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VMASC Game Design Camps Begin This Month

There are still spaces available for the popular Game Development Summer Camps run by Old Dominion University's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC).

The popularity of the camps in previous years led to the addition of a third camp for aspiring game designers, addressing more complex issues of digital content design. That camp runs from Monday, June 20, to Friday, June 24, at the VMASC offices at 1030 University Blvd. in Suffolk.

Lead instructor Yuzhong Shen, an assistant professor of modeling, simulation and visualization engineering at ODU, said the Game Development Summer Camps are popular, and an important showcase for Old Dominion's modeling and simulation expertise.

"The 13- to 16-year old students have fun at the camps. They're designing and playing games that are fun and challenge their minds. What they might not realize is they're also being exposed to the type of research work a modeling and simulation engineer might tackle," Shen said. "It's a way to engage the minds of young computer enthusiasts in the world of modeling and simulation."

July 11-15 is the camp aimed at introductory game development. The intermediate game development camp is scheduled for August 1-5.

Each day of the Game Development Summer Camp starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Each day consists of interactive lectures, hands-on game development exercises and a game play session at the end of day.

Digital Content Design for Game Development Camp will focus on the design and creation of digital assets for games, such as 3D models and images. The software used in this camp include Google SketchUp and Autodesk Maya. Google SketchUp is a powerful but yet easy-to-use 3D modeling package, while Autodesk Maya is the industry standard for creating 3D models, animations, and special effects used in movies and games.

Introductory Game Development Camp will focus on 2D game development using Game Maker. Campers will learn 2D game development using a visual interface (drag and drop) and do some very minor programming. Important concepts such as level design, events, actions, collision detection, and sound effects will be covered. Campers will develop several games, such as shooting games and puzzle games.

Intermediate Game Development Camp will focus on 3D game development using Microsoft Kodu, which is a visual programming language for creating games for personal computers and Xbox 360 game consoles. Important concepts such as terrain editor, game logic, collision detection, and path builder will be covered. Campers will have more flexibility to design their own games. Game development for game consoles and smartphones will also be covered.

Although no prior programming experience is required, participants should be able to use a computer for common operations, such as running a program, using different menus of the program and locating a file in a file folder.

For information or to register for any of the Game Development Summer Camps, contact Tracey Vann, camp manager and administrative support specialist at VMASC, at 757-638-7019, or tvann@odu.edu.


This article was posted on: June 9, 2011

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