Young Game Designers Week
Last week saw the start of the second Young Games Designers Summer School. Last year’s course was a great success and I was really pleased to be invited back to lead a second week with a new group of students.
This is a week-long course at South Hill Park’s UK Digital Media Centre, where ten teenagers (14-18 years) learn Unity and make a game in a week, as well as picking up some game design theory and techniques along the way.
As well as leading the course, I live-blogged their progress through the week on a Unity forum thread here. The students had little to no prior knowledge of Unity or programming, and the course took them from the very beginnings of Unity’s concepts and workflow through to a finished game of their own design by the end of the week.
Day one was spent with all the students following along together, all making the same simple game. The project we built on the first day is designed to encompass all of Unity’s core building-blocks and concepts such as Components, Prefabs, Physics, Audio, and a small introduction to scripting including Input, forces, public inspector variables and dragged references. This gives the students a well-rounded basic understanding of Unity’s workflow and some inspiration for what they can do with it.
From day two onward, the students get on with their own game design, each learning some theory and the necessary skills to build the design they’ve chosen.
With such a short deadline, the students also get a crash course in some of the realities of game development such as testing, game balancing, bug fixing and crunch time!
All the students did an amazing job of pulling their games together for the end of the week, and I’m really pleased with the quality and variety of games we ended up with.
Check out the games in this video montage: