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Developer teaches youth how to make games through after-school program on P.E.I.

Scott Humes of Rabbit Hole Studios in Charlottetown recently won the Fan Favourite award for the game The Lost Gardens in New Jersey on Oct. 28.  TERRENCE MCEACHERN/THE GUARDIAN
Scott Humes is the founder of Rabbit Hole Studios and also runs Making Video Games With Scott. -File

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Scott Humes makes games for a living, but sometimes the industry isn’t as lucrative as one would expect.

He needed something to do in his downtime to generate some cashflow. So, he started teaching others to make games.

“I’ll be honest with you it was my wife’s idea,” Humes said.

Making Video Games with Scott is an afterschool program for those interested in video game development and production.

You have to do what you have to do while working on video games in order to be sustainable, he said.

“I was a welder before I got into this industry. I could go back to that, but I really don’t want to,” Humes said. “Honestly, money started getting a little tight for us (when) my contract with IT Garage was up.”

Humes moved to Charlottetown from Ontario with his wife and started his gaming company, Rabbit Hole Studios, in 2014 through an internship with the IT Garage, a video game and software development incubator that hires interns to develop their own product.

In October 2017 at the Gameacon Crystal Awards, the studio’s game The Lost Gardens won the Fan Favorite award.

“I’m not opposed to anyone who wants to learn. This is a thing you can get into. If I can do it, I firmly believe anyone can and it is fun.”
–Scott Humes

Award-winning games don’t come along often, so Humes hopes the afterschool program takes off. He set up a Facebook page and posted some flyers round town for the new venture.

“It wasn’t long till I started having people ask about it. I got a couple students and I started teaching them how to make games.”

He uses the same hardware as he does at Rabbit Hole Studios and popular development software like Unity.

“I started an online version (since) students come to Rabbit Hole Studios and use my workspace after hours. It is in Charlottetown, so it is very limited to who will physically take their children there.”

Humes hopes the online option helps people from rural areas get involved.

“There is interest out in those areas, there just isn’t a lot of support for stuff like this.”

Humes teaches students to make various styles of game and tries to help them capitalize on their interests.

“I try to teach them how to build a game they want to build. I teach them a little about how Unity works, a little about code, what it does and what it is. It is very much geared toward someone who would like to make games, but don’t know what is involved.”

He said people in different age groups use the program.

“My youngest is eight and my oldest is 18. I never had a student yet where I thought they were too young — I don’t think anyone could be too old if they want to learn,” Humes said. “I’m not opposed to anyone who wants to learn. This is a thing you can get into. If I can do it, I firmly believe anyone can and it is fun.”

Making Video Games with Scott offers one-on-one, group sessions and weekly sessions. Prices range from $75 to $140.

Contact Humes at scott@rabbitholestudios.ca, or at 902-978-0807

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