The third floor of Ford Hall is home to SMU Guildhall GameLab, which personifies working in a commercial game studio including spaces for professional meetings, pitching games to publishers, usability testing and game testing.
GameLab maintains a professional Usability Lab for user research, which has been used by over half a dozen AAA studios with 10 testing stations, including a living room lab for real-world evaluations.
The SMU Guildhall VR Lab supports development of multiple VR titles and research projects. Thanks to generous grants and partnerships with hardware vendors and investment in additional equipment, we support Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, and Microsoft HoloLens. We are actively working on building relationships with other hardware vendors and developing additional expertise in emerging technologies. Through the VR Lab, we are on the cutting edge of developing new VR interface grammar and establishing gameplay paradigms that will be used throughout the video game industry.
GameLab supports real-time high definition recording and broadcasting equipment for recording game trailers, as well as a dedicated streaming booth on the first floor that gives students the ability to build and interact with a community around their game while outwardly piping their game stream content onto monitors above the booth.
Guildhall has agreements with the SMU student center (Hughes-Trigg) to regularly use the rotunda, the Fondren Library café, and the Doolin Gallery in the Meadows School of the Arts for game user research testing. GameLab even features a simulated living room for testing games from the couch.