20 years building communities for new game developers, together releasing more than 500 freeware team projects
Teams in my current community developed 200 games since October 2015
My main work is as the founder and lead trainer of HomeTeam GameDev. HomeTeam is in an independent, member-led, remote learning community. It's built on a non-traditional approach to practical skills education. The heart of what we do is project-based learning, tailoring every person's path to their strengths and goals, and providing just-in-time training in context to address real gaps people surface when working on problems they want to solve.HomeTeam GameDev is the third organization of this kind that I established. The pattern started with the Game Creation Society at Carnegie Mellon in 2004. I further iterated on the methods to start VGDev at Georgia Tech in 2010. Both clubs are still active today. Game Creation Society released 190 games, and VGDev developed 150 games (note: at the time of this writing their current site doesn't display properly on mobile).
"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 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"Initially, I didn't have any plans to program, or even touch coding at all. But after joining HomeTeam GameDev, I was able to learn how to code. Everyone is here to learn and develop games together in a super positive environment. Nobody is held responsible for making mistakes, because everyone in the team will try to fix it together and find out what went wrong as a team... That is part of the process of learning."
HomeTeam Member, contributor on 17 released team games
HomeTeam GameDev developed 200 games, including the 4 seen below (Triune Legacy led by Tyler Funk, Flick Tactics led by Bilal A. Cheema, Spark led by Tylor Allison, and Bush League Hockey led by Patrick J Thompson):
These communities empower people to learn by creating the games that interest them, drawing from their motivation to gain the ability to do things they genuinely want to do.Members enjoy total autonomy, with complete freedom to choose their roles, tasks, or teams one week at a time, without commercial pressures, being graded, or having work assigned to them.Direct, one-on-one help is available from myself, our various industry trainers, and experienced peers in the community.We release every game, on time, as an important part of our practice process. This includes getting experience with navigating tough tradeoffs as part of getting real things done.Although our methods are not mainly focused on job preparation, participating in our approach has been used by a number of people over the years as part of starting, switching, or otherwise advancing their careers.
"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."
Member in HomeTeam, part of 13 person Clash Tracks team
Alumni from the game development communities I've established and operated (at Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Tech, now independently online as HomeTeam GameDev) went 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, Finite Reflections, Outof, Standing Stone Games, Ubisoft, Ripple Effect Studios, Adroit Studios, Tencent LA, Standing Stone Games, and multiple startups.Game Creation Society alumni have gone to successfully crowdfund new games together, including the IGF winner Elsinore. In 2023, a VGDev member project won the Student IGF Award (Slider, led by Daniel Carr).HomeTeam GameDev has many stories of helping move member's careers and skills forward. Anyone worldwide can apply to join us in HomeTeam. It's fully remote, and flexible to whatever timing or level of intensity each person needs.HomeTeam GameDev is fully independent. It's not affiliated with any university, sponsored by any outside company, and never accepted any outside investment.
Practical content to help people everywhere make games
10 million views :: 370,000 students :: 160,000 podcast downloads
For more than ten years I've consistently delivered free and accessible quality information at scale. This includes freely sharing career stories from hundreds of professional contacts in my network and discussing more about game development than how to write code.Although I mostly post on my own channels, several years ago I guest wrote for a few episodes of Extra Credits. The first was about why I believe game development is worth doing even when entirely non-commercial). The others were about de-gamification, stress, and teamwork.
Game making hobbyist since 1997, pro since 2005
More than 100 games released and 200 prototypes
Summary reel of released games where I was either solo or in one of the core team roles:
Though most games I help people make today are for practice, here are other highlights from my game development career:
I developed Topple, the #2 top selling iPhone game in 2008.
Vision by Proxy Second Edition, a freeware game for which I was the programmer and level designer, has been played by more than 7 million people worldwide.
As a Technical Game Designer for Boom Blox, a Wii game featured at the Smithsonian museum, I created the level editor used by most of the other designers, in addition to authoring around 100 puzzle stages for the game.
I was part of a small team that prototyped new types of games for Will Wright, a pioneer in the gaming industry.
For Medal of Honor Airborne, I authored the first weapons upgrades, led design for the original internal level, prototyped dozens of features for the design team, and produced the demo, which at the time became EA's most played demo.
My independent experimental game feelforit was named an IndieCade finalist in 2010.
219 daily playable prototypes in a row, summary of design findings:
Conference Speaking, School/Non-Profit Volunteering, Game Development Advocacy, Research, and Freelance Teaching
"Chris changed the game when he started volunteering at our school. He collaborated with our computer science teachers to ensure their curriculum met industry standards, shared his expertise with students on their game designs, and connected the school to professionals in the gaming industry via field trips and classroom visits. To prepare students for job interviews after graduation, he provided insightful feedback on their digital portfolios and engaged them in mock interviews. Chris has a passion for helping others achieve their goals and his partnership with our school created a transformative learning experience for students."-Matt Piwowarczyk
Former Instructional Coach at the Critical Design and Gaming School at Augustus F. Hawkins High School
"Chris DeLeon is a phenomenal teacher and connected with my students encouraging them towards higher education and the game design industry. He makes learning fun and has in-depth knowledge which is engaging and inspirational to students."-Christopher McClung
Elementary Assistant Principal, Redlands Unified School District
- HomeTeam GameDev, 2015-present: Supporting 7-15 teams in parallel year-round, advised 180 released freeware games
- Northeastern University: 2 sections on prototyping (Fall 2023), 2 sections on long-term team game creation (Spring 2024)
- Sycamore School in Malibu, 2016-2017: Taught coding concepts to children ages 4-10 weekly for a full school year
- Georgia Tech Instructor 2013-2014: Taught an undergraduate course on interactive media design in Processing and Unity3D
- Georgia Tech Grad TA, 2 years/4 classes 2012-2014: Taught all programming required for Digital Media grad students (Java, PHP, MySQL, HTML5, Unity3D)
- Camp Galileo Game Design summer 2009, Lead Instructor: Taught ~60 preteens game design in 4 2-week classes
- Game Development Lessons, 6 months 2006-2007: Trained four students one-on-one in independent videogame creation
- Marketing Tips for IndieCade Horizons 2024: Quick networking advice for college and early career game developers
- Keynote for IndieCade Greenlight Jam 2023: Taking your games further - how and when to do it
- 2D Game Art for Solo or Small Teams - free online panel I moderated and co-organized
- Georgia Game Developers Level Design Day 2022 speaker: Boom Blox process and design principles
- Game Developers Conference 2020 (online): On a panel about organizing a local career fair
- IndieCade 2021 Wings Tale Game Tasting (streamed event microtalk)
- DreamHack 2020 Anaheim main stage: Indie game business pitch panel commentator
- Glitch City post-E3 2019: Gave a microtalk on arcade-game design and pinball history
- IndieCade West/LA 2015-2019: Organizer for speakers and workshops in LA, gave multiple talks for beginners
- GDC 2017 Education Summit: "Teaching Games with Games 4: Yet Another Six Exercises in Play" (microtalk)
- IndieCade 2017 Talking About Your Game: Interactive workshop on effective conference networking
- #ResistJam 2017: Leading a workshop on going from brainstorming to taking action
- Global Game Jam 2017: Keynote Speaker at Art Institute of California on experimental design
- IGDA at Eastern Kentucky University 2016: Clearing up popular misconceptions about game development
- IndieCade East 2016: On panel about developer communities, based on starting practice clubs
- IndieCade EU 2016: Workshop organizer for 2 days of talks in Paris, gave a talk about communities
- GameU Moderator, 2016: Panels on impostor syndrome and game design academic programs
- GDC Education Summit 2014: Shared our game development club processes
- Game Developers Conference (Rapid-Fire Indies) IGS 2011: Spoke on the practical value of design constraints
- SIEGE (2011-2014 years, 4 talks): Presented on iOS, first projects, HTML5 vs AS3, and student challenges
- IndieCade Micro-Talk 2010: Advocated for teaching videogame creation as a new high school shop class
- Complete Every Project You Start: Be Your Own Producer 2023, 1k students: Planning long-term side projects to finish
- How to Program Games, Tile Classics in JS, 2016, 10k students: Intermediate game programming, includes my textbook
- 2 graduate business classes at Northeastern, 2023: Blunt talk on how industry works, partly led to a Unity rant
- Remote speaker for Georgia Tech, 2023: Survival skills for early career - productivity tips and business basics
- ProjectCityTV Making Comics Summer, 2023: Remote speaker on finishing projects and indie marketing
- Charter high school talk: About my career path and answering student questions as a separate video
- Public high school computer science club: Online guest speaker about game design and my career
- 6 elementary classrooms remote speaking: Books people read to be better game developers
- Three North Carolina grade school classes, 2021: Careers in game development, key skills to learn
- Carnegie Mellon Game Creation Society, 2020: Spoke on the importance of collaboration
- Art Center 2019: Spoke with college students on small team game development prototyping
- Senior Project Feedback 2019: Met with dozens of students as a volunteer to discuss their processes
- Irvine Valley College Guest Speaker, 2018: Covering a mix of starting advice and research foundations
- 10th Grade Game Fair, 2018: Feedback for 28 student teams over 5 periods in Critical Design and Gaming
- Critical Design and Gaming School, Game Fair: Industry volunteer feedback for 5 classes of projects
- Georgia Tech Computational Aesthetics Speaker: Shared research on pinball's history and digital play
- Michigan State University Industry Panel 2018: Chat with juniors on careers, roadblocks, and standing out
- Augustus Hawkins High School Career Day 2018: Industry professional meeting with students
- 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
- 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 LA High School Volunteer, 2017: Meeting with students about picking their first digital game projects
- East Coast High School Guest Speaker: Explained common game development uses for math
- Grand Terrace High School Career Day 2016: Assembly lecture on game careers
- Second Grade Speaker 2016: Shared foundational concepts and stories about making games
- USC, Interactive Media & Games Division 2016: Guest lecture on pinball history, arcade design, digital rules
- 11th Grade Game Development in LA (Unity/C#) 2016: Industry feedback panel for ~20 term projects
- Moorpark College Game Design Class, 2016: Spoke on techniques and industry
- 9th and 10th Grade Game Development Math, 2016: Taught how math is applied to game programming
- Becker College speaker 2015: Talk on mistakes made by new developers
- High School Speaker in Redlands, 2014: Showed uses of algebra, geometry, and trig in making games
- Guest Speaker for SAE Institute, 2013: Talked about careers with game art and design students
- University of Michigan Game Development Class, 2014: Part of a panel discussing careers
- High School Guest Speaker, 2014: Discussed student-project strategies, joined curriculum design meeting
- Middle School Game Group Support 2013: Mentored student group and helped develop project plans
- Georgia Tech Brown Bag, 2013: Shared original research on influence of payment models on game design
- 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
- Academy of Art, 2009: Shared and contrasted experiences from commercial and student game making
- Westwood College 2013: Spoke on the career significance of making games as an extracurricular activity
- UC Berkeley Videogames as Art (2008 and 2009): Guest lecturer on art and experimental gameplay
- Guest Speaker at Carnegie Mellon 2008: Gave 45-minute talk on learning life values through gameplay
- CMU MOSAIC Speaker 2007: Presented about the history of gender issues in entertainment technology
- CMU Summit Instructor, 2006 & 2007: Coached three-day videogame design workshops for beginners
- Not-GDC 2023 GameIndustryGathering (GIG) Hangout: Zoom networking volunteer moderator
- Game Dev Carnival 2021: Panelist about running online developer communities
- IndieCade Anywhere and Everywhere 2020 Networking: Hosted for ~100 hours across 8 days
- PAX South 2020 "AFK Room": CheckPointOrg industry mental health non-profit volunteer tabling
- IGDA Los Angeles Chair 2019: Organized and executed various online events, including our second Town Hall
- Job Corps in LA, 2017: Outlined careers related to games, and making hobby games to develop skills
- Speaker for Los Angeles Indie Dev Club 2016: Shared lessons learned from mobile development
- GDC Mentor for AIAS Intel Scholar, 2013: Tips for Guildhall SMU grad students on career and networking
- YWCA Cascade House Volunteer 2012: Helped teens learn game coding in 2-hour small weekend classes for 8 months
- Step-by-Step Game Development 2009: Led a Hacker Dojo workshop on introductory game creation
- Developing Developers Workshop Series 2007: Prepared and delivered nine full lectures on videogame creation
- Lukasa tangible table interface and projector interactive museum exhibit (2013), basis for the research paper Embodied Engagement with Narrative: A Design Framework for Presenting Cultural Heritage Artifacts by Jean Ho Chu and Ali Mazalek (cited only in acknowledgements)
- Game-o-Matic (2011) diagram-based web game generator, part of programming team
- Digital Improv (2011) interface frontend for an interactive simulation of improv reasoning, bone animation system and iPad interface then Kinect-based gesture recognition (video 1, video 2)
- GTRIC Conference 2014: Discussed patterns from 7 months of nightly prototypes ("InteractionArtist" series)
- NIH Think Tank, 2013: Game development representative in a DC meeting for biomedical research
- DiGRA 2012: Presented original research on differences between digital and non-digital game rules
- UCLA Game Art Festival 2012 at Los Angeles Hammer Museum: Showed my 3D Escher "notgame"
- History of Games International Conference 2011 in Montreal: Spoke on pinball's connection to modern games
- Arcade-Style Game Design – Pinball’s Connections to Coin-Op Videogames (Kinephanos 2014, History of Games International Conference), only author
- Rules in Computer Games Compared to Rules in Traditional Games (DiGRA 2013), only author
- Employing Fuzzy Concept for Digital Improvisational Theatre (2011) by Brian Magerko, Peter Dohogne, Chris Deleon
- All Things Cozy podcast 2021 visiting speaker: 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
- CTE TEACH, 2020: Part of a podcast group discussing game development
- GameDevsQuest 2018 Podcast Guest: Sharing back story of how Chris teaches game making
- Game Dev Deconstructed 2018 Podcast Guest: Spoke about industry and building developer teams
- Calvin Pohlhammer 2017 Podcast guest: Discussing the games I'd want if stuck on a desert island
- GameDevTV Game AI Workshop 2023: One day live workshop on AI in games (FSM, pathfinding, theatrics - not LLMs etc)
- GameDevBiz Online Conference 2017: Organized, hosted, spoke at event on business side of games
- Enjoy GameDev Online Conference 2017: Organized, hosted, spoke at event on sustainably making games
- GameDev JumpStart 2015: Four 1-hour talks for an online ticketed event I prepared with paid speakers
- Self-Doubt audiobook/book (2023): 2 hour 30 min / 77 pages on untangling why people don't start new things
- Self-Calm audiobook/book (2020): 7 hours 11 minutes / 251 pages, free on YouTube and free ebook modernization on Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
- Self-Command audiobook/book (2019): 5 hours / 123 pages
- From Tutorials to Original Games (2018): 31 page exercises booklet
- Hands-On Intro to Game Programming (2014): 559 pages, step-by-step construction of 6 classic games and 100 exercises
- Videogame Developer's Strategy Guide (2013): 448 page, 50 articles as top-read weekly posts from six years of blogging
- Contributing Author to La Fabrique des Jeux Vidéo (2013): Wrote a chapter on the evolution of game spaces
- Game Developer Magazine Fall 2010 Career Guide: Intro to hobby game development
- Game Developer Magazine Mar 2010: Art History of Games article
- Game Developer Magazine Jan 2010: Introduction to Unity 2.6
- HobbyGameDev.com (2008-2014): Weekly blogging on tips and strategies for making freeware games
- Young Videogame Developer's Journal (2007): 51 pages on my first 45 freeware games
- HomeTeamGameDev 2015-present: Founder, director, and lead trainer, over 180 games released
- Georgia Tech VGDev (2010-2014): Founder and lead of college game making club, releasing 10-14 games/year (new site, older site), over 150 released
- Carnegie Mellon Game Creation Society (2004-2007): Cofounded game making club, releasing 10-14 games/year, over 190 released
Free Game to Learn to Read Code
