De­vel­oper teaches youth how to make games through af­ter-school pro­gram

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS - BY TONY DAVIS Scott Humes is the founder of Rab­bit Hole Stu­dios and also runs Mak­ing Video Games With Scott. Twit­

Scott Humes makes games for a liv­ing, but some­times the in­dus­try isn’t as lu­cra­tive as one would ex­pect.

He needed some­thing to do in his down­time to gen­er­ate some cash­flow. So, he started teach­ing oth­ers to make games.

“I’ll be hon­est with you it was my wife’s idea,” Humes said.

Mak­ing Video Games with Scott is an af­ter­school pro­gram for those in­ter­ested in video game de­vel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion.

You have to do what you have to do while work­ing on video games in or­der to be sus­tain­able, he said.

“I was a welder be­fore I got into this in­dus­try. I could go back to that, but I re­ally don’t want to,” Humes said. “Hon­estly, money started get­ting a lit­tle tight for us (when) my con­tract with IT Garage was up.”

Humes moved to Char­lot­te­town from On­tario with his wife and started his gam­ing com­pany, Rab­bit Hole Stu­dios, in 2014 through an in­tern­ship with the IT Garage, a video game and soft­ware de­vel­op­ment in­cu­ba­tor that hires in­terns to de­velop their own prod­uct.

In Oc­to­ber 2017 at the Gamea­con Crys­tal Awards, the stu­dio’s game The Lost Gar­dens won the Fan Fa­vorite award.

Award-win­ning games don’t come along of­ten, so Humes hopes the af­ter­school pro­gram takes off. He set up a Face­book page and posted some fly­ers around town for the new ven­ture.

“It wasn’t long till I started hav­ing peo­ple ask about it. I got a cou­ple stu­dents and I started teach­ing them how to make games.”

He uses the same hard­ware as he does at Rab­bit Hole Stu­dios and pop­u­lar de­vel­op­ment soft­ware like Unity.

“I started an on­line ver­sion (since) stu­dents come to Rab­bit Hole Stu­dios and use my workspace af­ter hours. It is in Char­lot­te­town, so it is very lim­ited to who will phys­i­cally take their chil­dren there.”

Humes hopes the on­line op­tion helps peo­ple from ru­ral ar­eas get in­volved.

“There is in­ter­est out in those ar­eas, there just isn’t a lot of sup­port for stuff like this.”

Humes teaches stu­dents to make var­i­ous styles of game and tries to help them cap­i­tal­ize on their in­ter­ests.

“I try to teach them how to build a game they want to build. I teach them a lit­tle about how Unity works, a lit­tle about code, what it does and what it is. It is very much geared to­ward some­one who would like to make games, but don’t know what is in­volved.”

He said peo­ple in dif­fer­ent age groups use the pro­gram.

“My youngest is eight and my old­est is 18. I never had a stu­dent yet where I thought they were too young — I don’t think any­one could be too old if they want to learn,” Humes said. “I’m not op­posed to any­one who wants to learn. This is a thing you can get into. If I can do it, I firmly be­lieve any­one can and it is fun.”

Mak­ing Video Games with Scott of­fers one-on-one, group ses­sions and weekly ses­sions. Prices range from $75 to $140.

Con­tact Humes at [email protected]­bit­holestu­, or at 902-9780807.


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