Video games are one of the defining entertainment mediums of our time, and are quickly evolving into new applications in education, work and science. From simple puzzle games played on smartphones to the elaborate and immersive 3D worlds played on consoles and PCs, playing games is a worldwide passion. In our hands-on 4-Week Game Design Camp, teens develop their own original game concepts into playable digital prototypes.
The New York Film Academy offers a hands-on and intensive game design summer camp held at our New York City campus. The 4-Week Game Design Camp introduces campers to the skill sets required to make a video game (game design, narrative design, art direction, sound design, and coding) and gives them an opportunity to develop an original game concept.
At NYFA’s 4-Week Game Design Camp, teens immerse themselves in the study and practice of game design, working with game design professionals to learn the craft while realizing their creative goals.
Teen Game Design Summer Camp: Overview
NYFA’s 4-Week Game Design Camp gives teens a hands-on introduction to designing and building digital games. Campers create a story concept, design and prototype core game mechanics, design and build original art assets, and program their own games in a cooperative “Game Jam” setting. The program uses simple, experimentation-friendly tools that require no previous experience.
Teen Game Design Summer Camp: Classes
Over the course of the camp’s four weeks, campers cover a wide range of topics in order to establish a strong foundation in the fundamentals of game design. Topics include:
- Game Design: Balancing the use of goals/objectives, rules, materials, and space to create a fun play experience for all participants.
- Narrative Design: Developing a set of environments, characters, and objects that add depth and texture to the game’s mechanics.
- Art Direction: Establishing an overarching aesthetic that conveys the narrative and creates the game’s visual identity.
- Sound Design: Building an aural texture that enhances the narrative and provides interaction feedback that supports the game mechanics.
- Coding: The foundation that makes all of the game’s elements possible in the digital world.
Each week, campers focus on a different stage of the game production process.
- Week One: Focuses on narrative design and game design to help students develop their game concepts. Campers learn to use nonlinear narrative techniques as well as traditional storytelling models to conceive a fictional world, and flesh out a fiction world, characters, and settings. Game design promotes experimentation with game rules and objectives through paper prototyping, and allows for playtesting and refinement before development takes place in the digital realm.
- Week Two: Delves into the details of art direction and sound design to create assets that will be used in campers’ digital game. Art direction begins with the creation of concept art inspired by the game’s narrative design, and follows the customization of art assets in one of several digital art programs. Sound design provides ambience, and enhances the game’s design by creating feedback for player actions. Sound effects and music are original compositions, which are created by campers with field-recording equipment and a variety of digital tools.
- Week Three: Focuses on building a game in the digital space, applying simple coding skills to translate their game’s mechanics from paper prototype to game engine, solve problems, and iterate the design until it works. Campers begin importing the art and sound assets and refine the look and feel of their gameplay.
- Week Four: Devoted to rounds of playtesting and refinement until the game is ready to launch. Campers use the principles of game design to strategize and implement a mini-marketing campaign to promote the publication of their game.
In addition to the guided workshops, campers explore games of all kinds: card, console, board, ball, story, strategy, cooperative, competitive, indoor, and outdoors.
Students leave the 4-Week Game Design Camp with a deeper understanding and appreciation of games of all types while also knowing how to excel in the digital realm. They also learn systems thinking, a skill that will help them to excel in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Through designing games, students will stimulate their own creativity, artistic expression, and sense of play as game designers.
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Please note that curriculum, dates, and prices are open to change