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VMASC's Game Development Summer Camp Proves Popular Again

The wildly successful Game Development Summer Camp is ready to start another year at Old Dominion University's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC).

Led by VMASC-affiliated faculty, the camp has doubled in size this year, with a second session filling up rapidly to a capacity of 20 students. The two camps, for students ages 13-16, are scheduled to run July 26-30 and Aug. 9-13 at VMASC headquarters in Suffolk.

VMASC Executive Director John Sokolowski said the camps are an ideal union of VMASC's expertise and young people's interests - but that ODU benefits as well.

"It's great for these students to do something they really enjoy, and at the same time get exposed to the math and science skills needed to do something such as video game design," Sokolowski said. "And for ODU and VMASC, it's never too early to excite students about these fields of study. They could be the next generation of ODU students, and the next generation of modeling and simulation engineers."

The camp is led by Yuzhong Shen, an assistant professor in ODU's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology, and Hector Garcia, a senior project scientist with VMASC.

Each day of the weeklong Game Development Summer Camp consists of interactive lectures, hands-on game development exercises and a game-play session at the end of the day, during which participants can play the latest educational and simulation games on Xbox 360, Wii and PlayStation 3.

At the camp, the students learn how to make computer games in an easy and enjoyable way, and develop action games with Game Maker, a popular and intuitive game development tool. They also learn simple 3D modeling using Google SketchUp.

In addition, campers design games with such names as "Evil Clutches," "Galactic Mail" and "Lazarus." The camp also includes sessions in 3D modeling, as well as Xbox 360 and Zune HD game development.

This article was posted on: July 22, 2010

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