungie
Outside of HomeTeam GameDev I organize IndieCade workshops in Los Angeles and Paris, and do developer outreach now with more than 150 podcast episodes and 9.3 million YouTube views across hundreds of videos. Prior to founding HomeTeam GameDev I was an instructor for undergraduate and graduate-level courses at Georgia Tech related to game development. A few years ago I spent one day each week for a school year teaching coding concepts to children ages 4-10 at Sycamore School in Malibu. I've also written several episodes for the YouTube channel Extra Credits (episodes: 1, 2, 3, 4). Photos from the How to Talk About Your Game workshop and Common Mistakes by New Developers presentation, via IndieCade's Flickr.
• Public high school computer science club: Remote speaking about game design and my career
• Georgia Game Developers Level Design Day presentation: Boom Blox process and design principles
• 6 elementary classrooms remote speaking: Books people read to be better game developers
• Three North Carolina grade school classes: Careers in game development, and important skills to learn
• All Things Cozy podcast: Cozy Games episode guest
• Zeenigami Make Things Monday Twitch/YouTube 2020 guest: Learning to make games
• Tim Ruswick GameDevUnderground YouTube guest: How to Get Things Done in 2020
• GameDev.tv with KB Podcast in 2020: There is no shortcut
• Game Developers Conference 2020 (online): On a panel about organizing a local career fair
• Glitch City post-E3: Gave a microtalk on arcade-game design and pinball history
• IGDA Los Angeles: Organized and executed various online events, including our second Town Hall
• IndieCade Anywhere and Everywhere 2020 Networking: Hosted for ~100 hours across 8 days of zoom breakouts
• CTE TEACH: Part of a podcast group discussing game development
• Carnegie Mellon Game Creation Society: Spoke on the importance of collaboration
• Game Dev Carnival: Panelist about running online developer communities
• Art Center: Spoke with college students on small team game development prototyping
• Senior Project Feedback: Met with dozens of students as a community volunteer to discuss their process
• 10th Grade Game Fair: Discussion with 28 student teams across 5 periods in Critical Design and Gaming
• Irvine Valley College Guest Speaker: Covering a mix of practical starting advice and research foundations
• Critical Design and Gaming School, Game Fair: Industry volunteer feedback for 5 classes of projects
• Georgia Tech Computational Aesthetics Speaker: Shared research on pinball design's relevance to digital play
• GameDevsQuest 2018 Podcast Guest: Sharing back story of how Chris teaches game making
• Michigan State University Industry Panel: Chat with college juniors on careers, roadblocks, and standing out
• Augustus Hawkins High School Career Day: Industry professional meeting with students
• Game Dev Deconstructed 2018 Podcast Guest: Spoke about industry experience and building developer teams
• IGDA at Eastern Kentucky University: Clearing up popular misconceptions about game development
• IndieCade 2017 Talking About Your Game: Interactive workshop on effective conference networking
• GameDevBiz Online Conference: Organized, hosted, spoke at event on business side of making games
• Calvin Pohlhammer 2017 Podcast guest: Discussing the games he'd want if stuck on a desert island
• Job Corps in LA: Outlined careers related to game creation, and making hobby games to develop skills
• LA Film School: Discussed basic business topics for game developers early in their careers
• Los Angeles Unified School District, Linked Learning: Part of an industry panel for teacher training
• Enjoy GameDev Online Conference: Organized, hosted, spoke at event on sustainably making games
• Sycamore School in Malibu: Taught coding concepts to children ages 4-10 weekly for a school year
• University of Michigan High School Summer Program: Online panelist sharing stories from industry
• Moorpark College Volunteer Judge: On feedback panel for final semester game projects by students
• Local High School Volunteer: Helping students pick and plan their first original digital game projects
• #ResistJam: Leading a workshop on going from brainstorming to taking action and making things happen
• Game Developers Conference 2017: Education Summit speaker on using play to teach game development
• Global Game Jam 2017: Keynote Speaker at Art Institute of California in Hollywood on taking design risks
• East Coast High School Guest Speaker: Covered game development applications of math, with extensive Q&A
• IndieCade Europe: Workshop organizer for 2 days of talks in Paris, and ran a session about club principles
• IndieCade West: Organizer for 3 tracks across 2 days of workshops in LA, ran a session about beginner errors
• Grand Terrace High School Career Week: Full assembly lecture on game creation careers, industry changes
• Second Grade Speaker via Skype: Shared foundational concepts and stories about making games
• IndieCade East 2016: On panel about game developer communities, based on starting 3 practice clubs
• USC, Interactive Media & Games Division: Guest lecture on pinball history, arcade design, and digital rules
• 11th Grade Game Development in LA (Unity/C#): Part of industry feedback panel for ~20 term projects
• 9th and 10th Grade Game Development Math: Taught how high school math is applied in game programming
• Moorpark College Game Design Class: Presented on techniques, careers, and recent industry changes
• GameU Moderator: Facilitated panels on impostor syndrome and comparing game design academic programs
• IndieCade 2015 & Encore for Becker College IGDA: Talk on common mistakes by new game developers
• High School Speaker in Redlands: Showed uses of math (algebra, geometry, and trig) in game programming
• How to Program Games, Tile Classics in JS: Made a paid Udemy course that includes my digital textbook
• Speaker for Los Angeles Indie Dev Club: Shared lessons learned from professional mobile development
• #GameDev JumpStart: Two 1-hour talks for an online mini-conference I organized with 4 speakers
• Guest Speaker for SAE Institute: Spoke on game development careers with game art and design students
• Middle School Game Group Support: Mentored student group and helped develop an actionable plan
• Hands-On Intro to Game Programming: Wrote a 550-page digital textbook for new game programmers
