(Article submitted by Emil Kjaehr, Public Relations Manager of the Game Development Camp)
When high school students from all over Denmark gather at Aalborg University to develop computer games it is likely to be the world's largest arrangement of its kind. About 50 young men and women are using a part of their summer vacation to learn more about idea development, animation, programming, and not least, cooperation - from Pablo Vasquez and others.
Lots of "game jams" are held all over the world, where people interested in computer games meet and work together in teams, but each summer when The Danish Youth Association of Science (UNF) comes to Aalborg University, it's an event of an entirely different calibre.
- When you look at the international game jams, there's no real teaching and no targeted thinking about what the participants should get out of the event. It's completely different when we hold Game Development Camp because young people come here also to receive instruction in computer game work as well as critique from business professionals, explains Emil Kjaehr of UNF's organizing group.
Game Development Camp has long been booked to capacity, where about 50 high school students from all over the country share their common interest for computer games in a creative and educational way for an entire week.Â Many of the participants have already some experience in developing computer games on their own, but at Game Development Camp, Aalborg University's students and teachers provide a focused introduction to 2D graphics, 3D animation and various forms of computer game programming. One of the teachers is Pablo Vasquez from the Blender Institute's Apricot project. Vasquez is flying in from the Netherlands only to instruct the camp participants.
- We don't tell the participants what to do or how to do it. We make sure that they get a framework, themes for assignments and a range of exciting, professional inputs, all geared toward getting them to unfold on their own and to work together in the groups they are placed in. We also know from our camps in recent years that it makes for a great experience of solidarity and provides other positive experiences for the participants, explains Emil Kjaehr.
Game Development Camp 2008 is by all appearances the largest camp for computer game development in the world and the arrangement can also serve as a nesting box for future game developers. The games that are developed in the last week of July will be judged and commented on by teachers from Aalborg University and by professionals in the field from, among others, the Danish Hitman game giant IO Interactive. But in order to strengthen knowledge sharing and solidarity across the groups, there is no element of competition where a winner needs to be selected. During the camp, which runs from July 27th to August 2nd, the young participants also have the opportunity to meet game developers, who talk about their career choice and offer recommendations.Â After the actual camp, the games will be made available to all curious game freaks at www.game.unf.dk.
The event is sponsored by, among others, the Faculties of Engineering, Science and Medicine at Aalborg University.
Pablo Vazquez is a professional modeler/animator who has worked on the Plumiferos movie project in Argentina and on the Apricot Open Game ('Yo Frankie!') project at the Blender Institute in Amsterdam. Pablo has hosted severalÂ Blender workshops in Europe and is available for hire on aÂ freelance basis for training or modeling/animation work in Europe from September - November 2008. You can contact him at info[at]venomgfx.com.ar.
Pablo comments: "Since the Apricot project already ended and I'm finishing the last bits of the DVD, I thought of staying until the Blender ConferenceÂ here in Amsterdam, that gives me 2 extra months here with free time"
i would love to do that =O
That sounds pretty cool. Don't know enough about the complexities of the programming, etc., but it would be neat to learn.
@VenomGFX: Whatever happened to Plumiferos?
@Ali: He's not working on it right now
que raro pablito, de joda por todo el mundo...... que vida!!!!
The Force is strong on this Padawan.... :P
Good job Pablo !
Venomgfx you are a groso !! congrats Pablo
This cool.. an all inclusive project open to all. Go Pablo!
Very nice, I'd like to see more computer games made using Blender. I think the potential has not been explored thoroughly enough.
NathanKP - Inkweaver Review
I attended one of the few high schools that I know of that had a program similar to this - a class that ran year round called "multimedia," which was basically a game development, animation, and 3d game design course. We used Truespace! Happy to see more programs like this in the form of a camp.