Wanna Run Your Own Game Studio? Insider Tips from an Expert

Jesse Schell of Schell Games gives Game Studio 101 lessons at SIEGE in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Georgia Game Developers Association invited award-winning game developer Jesse Schell, author of The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, as a keynote speaker to the Association’s 11th annual Southern Interactive Entertainment and Game Expo. Schell Games, whose I Expect You To Die is one of the most acclaimed VR games to be released, was founded by Jesse.

The skills needed to manage a company are not necessarily the ones needed to develop a successful game.

The video is over an hour. However, it's packed with really informative insights on the day-to-day realities of owning your own game studio. He starts at the very beginning of his journey, where he was a professional circus performer -- specifically, a juggler. After traveling with several different troupes, he then became a programmer -- shocker, right? Schell's first gig was as a software engineer for the phone company. It's how he paid for graduate school.

How Did Jesse Get Started in Gaming?

I got a position at Walt Disney Imagineering, where I started working in the Disney virtual reality studio, and I worked there from about '95 to 2002. After being there for about seven years, then I moved to Pittsburgh, where I did two things at once. One, I started teaching at Carnegie Mellon University, at the Entertainment Technology Center, where I still teach, and I also started a game studio called Schell Games. 

The rest of the presentation includes wonderful insider bits of knowledge, funny true stories, and reflections on what Jesse feels needs to happen for future game developers and the people who will run them. I realize the video is a bit long; however, by the end, you'll find yourself wanting to rewind it.

Don't believe me?

Well then be sure to tell me how long you watched and what you think could improve it in the comments below.


Supernatural beings conceived as the perfect, omnipotent and omniscient original rulers of the dark universe; worshiped as the personification of a force controlling some part of the cyber-world that renders the victim defense-less.

Published Dec. 13th 2017

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