SPRING COHORT 2019: Starts on May 29, 2019

Course Catalog

The Game Design and Development Lab at HOFT Institute, also known as the HOFT Game Lab, is an 8-month evening certificate program for aspiring game developers and game artists who have the skills but need real world experience and portfolio to land a job in the game design industry.  Our instructors are industry experts with the connections and skills to help you prepare for your dream career!  Build assets with a team of fellow talented programmers, level designers, and 3D artists here at HOFT Game Lab.  >> Come schedule a free tour.


25 Hours of Coaching
233 Hours of Real Developing
A Job-Ready Portfolio & Network of Professionals!



Which game hero are you?  During Phase I, our expert instructors will help you narrow your career focus by helping you discover and identify your key, marketable strengths.


FOCUS | Game Programming 

You have a solid grasp of C++, but are likely to be familiar with C#, Java, C, Python, or JavaScript also. You may or may not have some experience in programming that relates to game development too (a plugin for Unreal Engine 4 or Unity).  You are looking for real projects and team experience in the game design and development market in order to land a job as a game programmer.

FOCUS | Game Design 

You've created in Blueprint or C#, but you may have also created in other systems like modding engines, GameMaker, or CAD. You may have some experience in 3D Studio Max or Maya. You may or may not have some design work in some way relate to game development (e.g. level design, system design, gameplay modes, playable missions, etc). You're ready to dedicate your design skills to the game design industry, and you're looking to kickstart your game design career as a level editor or more.

FOCUS | Game Art

You're an artist at heart with the 2D and 3D digital software skills to back it up.  You may love creating characters or environments, animation, rigging, effects and more.  You feel your talent belongs in the game design industry, and you need a clear pathway into your first real game design job as a 3D artist.



Our program is hands-on, project-based and intensive.  

They are working non-stop to produce assets that will go to market either independently or on the behalf of local studios.  Students have the opportunity to earn income at every stage of the Game Design & Development program through their individual and group efforts.  When a student has a product that is market ready, we showcase it here in our Student Marketplace.  Are you a doer?  Come join our team of hard-working, driven game design and development enthusiasts.  


Unity approved the Action Sequencer by Jonathan!  

This package provides scripts and prefabs to allow designers to create simple NavMesh AI within a custom editor. The primary scripts are the Sequencer that follows a list of commands, such as 'go to target' or 'play script', and the Trigger script that fires off a given event for given conditions. There are additional tools that work with these two scripts such as way points and trigger volumes to help design AI behavior. This package also has some scripts to help start out creating a game. These are basic inventory, equipment, character movement, and dialogue importing.




Sample student work currently on the market

Sample student work currently on the market

8 Month Certificate Program

Check out our unique certificate program, divided into three distinct phases.  Each phase is designed to give you the AAA industry experience you need to be the strongest you can be.


Phase I:
Skill Building

Mondays & Wednesdays
6:30 - 9:30 PM

DURATION: 2 months

OBJECTIVE: By the end of phase I, you will have a functional, playable level of a game to showcase to industry reps in Austin, Texas.  



Module 1
GT101 Introduction to Game Development
Students will learn about the distinguishing features of game genres, creating game design documents, and using focus testing.

Module 2 
GT102 Developing Design Specifications
Students will learn different prototyping methods and learn how to build out a prototype.

Module 3
GT103 Developing Technical Skills
Students will learn how to use source control, Agile methodology, bug tracking pipelines, and build a white box prototype level.

Module 4
GT104 Mastering Standard Industry Tools
Students will learn how to build a vertical slice to demonstrate the final features of a game.

$$$ Earning Potential at Phase I
At the end of this phase, we will encourage students to market their content on Unity and Unreal asset stores.

Phase II:
Commercial Game Experience

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays
6:30 - 9:30 PM

DURATION: 6 months

OBJECTIVE: By the end of phase II, you will have real entry-level work experience and mentorship from local game design professionals.


Module 5
GT105 Commercial Game Production
Students will build assets for industry clients, meeting regularly with client mentors and passing biweekly milestones with instructors to ensure students are creating the highest caliber of work. The assets created during this time will be used directly in the client's product should they meet specification. This gives HOFT students the opportunity to graduate with shipped titles already on their resume.

$$$ Earning Potential at Phase II
If selected by one of our partner companies, we encourage students to work on a game with local companies during Phase II training. 

Portfolio Creation
& Networking

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays
6:30 - 9:30 PM

DURATION: 2 weeks

OBJECTIVE: By the end of this module, students will have a professional resume and portfolio and the opportunities to network with industry professionals.


Module 6
GT106 Portfolio and Resume Creation
Students will learn how to build a vertical slice to demonstrate the final features of a game.

The final two weeks of the six-month lab, students will take a final course on resume and portfolio building. They will also learn about the soft skills involved in networking, and the technical aspects of interviewing.  At the end of this course, students will meet directly with industry professionals to have their resume and portfolio reviewed. 


$$$ Earning Potential
Entry Level Game Programmer - $48,000+
Entry Level Game Designer - $42,000+
Entry Level 3D Artist - $40,000+


Student Housing

Relocating to Austin to study at our Institute?  Ask about our low-cost student housing options with 2 weeks free rent!

What gets one applicant through the door versus another? The difference is in the portfolio.
— John Henderson, HOFT Game Lab Program Coordinator