Immersion Program Patch Notes
GLITCH began hosting a series of game development workshops in early 2014 on topics such as programming in C# and hands-on experience with game development environments like Unity3D. Through feedback and surveys, it became clear to us that the community wanted to learn more about game development overall, and that one-off workshops just weren’t enough. Our team enthusiastically jumped to the drawing board and started designing.
In January 2015 we launched the Immersion Program with one goal in mind, to provide emerging game makers with an opportunity to explore and learn about different aspects of the game development process from industry professionals. The idea was to embed workshops in unique spaces, like game studios or museums using games in their exhibits, and collaborate with the instructors to craft unique experiences based on their expertise. This also allowed participants to build a network of game-making peers and potential mentors.
The first cohort was exhilarating for everyone involved and provided participants with the value they were looking for in the program. You can hear what they thought straight from the source in our interview video.
The Evolution: Versions 1.1 – 1.6
The Immersion Program’s first cohort was a success, but there were plenty of improvements we wanted to make to take it to the next level. In version 1.1, we introduced hands-on game creation through a capstone project. This gave participants a chance to use their knowledge, collaborate with other game makers, and leave the program with a completed portfolio piece that they could share.
The next iteration compressed the program timeline from four weeks to two weeks. This was implemented to facilitate stronger connections among participants and to fully immerse them in the game development process. Later, we decompressed by a few days based on feedback. It became a little overwhelming for folks, who wanted some free time to explore the content outside of the program.
Our most recent addition was a public exhibition event called Test Run. During the event, participants presented their capstone projects to guest judges and an audience of their friends and family, followed by playable demos. Test Run celebrated the cohort’s accomplishments and provided participants with constructive feedback on their games. It was also a super fun way for the cohort to showcase what they’ve been working on to their family members who maybe don’t quite get the whole game thing.
In the two years since the Immersion Program started, nearly 100 game makers with varying skill levels and background (including computer science, art, law, business, user experience, writing, and more!) have completed the program. It has been inspiring to watch the graduates from these cohorts become leaders in the community, obtain jobs at major game companies, and build some amazing projects (which you can play right here).
The New Redesign: Version 2.0
We will be taking everything that we’ve learned from the program over the past two years and applying it to the creation of a new and improved Immersion Program. Specifically, we will be exploring ways to integrate deeper dives into individual areas of the game development process for participants to better hone their skills. This has been in high demand in our feedback surveys from recent program alumni and we think it’s a great idea.
To accomplish this will take some time. It will take us about six months to revamp the program with exciting new experiences, session leaders, and game making opportunities alongside our cohort-favorites. We’re not sure yet what the next evolutionary stage will look like, but we’re all very excited to find out and hope you are too. We expect to launch the redesigned Immersion Program in mid-2018.
The Final Cohort Before the Patch
With the upcoming redesign putting the Immersion Program on a one year break, and the uncertain form it will take, we wanted to let you all know that this winter is the final cohort of its current form.
If you haven’t participated in the current Immersion Program yet, and it’s something you’ve been interested in, this is your final chance!
Applications for the Winter 2018 cohort are open now, and we hope you consider applying. If you have any questions about the Immersion Program or these patch notes, please feel free to email our Senior Programs Director, Nic VanMeerten ([email protected]).