195 released free games isn't the point. It's about the difference we make for members.
How it works is simple:
If you're new to game making our included materials can catch you up.
Watch last Sunday's update video to pick which game(s) to be part of.
Browse any team's schedule to decide what you'd like to do next.
Discuss your ideas or questions with teammates in Slack or Discord.
Grab project files from GitHub. If you're new to it, we'll show you how.
If you're stuck or want skill lessons, schedule a call or ask teammates.
Upload your updates once you're happy with your local changes.
The game will release on time, with you credited for each part you do.
Change games or roles. Take breaks. We work around what gets done.
If you want to lead your own game we'll help you each step of the way.
HomeTeam isn't only a temporary boost that wears off as soon as you discontinue membership benefits. In addition to helping you compress progress and portfolio evidence that would have taken years into months, participating members come away with a lifelong improvement in their ability to make games.
What Industry is Saying
"This is something I wish existed when I started writing games over 30 years ago. Chris starts from the foundations, and then he builds from there. He does this in a way that's accessible to everyone."-Ichiro Lambe
Founder and President of Dejobaan Games
Making games since 1988, conference speaker
"I think what you're doing is the future of educating real game developers. It's really practical and hands-on in a way that the education sticks."-Stephanie Barish
Founder and CEO of IndieCade
"The sheer diversity of projects, involvement from each member, and general positivity of this community is astounding."-Jongwoo Kim
Indie developer and co-founder of Kitfox Games
"Since there are so many different projects going on at a time you can dip in and out, and practice any skills you want to. You can do audio, or programming, systems or AI, UI, 2D textures or animations, 3D animations - the cool thing about dabbling in all those different things is on a larger project or team it helps you understand for any specialist the type of problems that they have to solve, what motivates them, and what things they care about for the work they're responsible for on a larger team like that. Those are the type of things that can make you a really valuable producer, or at least really good at communicating with the other people on your team."-Andrea Benavides
AAA Producer, including work at Amazon Games and Electronic Arts
"I've seen this community in action, and was amazed at the passion and productivity of its members. I can think of no better way for people interested in game development, whether as a hobby or as a career, to quickly level up their skills!"-David Mullich
Head of Faculty for Game Production Department at LA Film School
Producer on Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
Director on Heroes of Might and Magic III
Game Designer on Disney's Duck Tales: The Quest for Gold
"I really admire this group, and all of you, because this is a really cool idea. It's also admirable for all of you to be doing something both very creative and personal, but also technically challenging. I love that there's a community to support this."-Jeff Lindsay
Indie Game: The Movie, Executive Producer
Julia Minamata, IndieDev of Crimson Diamond and Twitch Streamer
Clipped from her stream, reshared with permission. Edited mainly to skip side topics and pauses during Q&A.
Tim Ruswick, founder of GameDev Underground (now with GameDev TV)
From Adam T. Croft's book "Quit Aspiring"
"HomeTeam GameDev is one of the best options I’ve yet found to solve the catch-22 dilemma of needing experience to get a job, while needing a job to get experience. It's a members-only game making club created with the intent of giving individuals a more structured environment for game creation. There is a monthly fee to join. While you may consider this expensive initially, as I did, I would argue that this is one of the better investments that you could make in yourself when first getting started.Consider this – if your primary issue is experience and being able to honestly put on your resume “yes, I have shipped a game”... then HomeTeam completely solves this problem for you.On your own, doing the equivalent work would require you to take all the following steps: (1) Finding and building a trustworthy team from scratch. (2) Creating a schedule to complete your game. (3) Sticking to said schedule. (4) Following through, where real life doesn’t get in the way.Any one of those things alone is difficult, if not impossible to find with a bunch of volunteers. Therefore, while you probably won’t find a ton of people who share my attitude that paying for a game making club is a great idea – I stick to it. If you don’t want to be constrained by the hectic timing of a game jam but want the team experience and atmosphere that comes with independent development and a very uplifting atmosphere – HomeTeam is a fantastic solution.Financially speaking, for what is provided to you, the service is a steal... Think about this when you’re nervous to make the financial investment in your improvement – if you’re serious about putting yourself in an advantageous position for when your opportunity shows up, is 3 months’ worth of a paid game club too expensive?When I took advantage of it, it served me extremely well... your understanding of game team dynamics and the work other people do will grow tremendously.[Additional note, not adapted from Quit Aspiring, by Adam in 2024] The fact that HomeTeam GameDev exists means there’s essentially zero reason to not give your dreams a shot. You’re getting an incredibly welcoming environment, guaranteed learning and camaraderie, and a safe place to level up quickly. Even if you don’t wind up changing or gaining a career - you’re guaranteed to change your life through learning, friendship, and fun."-Adam T. Croft
Technical Audio Lead @ Bungie, Author, Plugin Developer
HomeTeam member in 2017 (then as "Gamkedo Club," group name is updated above with Adam's permission)
We help each other develop
Join or lead teams where everyone has help to turn to
Our application is fast and easy. We use it to match you to the group where you'll have the best start.Nobody loves a form, but as a member this step keeps trolls and confused people out of your way.
Regardless of the path you chose earlier - making your games, advancing your career, or having fun learning with new friends - all members collaborate on mixed teams, with the same services and resources. You can switch tracks, mix tracks, or ignore tracks to make up your own way as you go.
Everything is included at a flat rate - no cost per call
Release games consistently year-round with experienced, friendly, professionally-supported teammates
Practice programming, art, audio, level design, writing, leading - you choose your projects and roles
Schedule calls with experts who get to know you for troubleshooting or lessons applied to actual games
Bonus 1: Includes over $350 of our bestselling video courses and ebooks to learn from at your own pace
Bonus 2: Monthly industry speakers on Zoom, open to live Q&A, and access to 150+ videos of past visits
We on board no more than 3 new members per week. This is a good time of year to apply!
Members can easily cancel the subscription at anytime directly in PayPal. You won't have to talk to a person to exit. Membership dues are one week at a time. There are no long-term contracts, minimums, setup fees or hidden costs.
Better Than Money-Back Guarantee: Not loving it? Just let us know within 2 weeks of joining. You'll get a full refund, and you can keep any materials (see below) that you downloaded while you were trying it out. There's nothing to lose!
Last chance to apply before membership dues increase
As we expand and improve our services, community network, included materials and alumni success stories, our dues increase for future members. Increases never affect current members - you'll keep the rate when you applied.There's no cost to apply. If you apply today and then decide to join, dues are $25/week (covers everything - no fees per training call, per project, etc.). If affordability is the only reason you wouldn't apply, there's another way to join! Over 20% of members participate at no cost, though this usually has a far longer wait. See the application for details.
100% remote since 2016
At the top of our released game list you'll see many names in red. These are some of our most involved and experienced members. Check out those links to browse what they've done. We've set up Character Sheets for many of them to help better tell their story.
The most detailed game credits anywhere
When you show a friend, family member, or recruiter a game, the first thing they ask is, "what did you do on it?"Part of the launch work that we handle for members is we go through each game's history to write the most specific credits anyone's ever seen. We don't dump names into a pile like "programmers" or "artists." We separately list out for every contributor who made which model, built which level, coded which feature, and composed which song.To see what we mean browse the 195 games we released since 2015. Keep scrolling (many times!) to view the rest.
Member Support Team
We bring together qualified, friendly people to help you on your quest.
Chris is the founder of Brave Lighthouse LLC and the HomeTeam GameDev community. His experience includes technical game design on console games for EA, prototyping at Will Wright's R&D company, engine design with a start-up, developing a top-selling mobile game, and a web game played by more than 7 million people. His public reach includes interviewing over 200 developers in the game industry, earning a YouTube Silver Play Button from his coding demonstrations, being the first outside writer for several episodes of Extra Credits, and 370,000 students went through his online courses. Outside of running this company, Chris is IndieCade's alumni lead, volunteers with high schools, chaired the board for the LA chapter of IGDA (the world's largest non-profit membership organization for people making games), and taught two classes of Rapid Prototyping for Games at Northeastern University in 2023. He's a 4-time Game Developer's Conference speaker, two of those years presenting the processes he developed for HomeTeam. He cofounded Carnegie Mellon's game development club in 2004, and founded Georgia Tech's in 2010.
H is a professional software engineer and is the founder of Renegade Applications, LLC. He started making games in 2012, publishing games for the iOS App Store and itch.io, including four with HomeTeam. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, a Masters degree in Engineering Management, another in National Security and Strategic Studies, and is pursuing a post-baccalaureate in Applied Computer Science.
Kelly Mark is the founder of her own indie studio, tinyzigzag, where she creates experiences for both serious medical use and imaginative worlds for entertainment. She joined forces with HomeTeam to recruit game makers who are at a stage where they're feeling stuck on challenges that HomeTeam helps people solve. Kelly deeply cares about helping people advance in their own journey, and as a benefit to the rest of the community, people in the group enjoy having new friends and collaborators jumping into the remote team projects year-round. She's a genuine advocate for the the HomeTeam approach, excited to be connecting even more developers so that we can all develop better together.
Christer has been a freelance game developer since 1993. He has shipped dozens of games, created the 1 Game A Month movement (#1GAM), and has published three books. Christer is our Expert Teammate at HomeTeam, helping members learn by overcoming challenges in community projects, contributing example demonstrations, and providing a second professional's perspective.
Alex MN is a professional writer and narrative designer with a diverse background in games journalism, art and education. She's an active writer with the Beyond Skyrim modding community and strongly believes in the power of collaboration. As a graduate of The Narrative Department and a credentialed teacher, Alex is excited to help others develop their game writing and narrative skills, especially when it comes to environmental storytelling in level design.
Chase is a freelance game composer and speaker with 9 years of industry experience. He's composed for nearly 20 games, including Jurassic Park VR, I Can’t Escape Darkness, Cubic Climber, Super Happy Fun Block, Aground, and Potions Please. Chase received AA's in both Audio Engineering as well as Music Theory and Composition, in addition to a BM in Media Composition. He grew up in Chicago and currently resides in Los Angeles, collecting physical retro games as a hobby. Chase co-hosts the Game Audio Hour podcast.
Victoria is a technical artist with a widereaching background in games, film, and mixed reality. Her past work has ranged from indie games to large scale productions including both the cozy multiplayer game Palia and the television series Obi-Wan Kenobi. Additionally, she has previously developed curriculum for multiple Unreal Engine university courses. Victoria especially loves helping others with blueprints and optimization. She’s available for assistance with general game development in Unreal as well as in-engine tool development.
Kartik has a degree in Computational Media from Georgia Tech, and is the founder/CEO of Finite Reflection Studios. Throughout his college and professional career he has worked on over 20 games and has spent the past 5 years refining his approach to UI design and implementation. He has given talks at various conferences regarding UI design and hopes to continue sharing and refining his knowledge base. He lives in Atlanta and has two cats named Zuko and Azula.
Karen has been making games and teaching game development for nearly 20 years. Her projects have ranged from AAA blockbusters for entertainment (Age of Mythology, Halo Wars) to tiny game demos showing math in action (Pythagorean Paparazzi). Millions have played her game levels and she has taught hundreds of in-person game development classes. She studied Architecture at Texas A&M University, but was quickly lured away into games. Her favorite level design tip: cultivate curiosity - notice something new in your environment every day.
Tyler is a game developer and 3D modeler for games. He lives in central Illinois with his wife and 4 kiddos. Since joining HomeTeam in 2019, he has contributed to more than a dozen games, been a Game Changer for 13 quarters, led three Unity projects, and also led our first Unreal 5 game, RoboHunters. Tyler’s focus is on 3D modeling and art asset production. He is available to assist with any part of the 3D pipeline, including modeling, rigging, animating, UV mapping, baking, texturing, and finally integration back into Unity, Godot, or Unreal. Tyler has experience with Blender, ZBrush, Substance Painter, and Substance Designer, in addition to general Unreal 5 development, and can help get you familiarized with the software, techniques, and process.
Liz is an Emmy award-winning designer who has been working in the design industry for 13 years, ten of which have been in the field of UX design. She has worked as the UX lead on games for Turner Sports, Cartoon Network, the NBA and FanDuel. In addition to her day job, Liz is the co-founder of Laserblast Studios, working as a game designer and pixel artist on the indie game Thin Ice. She lives in Atlanta with her pets, husband and many plants.
Kyle is a mainframe systems programmer by day, but began programming by making games as a hobbyist in the 90s. He's practiced a variety of coding environments, but these days is focused on Godot—an open source, beginner friendly, yet powerful alternative to engines like Unity or Unreal. In HomeTeam Kyle helps members learn to solve problems in Godot. (Godot is a recent addition to HomeTeam, but we still also have projects in Unity C# and browser JS!)
Randy Tan began as a consistent collaborator in HomeTeam for years, contributing to 30 HomeTeam projects. He now officially helps provide added support to fill in on projects. Professionally he's also had a key role in developing business training simulations, including ones used by PepsiCo and Nestlé, and commercial game development experience on branded promotional games (for a pet food company) and a game for the Central Bank of Malaysia's museum. As his day job, Randy Tan serves as the CTO of Gameka, where's he working on app, game, and full stack web development, organizing lines of communication, automating routine tasks, and steering the business away from risks in chasing hype or fads. He's proud to have taken part in numerous game jams over the years.
