1-Week Video Game Design Camp for Teens

Learn How to Create a Video Game at NYFA

In NYFA’s 1-Week Game Design Camp for teens, aspiring game designers get the perfect introduction to the craft of game development, studying an array of skills and design methodologies. During this hands-on camp at NYFA Los Angeles, students aged 14-17 learn the craft of writing and designing games, studying under the direction of our faculty of professional game developers. Over the course of one week, campers are exposed to the fundamentals of game design, prototyping, and playtesting — the foundation for designing original games from “big idea” to “finished product.” At the end of the week, campers have a playable game to take home and share with family and friends. No prior experience is required, though a sincere passion for games is highly encouraged.

Program Description

Camp Name: 1-Week Game Design Camp for Teens

In our 1-Week Game Design Camp at NYFA Los Angeles, students create a narrative design, crafting a set of game mechanics, building a physical “paper” prototype, and developing their game into a 2D, playable digital prototype. Students are expected to fully commit themselves to the completion of their game, including asset production, homework assignments, and a written set of instructions. Below is a sampling of topics campers may cover:

Play-Centric Design & Game Mechanics: On their first day, campers dive right into the development of an original game idea through play sessions where they will acquire the vocabulary and perspective of game analysis and modification. On day two, campers study the elements of play-centric design, and apply those methods to their own material. Finally, they will cover the essentials of game design, learning to understand and employ concepts like balance, simplicity, and incentives to make their games more fun for players.

Narrative Design & Art Direction: Day three is dedicated to helping campers combine their game’s mechanics with a compelling and consistent narrative design. They will use their narrative design to drive the art direction for their games, developing a unique look and feel that enhances the player experience, and supports the game’s mechanics.

Iterative Development, Playtesting & Refinement: On the fourth day of camp, students synthesize what they’ve learned by building a playable prototype of their game using arts and crafts materials. This tangible, easily-iterated format allows campers to begin rounds of playtesting and refinement that mirrors the rapid prototyping practices of professional studios.

Playable Demo & Launch: Campers wrap up the week by building their game into a finished, 2D digital prototype, also developing a promotional strategy as well as a pitch deck that represents their vision for full development of their games.

During the “Demo Night” event, creators will get to pitch their game to the assembled campers, family, and friends, who will then have the chance to play the demo. All students exit the one-week camp with a new understanding of how to design a great game.

To learn more about NYFA’s teen summer camps, see the NYFA Camp Brochure.


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