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Our curriculum is interdisciplinary in thought and action, and at our core is team-based game development. The quantity and commercial quality of our games is a top reason that aspiring game developers apply to SMU Guildhall and that employers seek out our graduates. Using engines like Unity, Unreal Engine 4, Half-Life 2 (Source), and Skyrim (Creation Engine), we produce 2D and 3D games on a variety of platforms — including PC, console, mobile, and VR — while modeling the structure, style, and pace of a real game studio. Students take courses in their specialization and then apply these skills in Team Game Production courses as they concept, prototype, build, test, and release a game as a team.
Team size and composition evolves to allow students to take on both lead & supporting roles; the first games, made in small teams, serve as foundational stepping stones toward final large-scale, total-conversion Capstone projects. Many games are published under SMU Guildhall's GameLab, which bridges student teams with industry professionals and embeds Guildhall programs within the industry in a variety of ways. Guildhall games regularly win awards and reach the top 100 games on Steam— for example, Kraven Manor reached #1 with over 110,000 downloads and a YouTube Let’s Play receiving over 2.5 million views, and FrostRunner reached over 250,000 and was embraced by the speed-running community including countless Twitch streams and YouTube play-throughs. Also among our most downloaded titles to date are Light of Alariya, SMU Guildhall's first Unreal Engine 5 game (in fact, one of the first games released on Unreal Engine 5), and Kibbi Keeper and Legend of the Outlaw Mage, which have been downloaded over 200,000 times—better than most indie titles.