The lack of female game developers has been getting a lot of press lately. As co-founder of Game Girl Workshop I’ve been working since 2010 to tear down the barriers that still keep girls from making their own games.
Our workshops provide a game development crash course to inspire girls to have fun with technology. The girls get introduced to the fundamentals of game design, audio, graphic and coding programs. Then, they build their own computer game based on their own imagination and experiences.
Ultimately, the ambition of Game Girl Workshop is for more women to be included and advance within the games and technology industry, thus helping to achieve a balance in the workforce and to create a multitude of game narratives!
Game Girl Workshop at the 20th International Symposium on Electronic Art in Dubai
This year, Game Girl Workshop was selected by a panel of internationally renowned artists and curators, to run a game development workshop as part of the prestigious 10-day-long ISEA 2014 conference in Dubai.
Nine girls between the ages of 11 and 14 participated. They produced their games in two teams with each member of the team taking on the role of graphic artist, audio designer or “coder”.
The girls got an overview of the graphic/audio asset pipeline and tools and the techniques used to create art/audio assets. All the art and audio assets, were created from scratch and implemented using Unity and Playmaker.
They also got hands-on with Unity after first receiving a thorough walkthrough of the Unity user interface, terminology, game objects, materials, geometry and physics. Plus, they got taught how to «code» their game through super fun physical play!
Game Girl Workshop isn’t only about the tools though, it’s also very much about creating a space where the girls can come up with their own ideas before transforming them into game mechanics, art and audio.
All in all, it was an extremely positive experience, and all the girls were very engaged and focused. It’s so much more fun to work on a game you’ve come up with yourself, and do what you like doing whether it’s graphics, audio or creating state machines!
Considering that they only had three days to work on their games, and they had no prior knowledge, the workshop results are really impressive. Below is a link to one of the games and a brief explanation of the game story.
Team Aluma Luna
The world is dark and gray and the player has to fight the Evil Grandmother to get all the colours back into the world! Time to play the wonderful “Twilight” game!
Instructions to play:
- If you are running a Chrome browser, right-click and select «Run This Plug-in»
On the start screen, click on “Play”
Use the LEFT/RIGHT arrows to navigate on the level
Tools used in the workshop
freesound.org (used for inspiration and to find sound effects)
More Game Girl Workshop adventures coming soon!
Game Girl Workshop is a team of female games industry professionals from the Danish games industry. As well as Dubai, we’ve held a number of game development workshops in Denmark and the West Bank, Palestinian Territories. You can follow us on our adventures on Twitter and Facebook and at gamegirlworkshop.org.