I made this free educational game as part of working with children ages 5-12. However, it can be as an accessible entry point for people at any age who new to coding.Safe Code Trainer focuses on learning to read code, before and separate from learning to write it. I took this approach after noticing how most kids could read above the level they were ready to write. Most traditional approaches learn to read code at the same time they're trying to write it.By learning to follow the non-linear order and variables, students can build a foundation to better understand video tutorials or any example code they find elsewhere.The game builds up gradually, beginning with simple concepts, incrementally mixing in programming-like features and syntax. It's themed as cracking safes, each of which contains a new emoji as a the prize for that level.
All logos are property of their owners. These are companies, schools, and events I've worked with, spoken at, or had work featured in. These do not indicate endorsement or ongoing relationship.
I was in the first Forbes Under 30
Some common questions: I didn't try to get on it (it was the first one, they contacted me), and I didn't pay to be on it. It's unrelated to net worth. There are 12-20 categories of 30 people yearly for 13 years, so ~6,000 people by now.The age cutoff does not mean you must achieve big things by 30 or it's too late. Think kid's division - if you take the age cap off many people older than 30 do bigger things than what non-celebrities on the list did. Like how a musician may be good for a 13 year old, but there are still many better adult musicians.Today many people have strange ideas about this list and people on it. I bring it up only because in some circles it helps me reach more people by getting a stranger to give my work or experience a second look.Some people write clickbait that gets reshared by playing to anger over a handful of 6,000 people ever on the list who turn out to be outright criminals. I've met dozens of people through the related networking events over the years, the majority are kind and normal. Most are middle class.I've also seen frustration about it being an open application process. I believe that was an improvement over the earlier system, in which it was harder for someone to come up for consideration if the category judges hadn't heard of them.Games didn't have a category our year, so I and 5 other game developers were in Entertainment alongside athletes and celebrities, leading my brother to jokingly introduce me to people as "the LeBron James of making videogames."
"As seen on EPSN" 😉
In 2011 I was working on Kinect full-body gesture recognition at Georgia Tech, on the software side of a team doing AI research based on the thinking process used by improv actors (video 1, video 2, video 3). ESPN was on campus to cover a football game, and the crew wanted to get a few clips they could run to show things happening off the field at GT. We had zero heads up or preparation time, and were told there was no promise that they'd use any given clip. I assume mine got used because I move like a muppet, which as research projects go shows well as a few second clip without sound.A friend from my hometown recognized me and messaged immediately when it aired ("I looked at my coworkers and said 'that's my friend...' they gave me guff saying that you were just a stranger, but I know the truth."), which is my main memory of it.
I've had a bizarre and fortunate life. In high school I placed 4th in an international science fair (ISEF, the same one AOC was in 4 years later), in the Computer Science division. I made a program that looked like The Sims, but worse since it was made by a teenager. dEveryone ranked had our name assigned by NASA JPL to celestial objects that were previously designated only by numbers
I'm also available for weekly one-on-ones - consulting or lessons
Limited client availability
If there's something I can help you do based on my background, I'd like to chat to see if there's a match between what you're looking for and how I can help.Meetings are one hour weekly, timing is flexible and easy to accommodate unpredictable, busy schedules.There's no minimum time commitment, though most people who meet weekly choose to do so for years.Because I have experience working with a range of skills levels, from children and total beginners to adults working in industry, I can match someone where they're at, and then keep up with their interests and goals as they progress over the years.
"Chris DeLeon could easily be working for a AAA studio, and he has in the past. He has a high degree of programming skill, plus the patience to explain my code problems."-Charles Zammit
One-on-one client, 2014-present
"I've been programming for 20 years, but I'd never dedicated the time to programming video games. Chris helps get me unstuck to avoid wasting time."-Pete H.
The process begins with an informal 30 min. chat about your needs. This is not a topic consultation, it's for us to discuss what you're doing and any questions you have, so we can both decide whether I'm the right person to help. Book a half hour call and let's figure it out.
"I am a client of Chris DeLeon's training and it has been the one on one game focused training I've wanted for my whole life!"-Chinua White
One-on-one client, 2015-present
"With any endeavor, it helps to have a coach, and Chris is a great person to fill this need. I've learned more in the past few months working with Chris DeLeon's book and one-on-one training than I have in the last 5 years of trying to do it for myself. His years of experience with game development and training make him invaluable for anyone at any level."-Adrian Sanders
"We truly appreciate what you have done for our son. This has certainly been such a wonderful experience for him and truly enjoys every minute he has had with you. You have made a tremendous lifelong impact. Thank you!!!"-Albert and Donna V.
Lessons client parents, 2019-present
Last name obscured for student privacy
Why I do things the way that I do
Teaching and business philosophy
My unique approach as an independent educator originates from organizations I founded at Carnegie Mellon and Georgia Tech. Embracing this as my full-time profession in 2015 gave me the freedom to experiment with educational philosophies beyond traditional boundaries.Many people misunderstand our structure. It's not a class, meetup, or simulated job. Instead, participants collaborate on remote teams making freeware games, meeting with me periodically for personalized lessons tailored around the projects and tasks they choose. My training specializations are in gameplay programming, small team production (planning, scheduling, coordinating), and general gameplay design, although members can also schedule help sessions with our specialists in other domains (audio, 2D and 3D art, UI, UX, level design).Here are some excerpts that have influenced my unconventional training format:
Why instead of giving lectures I have students choose their projects and tasks, then meet with them up to every week or two"In the newer universities in England and America there is a regrettable tendency to insist upon attendance at innumerable lectures... When I was an undergraduate, my feeling, and that of most of my friends, was that lectures were a pure waste of time. No doubt we exaggerated, but not much. The real reason for lectures is that they are obvious work, and therefore businessmen are willing to pay for them. If university teachers adopted the best methods, businessmen would think them idle, and insist upon cutting down the staff. He should see the pupils individually when they have done their papers. About once a week or once a fortnight, he should see such as care to come in the evening, and have desultory conversation about matters more or less connected with their work. All this is not very different from the practice at the older universities. If a pupil chooses to set himself a paper, different from that of the teacher but equally difficult, he shall be at liberty to do so."-Bertrand Russell
Education and the Good LifeWhy instead of exercises or quizzes I emphasize solving problems in the context of real team projects"In a word, learning is decontextualized. We break ideas down into tiny pieces that bear no relation to the whole. We give students a brick of information, followed by another brick, followed by another brick, until they are graduated, at which point we assume they have a house. What they have is a pile of bricks, and they don't have it for long… More and more teachers are coming to recognize that excellence is most likely to result from well functioning teams, in which resources are shared, skills and knowledge are exchanged, and each participant is encouraged and helped to do their best."-Alfie Kohn