Jonas is a freelance software engineer with a master's degree in computer science. He is the lead programmer of Subnautica, a speaker at various conferences including GDC, and also runs a workshop on game development best practices. Jonas specializes in performance optimization, maintainability, refactoring, and code reviews.
Jeremy began making games in 2014 using PyGame, which led to a career change into programming. He's developed systems for the community to simplify new member onboarding, chat moderation, and various backend automation. Highly involved with the community since it began, Jeremy has pitched and led over half a dozen released team games made in either HTML5/JS or Unity/C#.
Rob has spent 12 years in Career Services, primarily in the tech and gaming industries. 11 of those were at Full Sail University working with students, alumni and industry partners. He found a passion helping people understand the importance of good professional demeanor, helping them hone their networking and communication skills. Rob has a special arrangement with HomeTeam to meet with advanced members about career development.
In 2005 Jake went full-time indie and formed Grey Alien Games. 13 years later he has more than ten games under his belt including Shadowhand and Regency Solitaire for PC/Mac. He has experience with every stage of the development process from design and implementation to testing and localisation. Jake meets with advanced members to set and review goals toward making commercial games as an indie developer.
How "The Spotter Effect" Helps You and Every Game You're On...
...even if you personally don't wind up using office hours or support calls very often. Some members use them the maximum amount, others not very often, but they still improve faster and the games come out better because they have access to that help to turn to - if they did suddenly need it.Think about what a spotter does when people lift in a gym. Even if that was never your scene, it simply means that you can push yourself to lift more because you're not in danger of harming yourself if you misgauge what you can do.It's possible to lift without a second person ready to help, but only if someone is safely staying far away from pushing against their current limit. The reason why a spotter is so important is that it's what allows people to take on more weight or do reps to challenge themselves more, every time, than they'd be safe attempting without one.While you're not going to crush your chest by overestimating what you can contribute to a game, it's a real but different kind of harm to worry we're going to crush our morale by falling short of what we told a teammate we'd do, or starting a problem and getting far into it before we start to feel stuck and hopeless, or fearful to touch anything because we don't want to be responsible for messing something up that other people care about.Those are common causes of stress for most people making games. But while we released nearly 200 games in 8 years, involving hundreds of collaborators - most at a beginner to intermediate skill level - we haven't had these issues. If someone finds themselves beginning to experience trouble, there's friendly, capable help to turn to.If you're used to working carefully under your limit, you'll find you grow faster if you know you can't get into trouble.Like a gym spotter, our support system empowers you to take on more challenging game development tasks at the limit of your ability, with confidence that nothing bad is going to happen.Members who use support calls find them useful. If something breaks, maybe because someone didn't use a call but should have, we help get the game back on track, showing you how we do it. In either situation, no one will make anyone else feel bad about it. This kind of thing is what we're all here to do. It's the heart of why HomeTeam exists.Even if you decide you don't personally need or want to use the support calls, you'll do better work, because there's no longer any danger of getting in over your head. This will also be true for all of your teammates and leads. The net effect on how each game comes out, relative to the experience level of team members, can really add up over time.Many members use calls. We often encourage it, and we enjoy it. But even calls you don't schedule will help, too.
But Training Calls Aren't Only for Getting Out of Trouble
Training calls aren't just to help get you out of a bind - though they're also good for that! - they're a normal part of the process for how learning works in HomeTeam. The training we do is project-based, working through real challenges on original team projects.Trainers don't just fix your problem. We guide you through how we diagnose and troubleshoot, answering all your questions, so you're better equipped for the future.Our lead trainer, Chris, meets about troubleshooting code or design, project leadership, as well as non-technical challenges common for game developers (motivation, consistency, learning new skills, early career strategy, etc.).Members can also meet with our support trainers - specialists in fields including level design, audio, game art, UX, Unity optimization, Godot, Unreal, JS, and more - up to every other week for help related to HomeTeam projects.Although vocational training is not our sole purpose, some members have found that experience with our process helped their career prospects by improving their experience, portfolio, and soft skills. Members looking to someday make games commercially can meet with Jake or Rob to discuss next steps after leading projects in HomeTeam.
Bonus: Included Materials
A library of our learning materials are included with membership in HomeTeam (no added cost):
Always free! Used by 350,000 students: Our intro to game programming video course - 2 hours, rated 4.5 on Udemy
$100 sold separately, used by 10,000 students: Our second game coding video course - 5 hours, rated 4.9 on Udemy
$80 sold separately, used by 1,000 students: NEW Complete Every Project You Start: Be Your Own Producer - 4 hour course on how we release games on time, includes business development tips useful for outside commercial projects
$41 sold separately, used by over 4,000 people: 3 audiobooks (Self-Command, Self-Doubt, & Self-Calm), with ebooks, about staying on task, trying new skills, and being reasonable with ourselves, 14.5 hours runtime, 98% 5 star ratings
$59 sold separately: Hands-On Intro to Game Programming digital textbook: 550 -page full color PDF with example code for 6 starter retro games, owned by hundreds of thousands of students
$35 sold separately: Videogame Developer's Strategy Guide: 440-page PDF with 50+ articles in 9 categories, includes sections assigned in college game design courses
$47 sold separately: From Tutorials to Original Games: 30-page exercise PDF booklet on process for identifying tasks, breaking down large games into actionable steps, and abstract coding basics
$20 sold separately: Young Videogame Developer's Journal: 50-page PDF of lessons learned from 40+ freeware games
$25 sold separately: HomeTeam Playbook: 52-page PDF about our community best practices and core philosophy
$80 sold separately ($40 each): After completing the first month on boarding - full videos from 2 online industry speaker conferences: EnjoyGameDev's 8 talks and GameDevBiz's 6 talks (including Amir Rao of Supergiant)
Available only to members: Internal FAQ: 48-page Twine of answers to questions common for new game developers
Available only to members: Practical Game Design 2.0 (recently updated!): Game design tips by a long-time member Gabriel Cornish on principles, concepts and terms he's found useful in his career as a senior game designer
Available only to members: Leveling Up a 1st, 2nd, 3rd Pitch: 18-page PDF by the HomeTeam founder on common differences and key factors to consider when choosing which game ideas to pitch and lead a team to develop next
Available only to members: Two short booklets prepared by former project leads: one about being new to coding in a shared codebase (by member Jeremy Jackson), another about leading your first remote team project (by H Trayford)
Available only to members: NEW Improve with Every Project: A Guide to Becoming a Better Game Dev Leader - 40-page PDF by members (written by Michael Monty, edited by Patrick Moffett) with tips for new leads, based on original research done with around 30 people who each led multiple released games developed in HomeTeam
Join industry interview podcast Zoom for Q&A, 160,000 downloads: Speakers Zoom in monthly, followed by a member hang out (optional to attend). Audio is released later free for our podcast. Members also access all 150 past visit videos
Bonus: Game Industry Zoom Career Chat Monthly
Members have access to videos of all past industry visitors. Below is a partial list.Attending the monthly zoom is optional, but enables members to get their related career questions answered live. We usually hang out chatting more off the record (not recorded) for an hour after their career discussion.A few months later we share the audio as the HomeTeam GameDev Podcast. We've been doing this consistently since 2015, with over 160,000 downloads (as of Nov 2023). It's another way we raise awareness of the group to bring you new teammates.
HomeTeam is and isn't like
We make free games to keep pressures low, we're all here to practice.
The desire to make games we want to make is our central motivation.
We welcome creative risk taking and new learning.
We fit around your busy schedule. Many members fit in only a few hours weekly.
Projects span 2-6 months, managing our time to avoid any crunch-like sprints.
We encourage long-term, sustainable pacing, to build bigger games without burnout.
Projects start as prototypes someone could try solo, but would take longer to get a worse result if done alone.
Your work stays yours - you're free to use it for future endeavors. It doesn't become HomeTeam's.
As a lead you retain creative control. If someone has different ideas we help them lead their game.
You'll finish better games, sooner, with less risk of exhaustion than doing it all yourself.
With our teammates and advisors you can make more advanced projects for your experience level.
Develop your leadership and teamwork skills, in a way that can't be honed or demonstrated solo.
It's motivating to see someone else improved the project since you last worked on it.
We train leads in long-term planning to avoid crunch for themselves or their teammates.
Membership includes, optionally, detailed 1-on-1 help from our experienced advisors.
With our supportive community and included expert consultations, you don't have to do it alone.
We emphasize practical skills, as applied to showable portfolio projects.
Participation yields multiple released games, as well as experience to speak to in interviews.
An entire year of membership is a fraction of the cost for one season of a typical bootcamp.
Membership dues are one-week-at-time, with no long-term commitment, you're free to exit any time.
Though our methods improve career skills, we aim to help you learn to make your own games, not someone else's.
Many college alumni say a capstone or team lab was the highlight. That's the experience we focus on.
Creativity and risk-taking are encouraged. We prioritize expression and rapid personal growth.
You'll be able to meet on zoom with experienced advisors to help you learn in an applied context.
We foster a community where mistakes are ok, expected as part of learning and creative risk taking.
Our aim is long-term skill development, not the most impressive game to show off what we can do already.
There are no assignments. All learning in HomeTeam is hands-on, applied, and project-based.
We don't do grading or credentialing. Your experience, portfolio, and credits are your result.
Some schools own student-made work. Here, your work stays yours, you can freely reuse it later.
Any member can contribute in any role. We don't divide people by field, or limit who can do what.
By having no physical campus we keep costs low, without a loss to quality of advisors or learning.
Dues include all our materials, there are no extra charges for textbooks or required resources.
Our flexible, remote format fits in your life, whether you choose to join for 2 months, or 7 years.
Our advisors offer industry insights, with specific guidance around how to do their skill domain.
Regular calls are available at no extra cost, so our advisors can get to know you and your goals.
Advisors offer hands-on help, including screensharing to talk out issues you encounter on games.
Calls are optional. Even members who don't use them benefit from their leads and teammates doing so.
Advisors are paid from membership dues - no added cost per call - we don't ask them to volunteer.
Members do have access to our self-paced video courses to fill in gaps for a common foundation.
Our included courses are top quality. The free one has 350,000 students, paid ones are top-rated bestsellers.
Our video courses set you up for independence, transitioning you from tutorials to real projects.
Original team projects offer more robust, reusable, general learning than copying tutorial steps.
Explore your ideas and approaches confidently, knowing help is available if you ever end up stuck.
We emphasize practical learning through team-based projects that always get released on time.
In HomeTeam, as in a studio, you'll be alongside more experienced project leads to learn from.
Real-world team challenges provide interview-worthy experiences in a way unlike doing it all alone.
Industry is notorious for bad crediting. We credit each contribution, in detail, per person.
Members make games we want to make, we do not care if there's a market case for it to exist.
You don't have to spend years of ladder-climbing to be a lead. If you can prototype, you can lead.
You can freely switch projects and roles to maximize your personal growth and creative exploration.
Games never end up canceled with nothing to show. Every game we start ends up released.
All contributed work ends up in the game and shareable in your portfolio. We don't do NDAs.
We aren't a highly exclusive or selective opportunity. We welcome anyone who is willing to learn.
We host industry guests monthly to discuss their careers. Members can join that zoom to ask questions.
We have optional hangouts monthly for members interested in chatting outside of game making.
No travel is required, which is accommodating for more personality types and lifestyles.
All speaker visits later get shared free on our podcast. We don't keep a paid vault like GDC.
Making games together forms deeper bonds than just catching up about separate unrelated projects.
Our main communication is text-based and asynchronous, on Slack or Discord.
We have people in many time zones and schedules. You don't have to be available at a certain time.
Weekly update videos catch you up on recent progress and opportunities that are coming up next.
Our members are more serious about their commitment than a free forum of strangers.
Many members participate on multiple games, getting to know each other better from various roles.
Advisors and team leads ensure games get made. Most forums are guesswork of equally confused peers.
How HomeTeam Works
We aim for our members to develop fluency and depth, which does not happen when a person constantly starts over simply to try out something new or different. We have no objection to or complaint about any common platforms, but there are practical benefits to building up depth of community experience, understanding through iteration, past code examples, and having our most experienced members able to concretely answer questions newer members have. The two development platforms we use are flexible enough, powerful enough, fit production well at our scale, and are used in industry, including for commercial games, so if someone isn't getting results with them, switching to another platform is not going to help, because the problem isn't the platform.
There are many free online sites to browse for teaming up. In practice, projects started in those kinds of forums rarely materialize. What we do is different. We've released over 140 games, on time, launching every one we started. We do actively bring you new collaborators, and that's important to how this all works—however that's only a part of HomeTeam's method. We prepare and directly support you, your teammates, and leads.
It's not much different than paying for music lessons or a game development class, except that here, in addition to expert assistance, membership also includes all of our learning materials, year-round context for practice, and greater flexibility to get exactly what you want out of it.
HomeTeam membership fully includes, among other benefits:
- Weekly access to specialized industry experts
- Commercial learning materials to provide a practical skill base
- Year-round recruitment to grow your team network
- Centralized hosting for game cross-promotion
- Professionally prepared weekly project tracking
- Meeting with a trainer for personalized support
Our model reflects over 15 years of iteration on this format to sustainably learn and practice game development by doing it year-round in an adaptive, self-guided way. We run a lean business, keeping overhead minimal while paying our support team fairly and passing on the difference to keep our fees as low as they are.
No, HomeTeam is not like a program leading to a terminal project or graduation date, after which membership would expire. HomeTeam is self-paced, grows with your skill, evolves according to your interests, and can be done for a few months, or even years. Because every project is different, and your involvement and roles can flexibly adapt to match your changing focus, experience level, and time availability, there is not a specific time at which you will have "completed" the program. There is no long-term commitment, so you can discontinue membership renewal at any time. We've had some members stick with the program continuously for years, including some who have been with us since the Apollo group started in 2015, by now having worked on over 20 released games. Plenty of other members joined for several months, added a few released team games to their portfolios during that time, then used that as an stronger foundation to accelerate diving back into building on their own. We recommend planning to be a member for at least a few months, because it is unusual to see substantial results from only a few weeks of participation, since there is a ramp-up period, Hometeam is not designed to be a full-time commitment, and projects are on schedules ranging between 1-6 months (however it is not necessary to be with a project start-to-finish in order to be meaningfully involved with its development and fully credited for your contributions).
No, everyone joins individually. Helping people find supportive collaborators is part of what we do. After you're a member you can jump right into any of the current team projects as soon as you're ready.
Our original community, now internally known as our "Apollo" group, has been operating continuously since HomeTeam began in Oct 2015. To keep our group personal in size, we cap the total number of community members. A new member can join Apollo only when another exits. To help serve more new developers, in late 2019 we started a second chapter.
That second group, which we refer to as "Outpost," includes a handful of established members from our original Apollo group, however it is mostly composed of other recent applicants. The new chapter is nearly identical, except for having a different set of teammates and current projects.
In January 2021, we started a third community, named "Lighthouse." It works the same, except Lighthouse uses Discord as the main forum instead of Slack.
Each group has separate members and projects, but otherwise operates similarly, including the same materials and training services. Apollo is our oldest, largest, and most established group. Outpost is around 70%-85% the size as Apollo at the time of this writing, with Lighthouse at around 40%-60% the size of Apollo.
Projects are led by members. To ensure each lead is prepared to fill in gaps and fit the whole thing together, we require any lead to have enough skill fluency to make a whole small game (even if unoriginal, simple, and not polished) mostly on their own. It is helpful to contribute to at least a couple of projects over a few weeks, before pitching, to get a sense of how it works from that side. The lead does some additional work, which Chris can help with in office hours: the initial prototype, pitch presentation, milestone schedule, and weekly team updates. HomeTeam does not have any requirements such as needing to be a member for a certain number of months before being able to pitch. If a member is less experienced in game development but would like to pitch, very simple retro-inspired remakes are welcome, and can usually be finished in only a few months or less. If the community already has 7 team projects active, we'll usually hold off on starting another until one of those nears release, but members can still get help with preparing to do so before it's actually pitched.
There are a few reasons why this is not a good way to determine group selection. At any given time, each community has multiple ongoing projects to choose between, however the specific projects and the phase they're in changes throughout the year. It would be a mistake to apply to a group to work on a specific game being made in it, since by the time the application is accepted, and a new member gains sufficient skill and collaborative fluency to get involved on it, there may not be much time left before that game's release date. Neither Apollo, Outpost, or Lighthouse has a particular bias or strength towards, say, puzzle or action, educational or narrative, 2D or 3D—both groups do a mix of many genres and styles. If there is a kind of game any member wants to build for practice that is not currently being made in the group they are in, they can prepare to pitch and lead that game with the help of weekly support calls. Here is an overview of projects from a single specific moment in time, which were being worked on in Apollo and Outpost back in May 2020 (Lighthouse didn't yet exist, and now all of these titles are released, so a different set of projects are going on instead):
No. Our oldest HomeTeam community, Apollo, used to hold live online weekly meetings, but as of early 2022 it now operates without group video zoom calls.
To be equally accessible to members in any time zone and schedule, we no longer hold live meetings in any of our communities. Instead, project leads record weekly update videos offline, which we combine together and post as a single update video.
When HomeTeam has guest speakers call in to record a podcast interview, a member of any community group has the option to join in as part of the online audience for Q&A. That happens noon-1pm Pacific time, once a month on average. That is not mandatory to attend, and it's recorded so anyone unable to make it live can simply catch the video after.
If you've already started membership you can cancel the PayPal subscription at any time, and we'll then take care of account disconnection from our side. If it's more convenient, you can message HomeTeam's founder Chris and he will then assist fully with cancellation, including closing out the subscription. We do not have a minimum term or any additional new account setup fee, membership is in your control one week at a time. If you apply, and then receive an invite, you are under no obligation to begin, you can either decline in a reply email or simply ignore the invitation.
Nothing. Our learning materials are fully included, and help sessions are covered by membership dues. Everything HomeTeam members use to develop games and coordinate can be done entirely using the free versions of those tools and platforms. We are not like one of those programs that show one price, but with a true cost that adds up to more. Membership dues are exactly what you see.
If you've been paying for premade assets, buying online courses, and hiring freelancers to see your games come together, you might even find that joining HomeTeam could actually save you money in the long run as an approach to building the games you feel like making, compared to how much often winds up spent when doing it in other approaches.
There are several ways that members of HomeTeam use office hours: direct help working on a current HomeTeam project, assistance with understanding and using HomeTeam's main platforms (HTML5 browser JS and Unity C#), preparing a prototype and milestone schedule to lead a team, goals tracking, and discussion of portfolio or job search.
Chris has spent the past 15 years focused mainly on helping new game developers get their first long-term, team project experience. He's specifically been teaching game production, game programming, and game design independently full-time since 2013. The introductory approach he teaches is adapted from his textbook, Hands-On Intro to Game Programming, which teaches through modernized versions of the first classic games he built to begin learning programming in 1997. He's put in over 2,500 hours training game developers 1-on-1 remotely. Chris has been establishing and leading game development communities with structures similar to HomeTeam since 2004, first at Carnegie Mellon, then in 2010 at Georgia Tech, and finally with HomeTeam as an independent business in 2015. He has prepared and overseen hundreds of released games made in variations of the process used by this group.
His industry credentials includes technical game design and level design on console games for Electronic Arts (EA), developing multiple top-ranked indie iPhone games, programming prototypes for Will Wright's R&D company, co-developing a game engine at the Silicon Valley start-up that became PopCap San Francisco, and being the lead developer on freeware games played by millions of people. His video courses have been used by 300,000 people, his programming demonstrations seen by 8 million viewers, and he's released more than 100 freeware games. His classroom instruction background includes teaching custom curriculum for programming, design, and game development courses at Georgia Tech, in addition to a year of instructing children ages 4-10 at Sycamore School in Malibu on coding concepts, using an original approach and custom educational software he created.
Chris has personally interviewed more than 200 game developers for podcast episodes and YouTube videos representing a wide range of backgrounds, disciplines, game types, and generations, asking each for their advice to people starting out today. He does this work partly to gather and triangulate examples to better serve his clients, to expand and refresh his industry connections, and keep up to date on what's happening in modern game development. He's been a Game Developers Conference (GDC) speaker 4 times, co-organized IndieCade's workshops for 5 years (including for the first IndieCade Europe), and currently chairs the board for Independent Game Developers Association (IGDA) Los Angeles.
Members can set an appointment with a support trainer (game audio trainer, level design trainer, UI trainer, or any of our other speciality trainers) up to every other week.
Office hours are appointments with the founder Chris, and can be used up to every other week. Office hours with Chris and support trainer meetings have no relation to the other's scheduling, meaning members can book an hour support meeting to receive 1-on-1 help every week, by alternating between a support trainer on even weeks, and office hours with Chris on odd weeks. While leading or preparing to lead a HomeTeam project, members are able to meet with Chris up to every week for office hours.
No. Chris’s rates are significantly higher for outside 1-on-1s or commercial project consultation and he is not currently accepting new clients for non-HomeTeam assistance. If you want to work with Chris on learning game development, applying to HomeTeam GameDev is the only way to do it.
It is optional whether any individual member makes use of the support services included. However, members all share the benefits and costs of our included support, even members who choose not to make use of them personally any given week. We see collaborative game development like a team sport, in that when coaches work with anyone through their related challenges that helps everyone on the team. Every team lead gets expert planning assistance, teammates can never stay stuck for long because they have quality support to turn to, and no one has to worry about anyone new (including, potentially, yourself) accidentally ruining anything, since professionals are available to course correct or patiently assist, if needed. This is also why a member can chip in just a random piece to any HomeTeam project they feel like trying, and then move on, with total confidence the game will release, on time, with the member properly credited for their contribution.
All members of HomeTeam GameDev need to be 18 years of age or older.
We have people join and succeed in HomeTeam who are from a broad range of backgrounds, including people who have never made a game before or are new to programming (not all members write code or need to, though we do have members who program now who never did prior to HomeTeam). We are a practice and training group, not a commercial game studio, so we're more interested in an applicant's eagerness to learn and participate, than about impressive credentials, demonstrated talent, how much of a head start someone had, or shipped experience.
If you have some informal experience doing any related aspect of game development, such as digital art, audio, programming (including for non-game applications), level design or otherwise, that experience can help you get a stronger, quicker start. Another added benefit of having tried a few things on your own is that you'll come in with a clearer sense of what making games involves. We've had people who joined that were entirely new to game development, who wound up leading remote team projects within a few months of joining, entirely by using our included learning materials. We've also had people join who had years of prior experience, such as through jams, solo projects, or related classes, who pitched and led a project within a few weeks of joining.
People who have prior experience often thrive in and continue growing in our community, too! We have a number of current and past members in each group that before they ever joined HomeTeam had already made solo jams for years, finished earning a formal degree related to game development, sold games they made independently (whether on itch, mobile, or Steam), including several already working game industry day jobs or earning a living doing contract work for indie games. We provide a year-round consistent collaborative environment where everyone can focus on trying out new skills outside of their professional focus, stay agile by exercising a more recreational lower pressure way they enjoyed their craft starting out (each choosing our own tasks, doing it our own way, and free of any NDA restrictions), or a creative outlet where we can make something simply because we want to. Within HomeTeam's structure we can make a game just because want it to exist, to explore a novel idea, or to enjoy solving the challenges involved, even when there may be no clear business to build around it, or desire to pour years into supporting a project the way a commercial approach often requires. This question comes up often enough that we made a short video to address it, which includes additional information and examples: Can I have too much experience for HomeTeam?
Nearly everyone in HomeTeam has a day job, does contract work, and/or is raising a family. Everything we do is remote, online, flexible, and almost all asynchronous, so the time of day when you're available will not be an issue.
If you can set aside even a few hours every week, or perhaps an evening or two weekly, for game development, HomeTeam can help you get the most out of that time. By connecting what you can do into larger projects, you'll release better games, quicker and more frequently, than could be done by building games without teams and expert support. Working this way improves morale, maximizes learning, and most importantly, means you can never again hit the wall of frustration that comes from worrying about the limited time being wasted, since you'll always have help to turn to for getting back on track.
We are actively against crunch culture. We back this up through a combination of systems to encourage sustainable involvement (rather than last minute cramming), realistic schedules, trainer pacing, as well as routine self-care reminders and tips from our Morale Specialist, Alanna Linayre. Our members learn how to build games in a way that can be kept up sustainably, year-round, for a lifetime. Amount of participation is up to each individual member, including for some only once or twice per month, but averages for most to between 1-3 evenings each week. Every HomeTeam project takes between 1-6 months, so there is ample time to adjust project schedules and plans to realistically fit varying availability. We never have situations like a game jam of people doing 24 or 48 hour sprints.
It's up to you, one task at a time. No one tells members which team, role, or task they can or should do in HomeTeam. Each member has total freedom to switch between projects, participate on multiple games in different ways, or take a break between contributions without needing to inform or make a case to anyone. Project leads pitch their game prototypes and milestone schedules to the group, then members freely self-assign or invent tasks. This may sound like nothing would ever get done, but we've released around 140 games this way in the past ~6 years, thanks to our unique system, expert support, and collaborative culture. Everyone in HomeTeam is enthusiastic about learning the craft of game development, so members are motivated to improve the games, help each other out, and release on time.
Every project in HomeTeam is flexible to changing interests and availability of members. If we suddenly have more people who want to make music, project leads look for ways to put that additional music to good use, such as maybe a different track per level, a unique song for the boss, pause and menu music, etc. The same applies to programmers, artists, level designers, writers, and other disciplines. We adapt projects to create opportunities matching member interests. If someone wants to do something that doesn't fit easily within a current project being developed in the group, we personally support that member through office hours on prototyping and pitching a new team project designed to create a real outlet for the exact challenge they're eager to practice.
You can apply today! New members join throughout the year. We time admissions on many factors, including when projects are starting, complementary skills of other people being invited, and so on. There's no cost to apply, and you are under no obligation to move forward when later receiving notification of acceptance.
HomeTeam is an extremely introvert-friendly community. For a majority of our members, HomeTeam is their first team experience, so we're set up in a way that makes the transition smooth, and everyone in the group remembers what that's like. The short answer is you can participate fully on the projects and never be on camera, speak on microphone, or talk to anyone. It's possible to coordinate entirely within Slack text chat, Trello, and GitHub. One exception to this is if you want to pitch and lead a project, you will, at a minimum, need to be comfortable recording a weekly update video showcasing the progress of the project you are leading.
For many members pitching is their first "public speaking" outside of school, but we make it easy, and it's only to an internal audience of supportive peers. We've seen leads achieve major improvements in their speaking confidence simply from covering their weekly updates. Office hours and support trainer calls are also typically handled through voice communication, though if you would prefer to keep conversation during the hour to typed text chat that can usually be arranged.
Once each month we host a guest speaker visit, and for an hour afterwards, hang out together informally on zoom. The guest speaker visit is recorded for members unable or uninterested in attending. Participating in the group video hangout is also optional.
Lastly, we intentionally keep each group "human scale"—meaning we don't let either any of our communities grow beyond a size or speed for which it would be impossible to get to know and recognize other people in the group. HomeTeam is not something where you interact anonymously with an giant pool of thousands of strangers. Some light coordination in Slack or Discord chat is encouraged as a valuable part of practicing remote collaboration.
We never rank or compare members or projects. People of very different experience levels, time availability, and goals work together in HomeTeam. Members move freely between projects based on their shifting interests, so anyone is potentially anyone else's teammate. We all cooperate and help each other. Our most experienced members are quite happy to assist our newer ones with their questions, and that informal process of passing on skills is another stage in the learning process for those developers, too.
HomeTeam doesn't generally use those formats. Although we have introductory learning materials, they're optional and self-paced. To help people new to game development, membership includes access to self-paced video courses, ebooks, code examples, and other related materials, but this is not what HomeTeam is mainly about. Our materials ensure everyone can have a strong enough foundation to get directly involved, hands-on in real projects. All learning and practice after the basics happens through building original, team projects, with access to 1-on-1 help anytime a member encounters questions about how to do something on a HomeTeam game. Some members join with no prior experience, and use our learning materials to rapidly catch up enough to participate on team projects. Other members who had relevant experience coming in mostly skip those resources, jumping straight into collaboration. We've seen many members succeed regardless of their starting background.
Members make games with one another to learn and contribute on projects grander in scale, and in less time each, than any individual member could accomplish alone at their present experience level or availability to develop games. Because everything made in HomeTeam is freeware, people can build together virtually any game they feel like building, without regard for its marketability or profit potential. Projects are pitched and led by members, never being made "for" HomeTeam. In HomeTeam, members are never working for someone else, or told what to do. Each member has complete freedom to do what they want, primarily for their own benefit or enrichment, and our flexible structure adaptively aligns these individual efforts to combine into something greater to release. When members encounter issues or questions during development, they schedule 1-on-1 assistance with office hours or a trainer to learn how to overcome the part they’re unsure about, within a real, original context, where there's no cheat sheet or pre-written tutorial to copy from. The difference in learning and creative fulfillment is so substantial that some of our current members and alumni even continue to be involved on HomeTeam projects on the side while they work a day job in the game industry, since our approach is so focused on personal growth, new skill development, and genuine enjoyment of making the games we feel like making.
When you're a member, each week you choose which roles you want to do, when, and on which projects. You're never limited to doing only what you already have a credentialed background in, proven ability doing, or were promoted by someone else to do. Everyone is welcome to try any skills they want to hone, add to their portfolio, or simply for fun. If there's a kind of game you'd like to be making that isn't currently being created in the group, in HomeTeam you can get personalized support on prototyping it, planning out a realistic schedule, connecting to capable collaborators, and meeting with a qualified trainer up to an hour each week until the game's release. All HomeTeam projects, including any you may pitch and lead, exist solely for member practice. Many of the same peers who are leading projects you chip in on will also be around and contributing on the games you decide to lead.
If you have a game idea you'd like to make in HomeTeam, we'll help you develop the practical skills to do the core work of putting that prototype together, and a schedule to keep it on track, but all leads are directly involved in building, hands-on, with the project they're driving. People with little or no prior game development experience have successfully used office hours with Chris to build their original prototypes, form usable schedules, and prepare pitch presentations, leading to original team games released on time just a few months later. In HomeTeam it never happens that someone declares what they want done, and then sit back telling other people what to do, or looking on while everyone else makes it a reality. Projects have leaders, not bosses, and all members are simply peers. HomeTeam leads accept responsibility for seeing a specific project through to release, bearing a greater share of the project's work and commitment to seeing it through, in exchange having more influence on shaping its overall direction.
Jobs and Industry
A number of our alumni have gone into game careers in various ways: first game development contract work, landing software developer roles in and out of games, moving from non-game asset creation work into game asset creation gigs, moving from QA into non-QA team positions, leading an educational game team, and more. However, HomeTeam is not intended to serve as job training. Those outcomes are not typical or guaranteed, and any member who achieved those results used HomeTeam as only one part of their plan, supplementing their preparations with additional outside practice, study, or networking.
HomeTeam focuses on people learning how to make games, like how guitar lessons focus on learning to play guitar—not how to sell out stage shows. Knowing how to make games, having real stories to draw upon and discuss in interviews of remote team experience making released games on multi-month schedules, and a portfolio showcasing the roles and tasks you did on released projects can, clearly, be useful for certain career pathways.
We have a couple of career guidance experts available to consult with accomplished members, who can assist with questions on navigating entry steps into studio (Rob Coble) or indie career (Jake Birkett) paths, however a game development career is not something every member chooses to pursue. For many of our members, making whatever games they feel like making is simply something they enjoy doing in our community, without aiming to make a job change.
No, every game we make in HomeTeam is freeware. Our community exists primarily for practice, so it's important for us to keep pressures low and let people use their first models, first code, first sounds, and so on. Making every HomeTeam game freeware also helps members who contributed to each share their portfolio projects with friends, family, colleagues, or recruiters, without limitations. The games all being freeware has an added benefit of helping prevent our practice environment or support trainer expertise from being exploited.
If HomeTeam was a sports league, we wouldn't leave anyone sitting on the bench. Our top priority is member development, not on what will make the most impressive or sellable game in the near-term. To maximize practice opportunities and personal growth, we aim to include every model, sound, feature, and other contribution, the only exception being if the person who made it specifically wishes to, for their own reasons, exclude or replace it with something else. This approach is optimized for member learning, and being as accessible as possible to beginners, but it is fundamentally incompatible with a commercial studio approach that would filter for who gets to work on any given project, who is allowed to do which kinds of contributions, being required to make changes based on executive direction, which contributions make the final cut, and so on.
Note that if you and your fellow collaborators decide to come to an agreement outside of HomeTeam to develop a commercial sequel, or more polished sellable version of something that started in HomeTeam, we openly encourage that, so long as, again, the original freeware edition can remain online. HomeTeam would request absolutely no share in earnings in that situation, and members would be completely free (requiring no special request or authorization) to fully reuse or build directly on their own individual asset and code contributions in such a case. In this way, HomeTeam projects can be utilized as a form of low-budget proof of concept exploration of ideas members may someday choose to pursue further, however we emphasize that this outcome is not typical, and disencourage leads from assuming that as a probable outcome from leading a collaborative HomeTeam project.
Besides portfolio improvement, and the possibility of a project being taken further as a commercial followup outside of HomeTeam, another way we've seen some members gain commercially from HomeTeam involvement is when alumni are looking to hire a freelancer for certain types of tasks, they have in some cases turned to contracting with current members, based on positive experiences working with those people in our practice teams. This outcome is also rare, depends heavily on a member's quality of contributions, networking within the group, and often reflects other outside skill development.
Members each keep the rights to their own contributions. Here's an easy example which happened in our group: if you make original music for HomeTeam games, you can do nearly anything else you want with that music, including selling it on iTunes. Another member is a skilled game artist, who gives away assets he made for HomeTeam projects as a part of his paid Patreon tiers. The only exception to this is, as stated in our membership agreement, that members should not do things that would cause a HomeTeam freeware game to be taken down, because that would leave a gap in contributor portfolios. If someone sold an exclusive license to use music they originally created for one of HomeTeam's community projects, that would be an issue, because for that song to be used exclusively it would either need to be removed from the released HomeTeam game, or otherwise that game would have to be taken offline. The same applies to your art, your code, and so on. Members are welcome to reuse, build on, or share their contributions elsewhere. Note, however, that this only applies to your contributions, and not to contributions made by other members. Each member's work remains their own, and is not automatically entered into public domain, signed into HomeTeam's ownership, property of the project lead or otherwise.
$0. Beyond membership dues to keep operations and support going, we spend no money on each project. We don't hire outside contractors or buy premade assets. We don't raise funding for projects or give up any creative control to outside parties. Our group and games exist solely for our members to make what they want, how they want, when they want, any way they feel like doing it. Since HomeTeam exists to work together and practice, any situation where someone might buy a premade model, license a song, or hire a contractor if they were working on an otherwise solo project, within our community we instead create openings for other members to gain practical experience from learning by making a custom asset to fill in the need. We adapt the design as we go to match the quantity and style of what we are able to produce at our scale. This also ensures that all collaborators on every project are operating under the same shared membership agreement, understanding that each project is built as freeware for practice, and greatly reduces logistical overhead to starting or switching projects.
These are quotes cited from external sources, and do not represent any endorsement from these people. Many of the people quoted passed away long ago.
What these quotes speak to is that fundamentally the format of most education is less than ideal for the people learning, but for a very long time it wasn't clear what better alternatives were possible.Our method is lower cost than a traditional institutions, but do not mistake that as a sign of it being lesser quality. What we do is more effective, efficient, and personalized in ways that existing institutions are unable to match, and it's an approach that fits better for a broader range of life stages and goals. These quotes reflect that we didn't start by asking how to make something lower cost than traditional education. We built something new from the ground up in the way that's best for people learning. Our costs wind up so much lower because we have no physical infrastructure, our methods are built around your ability to figure out most things on your own online without sitting in lectures, using a computer where trial and error is safe, in a project-based field so you can tellee how well it came out just by looking at your end result.
"In the newer universities in England and America there is a regrettable tendency to insist upon attendance at innumerable lectures... When I was an undergraduate, my feeling, and that of most of my friends, was that lectures were a pure waste of time. No doubt we exaggerated, but not much. The real reason for lectures is that they are obvious work, and therefore businessmen are willing to pay for them. If university teachers adopted the best methods, businessmen would think them idle, and insist upon cutting down the staff. He should see the pupils individually when they have done their papers. About once a week or once a fortnight, he should see such as care to come in the evening, and have desultory conversation about matters more or less connected with their work. All this is not very different from the practice at the older universities. If a pupil chooses to set himself a paper, different from that of the teacher but equally difficult, he shall be at liberty to do so."
Education and the Good Life
"In a word, learning is decontextualized. We break ideas down into tiny pieces that bear no relation to the whole. We give students a brick of information, followed by another brick, followed by another brick, until they are graduated, at which point we assume they have a house. What they have is a pile of bricks, and they don't have it for long… More and more teachers are coming to recognize that excellence is most likely to result from well functioning teams, in which resources are shared, skills and knowledge are exchanged, and each participant is encouraged and helped to do their best."
Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise and Other Bribes
"...Expense of getting an education would in a great measure vanish... Those conveniences which the student requires at Cambridge or elsewhere cost him or somebody else ten times as great a sacrifice of life... Those things for which the most money is demanded are never the things which the student most wants. Tuition, for instance, is an important item in the term bill, while for the far more valuable education which he gets by associating with the most cultivated of his contemporaries no charge is made..."
"...Says one, 'you do not mean that the students should go to work with their hands instead of their heads?' I do not mean that exactly, but I mean something which he might think a good deal like that... Which would have advanced the most at the end of a month--the boy who had made his own jackknife from the ore which he had dug and smelted, reading as much as would be necessary for this--or the boy who had attended the lectures on metallurgy at the Institute in the meanwhile, and had received a Rodgers' penknife from his father? Which would be most likely to cut his fingers?"
-Henry David Thoreau
"Periodic practice arrests forgetting, strengthens retrieval routes, and is essential for hanging onto the knowledge you want to gain. When you space out practice at a task and get a little rusty between sessions, or you interleave the practice of two or more subjects, retrieval is harder and feels less productive, but the effort produces longer lasting learning and enables more versatile application of it in later settings."
-Henry L. Roediger III and Mark A. McDaniel
Cognitive scientists, from Make It Stick, written with Peter Brown
"To overcome the anxieties and depressions of contemporary life, individuals must become independent of the social environment to the degree that they no longer respond exclusively in terms of its rewards or punishments. To achieve such autonomy, a person has to learn to provide rewards to herself. She has to develop the ability to find enjoyment and purpose regardless of external circumstances… The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile… When we act freely, for the sake of the action rather than for ulterior motives, we learn to become more than what we were."
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
"Not amusement nor distraction, but the desire to effect some cherished purpose is the strongest motive that can move the learner."
John William Adamson
In his introduction for The Educational Writings of John Locke
"Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is. The only function of a school is to make self-education easier; failing that, it does nothing."
Science Past, Science Future, 1975