Photo Gallery | RCCC students rev up game designs; you can play too!
SALISBURY - These days, just about anyone can play a video game – whether it’s virtual bowling or dancing or karaoke – but not everyone has the skill to actually design a game. This summer, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College embarked on its second year of Gaming Camps to help students imagine, plan, design, and create their very own computer game.
Building off of the success of last year’s week-long camp, the college created two additional week-long camps. These camps, Intro to Graphics and 3D Modeling and Intermediate Game Development, are scheduled the weeks of July 16-19 and 23-26, respectively, and the college is still accepting registrations.
With the gaming industry debating the future of consoles like PlayStation and Wii, computer gaming is becoming all that more important.
“Game development is being implemented in many different types of industries and professions. Simulation and design are already being used in Fortune 500 companies for education, training and management modules,” said Pepsi Boyer, M.S., instructor for the day camp and Web Technologies. “The expansion of game design development techniques within all industries will eventually be inevitable.”
Rowan-Cabarrus developed the Gaming Camps as an introduction for students to the world of computer programming.
“These budding developers often don't even realize they’re learning important transferrable skills and concepts they must eventually master to succeed in the competitive global IT workforce – things like object-oriented and event-driven programming, agile development, graphic interface design, idea sharing, peer review, revisioning, presentation, and, above all, confidence,” said Rob Muhlstein of IBM who assisted with the camp. “Students leave having completed a game in a week that would have taken seasoned developers from earlier generations a year to develop.”
There were 25 students ages 12-21 in the Introduction to Game Development camp.
“They really taught us a lot,” said one 13-year-old camper. “I built this entire game by myself, except for the background. It’s cool.”
While all of the participants were avid gamers, none of them had created a game themselves. The games developed covered a range of interests and types from action game to sports games to adventure games.
“This program shows that education and fun really can go together,” said President Carol S. Spalding, Ed.D. “I’m excited about the new ways Rowan-Cabarrus is reaching the community. From creating camps like this to developing more online courses, we are trying new and different ways to improve the access and availability of quality education. These gaming camps are further evidence of the college’s commitment to STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – education.”
The camp consisted of four full days of training from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., with a special evening showcase for students to reveal their games to family and friends. The camp was held at the college’s North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) building in Kannapolis.
“We have some great offerings here at Rowan-Cabarrus that people just don’t know about,” said Dr. Scott Nason, program chair of the Rowan-Cabarrus Web Technologies program. “The Gaming Camps show students and parents that we offer innovative courses and programs that they might not think about otherwise.”
“Not surprisingly, the students took to the program quite quickly,” said Boyer.
The two remaining Gaming Camps are still accepting registrations:
Intro to Graphics and 3D Modeling – July 16-19
In the graphics and 3D modeling camp, students will gain the knowledge needed to develop images for the game, web, photography, film, editing, graphic arts and advertising design industries. Major industry graphics and 3D modeling software programs such as Photoshop, Gimp and 3D Coats will be introduced.
Intermediate Game Development – July 23-26
In this camp, students will begin to build more complex games with more enhanced sounds, music, levels and gameplay. More complex game rules and more sophisticated games will continue to satisfy the campers need to be intrigued and to create. Student will receive a professional copy of the software used in the development of their game(s).
In addition to the Gaming Camps, Rowan-Cabarrus also offers high school students tuition free courses for college credit through the Career and College Promise Program, where students can become industry-recognized Certified Internet Webmasters and are introduced to the gaming industry and game development. For more information on these offerings, please contact Dr. Scott Nason, Program Chair, Web Technologies, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rccc.edu. The college is currently registering students for fall semester – classes being August 15.