Two parts from Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise and Other BribesWhy my approach to education focuses on peer community and hands-on practical learning"...Expense of getting an education would in a great measure vanish... Those conveniences which the student requires at Cambridge or elsewhere cost him or somebody else ten times as great a sacrifice of life... Those things for which the most money is demanded are never the things which the student most wants. Tuition, for instance, is an important item in the term bill, while for the far more valuable education which he gets by associating with the most cultivated of his contemporaries no charge is made...""...Says one, 'you do not mean that the students should go to work with their hands instead of their heads?' I do not mean that exactly, but I mean something which he might think a good deal like that... Which would have advanced the most at the end of a month--the boy who had made his own jackknife from the ore which he had dug and smelted, reading as much as would be necessary for this--or the boy who had attended the lectures on metallurgy at the Institute in the meanwhile, and had received a Rodgers' penknife from his father? Which would be most likely to cut his fingers?"-Henry David Thoreau
WaldenWhy I structure training as sustainable weekly practice, rather than packing it into a shorter, high intensity full-time class"Learning is deeper and more durable when it’s effortful... Periodic practice arrests forgetting, strengthens retrieval routes, and is essential for hanging onto the knowledge you want to gain. When you space out practice at a task and get a little rusty between sessions, or you interleave the practice of two or more subjects, retrieval is harder and feels less productive, but the effort produces longer lasting learning and enables more versatile application of it in later settings."-Henry L. Roediger III and Mark A. McDaniel
Cognitive scientists, from Make It Stick, written with Peter BrownWhy I do not offer grading or contests, instead encouraging students to pursue what most interests and challenges them"To overcome the anxieties and depressions of contemporary life, individuals must become independent of the social environment to the degree that they no longer respond exclusively in terms of its rewards or punishments. To achieve such autonomy, a person has to learn to provide rewards to herself. She has to develop the ability to find enjoyment and purpose regardless of external circumstances… The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile… When we act freely, for the sake of the action rather than for ulterior motives, we learn to become more than what we were."-Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal ExperienceWhy I use computer game development to teach people about programming, creativity, planning, teamwork, group speaking, etc."Not amusement nor distraction, but the desire to effect some cherished purpose is the strongest motive that can move the learner."-John William Adamson
In his introduction for The Educational Writings of John Locke
I see the purpose of my work as to use the skills, experience and connections I gained to help others who haven't had the head start and opportunities I did, especially people who found existing options (ex. jams, university, static online resources) didn't fit their needs well.I work on continually improving how well my business helps people in the following ways:
Significant results: we aim to make a meaningful difference, ideally life changing (sometimes we achieve this)
Scaleable results: in a repeatable way, consistently helping more people than I can work with one-on-one
Self-guided results: flexible approaches that work for many different people's pace and reasons for learning
Sustainable results: clients should retain a lifelong advantage from how I teach, long after I'm no longer involved
I don’t just see my work as fixing code, design, or project logistics issues. If people I work with hit a roadblock, I’m there looking for ways to help them get past it.I realized that a lot of people I worked with had the tools, knew the basics, and even had the time, but still weren’t using them to do what they wanted to do.Jobs and schools make people do things by paying them or grading them. I wanted to get people ready to do things on their own, without someone else managing, measuring, punishing, or rewarding them. This way, they'd be able to tackle projects beyond what someone else tells them to do.After thousands of hours in one-on-one calls, I spotted patterns and came up with solutions that helped many of our people figure out why they weren’t moving forward. Now, people who weren’t making games before joining us are releasing games, sticking to every project they start, and consistently meeting deadlines.This issue—knowing what we want to do and technically being able to, but not doing it—affects game developers a lot. But it’s a much wider problem. The same solutions helped me develop my video courses, ebooks, and grow my small business.Wanting to help more people outside my immediate area, I turned these ideas into two audiobooks and ebooks, Self-Command and Self-Doubt. They’ve now reached over 5,000 people. They're also part of my new video course, Complete Every Project, and available to all members of HomeTeamGameDev.
© Chris DeLeon 2024. All rights reserved.