• University of Michigan Game Development Class: Part of a panel discussing game development careers
• High School Guest Speaker: Discussed student-project strategies, also joined curriculum revision meeting
• HobbyGameDev.com: Blogging for six years about issues and strategies in non-commercial game making
• GDC Mentor for AIAS Intel Scholar: Aided Guildhall at SMU grad student with career path and networking
• NIH Think Tank: Game development representative in a meeting on potential biomedical research
• IndieCade GameU Co-Chair: Assembled speakers for two full days of workshops, gave two talks
• Georgia Tech Brown Bag: Shared original research on influence of payment models on game design
• Georgia Tech Instructor: Taught an undergraduate course on interactive media design in Unity3D
• Game Developers Conference (Education Summit): Shared our game development club processes
• GT High School Mathematics Competition: Explained uses of high school math in game programming
• SCAD Savannah Guest Speaker: Presented on small team project management tips and strategies
• Contributing Author to La Fabrique des Jeux Vidéo: Wrote a chapter on the evolution of game spaces
• YWCA Cascade House Volunteer: Helped teens learn game programming on weekends for 8 months
• DiGRA: Shared original research on differences between digital and non-digital game rules
• GTRIC Conference: Discussed patterns from 7 months of nightly prototypes ("InteractionArtist" series)
• Game Developer Magazine Contributor (3X): Wrote on Unity, hobby games, and starting to make games
• History of Games International Conference: Presented master's thesis on pinball's affect on game design
• (2 years, 4 classes) Graduate TA: Taught graduate students Java, PHP, MySQL, HTML5, Unity3D
• UCLA Game Art Festival: Showcased my 3D Escher "notgame" at the Los Angeles Hammer Museum
• (3 years, 4 talks) SIEGE: Presented on iOS, first projects, HTML5 vs AS3, and student challenges
• Game Developers Conference (Rapid-Fire Indies): Spoke on the practical value of design constraints
• IndieCade Micro-Talk: Advocated for teaching videogame creation as a new high school shop class
• Georgia Tech VGDev: Founder and president of college game development club, creates 10-14 games/year
• Step-by-Step Game Development: Led a Hacker Dojo workshop on introductory game development
• Academy of Art: Shared and contrasted experiences from commercial and student game making
• Westwood College: Spoke on the career significance of making games as an extracurricular activity
• (2 years) Videogames as Art at UC Berkeley: Guest lecturer about art and experimental gameplay
• Camp Galileo Game Design, Lead Instructor: Taught ~60 preteens game design in 4 2-week classes
• Guest Speaker at Carnegie Mellon: Gave 45-minute talk on learning life values through gameplay
• Game Development Lessons: Trained four students one-on-one in independent videogame creation
• CMU MOSAIC Speaker: Presented about the history of gender issues in entertainment technology
• (2 years) CMU Summit Instructor: Coached three-day videogame design workshops for beginners
• Carnegie Mellon Game Creation Society: Cofounded game development club, creates 10-14 games/year
• Developing Developers Series: Prepared and delivered nine full lectures on videogame creation
To contact for speaking, email chris@HomeTeamGameDev.com
Career highlights include a #2 Top Paid game on Apple's App Store (Topple), a freeware game played over 7 million times (Vision by Proxy Second Edition), an IndieCade finalist (feelforit), serving as a Technical Game Designer at Electronic Arts for Medal of Honor Airborne and Boom Blox (featured in Smithsonian Institute), showcasing at Hammer Museum (Relativity Runner), and building 219 daily digital prototypes (InteractionArtist).
Several other games developed were played by hundreds of thousands of players (including Zylatov Sisters, MechStrike), or positioned well on the App Store, including one in the top 40 for Education (Transcend), one in the Top 20 of Action and Arcade (iZombie: Death March), and Tumult was #5 in Entertainment.
The majority of the games I've worked on, however, have been zero budget personal projects made for enjoyment or developed and released primarily as practice. I love making games. I believe game development is well worth doing even when completely non-commercial - that was the first episode I wrote for Extra Credits, the others were about de-gamification, stress, and teamwork.
Most of the new developer outreach I do at schools and industry conferences is as a volunteer. The support of people on Patreon helps me set aside monthly time and related funds for this kind of activity, in addition to supporting the ongoing free material I share on YouTube and the developer interviews podcast.
Higher tiers of support include the option to help sponsor no-cost memberships in HomeTeam GameDev for participants who would otherwise be unable to access the mentorship, training, and team practice facilitated by our organization. A number of highly involved club members - including team project leads - have already been supported in this way.
For more information, or to help support my mission, visit patreon.com/gamkedo
Helping people develop good habits for game development often involves working through strategies to better stay on task, follow through, and keep our thoughts organized. While this is a useful part of long-term team software development, the solutions are largely not unique to my field.
I've developed a couple of audiobooks and ebooks to help generalize these ways of thinking for an audience eager to work on these skills for other purposes. Many of these tips originated in how I kept myself blogging weekly for years, recording hundreds of daily YouTube videos, writing textbooks and video courses on my own without publisher guidance, and bootstrapped starting two small business&em;in addition to releasing an average of 4-5 games every year.
The Stoicism material is less directly about productivity, and instead a fairly direct adaptation of classic public domain text that helped me stay on top of responsibilties and goals through stressful times.
For more information, or to pick up either, visit Self-Command.com (productivity audiobook, includes ebook edition, bundled with audiobook version of Self-Calm) or Self-Calm.com (free ebook-only modernization of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius)