Video game immersion panel discusses game development, careers

Claire Allbright

A panel of guest speakers discussed current developments and careers in the video game industry Thursday.

The panel, hosted by UT’s Electronic Gamers Development Society, consisted of five industry professionals and game makers who spoke about the evolution of gaming software, app development, sound and music in games and game making as a career.

Autumn Taylor, the group’s event officer and public relations senior, said she coordinated the event to bring a game conference environment to students on campus.

“I hope that [students] get excited about the game industry and about making games, and maybe they will come back to [our group] and make a game,” Taylor said. “We are really just hoping that people are inspired and get the opportunity to network with our speakers.”

John Nagle, chief technical officer of virtual reality development studio Phaser Lock Interactive, discussed the past, present and future of video game development.

“It’s an exciting time right now because there are no rules,” Nagle said during his presentation regarding new visual reality technology. “That’s the fun thing about it for us: We are creating content that no one has ever done before.”

Fellow panel member Patrick Curry, of middleware developer Unity, gave students advice for making themselves marketable and pursuing video game development as a career.

“I would hope that students would realize that video game development is a career that is accessible,” Curry said. 

Curry said he thinks video games are a creative outlet for developers to impact society.

“I don’t think, as a medium, video games have an impact themselves so much as it’s a place for people to express themselves in ways that are either productive or nonproductive,” Curry said.

Thomas Matlock, Plan II and American studies senior and audience member, said his interest in video games development came after his freshman year when he began to play video games again.

“I had been in liberal arts not really knowing what I was doing,” Matlock said. “It just kind of struck me that all of my different interests are combined [in video game development] and thought I should look into this more seriously. I also had been reading that a lot of my favorite designers who I really respected had liberal arts backgrounds.”