The "Ritual" Behind The Guildhall

Turns out there is more to the Guildhall at SMU than we had thought – yes, Levelord made it to the “Master” list, but several others from the Ritual crew have also been involved with the program’s development. Jay Halderman, Steve Nix and Doug Service have been working with the Guildhall for several months, lending their expertise to creating course curriculum, and they might even teach a class or give Guildhall students an occasional guest lecture.

Ritual CEO Steve Nix said a program like this has been long overdue. “We were surprised it hadn’t been done before now,” he said. “Asking industry experts to help create a training program is the best way to ensure the game developers it produces will meet industry needs,” he said. “How could we not support it?”

Less than a month after the official introduction of the Guildhall, program representatives say it has received an outstanding response and that they have gotten hundreds of requests for more information. With classes scheduled to begin this summer, the Guildhall is gearing up for welcoming to Dallas 100 elite students of game development from across the country and around the world.

The program is also set to launch a new version of its website on February 15, with a new look and updated information. You’ll find the Guildhall online at

Recently added to the Guildhall website is a Frequently Asked Questions page, addressing many of the commonly asked questions they have encountered over the past few weeks. If you’re wondering if the Guildhall is right for you, a great way to find out would be to spend some time on the FAQ page. Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find there:

Q. What advantages are there to attending the Guildhall rather than just breaking into the industry on my own?
A. It can take years to learn the basics of game development on your own. Even then, the experts tell us you still wouldn’t know the professional tricks, shortcuts, and techniques you would need to be considered anything but an amateur. Game development companies get thousands of unsolicited resumes every year, and most of them don’t get a second look. Because experts from the games industry approached the Hart eCenter at SMU to design the Guildhall, we have extremely close ties with them. In fact, some of them are teaching at the Guildhall.

The curriculum is specifically designed to give you the skills and the portfolio you will need to get a job in the industry as quickly as possible. You could potentially do all of this on your own, but it would be much more difficult to find your focus, to know what’s important and what’s not, and to develop a portfolio impressive enough to land a job.

Q. What level of education should I have?
A. We’re looking for students with at least a bachelors’ degree; however, exceptional individuals without a formal college degree will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Don’t shy away from the Guildhall if you are not a college graduate, but be prepared to make a very strong case for your abilities.