ARTICLES | January 4th, 2008
Video Game Camp Uses UT3 to teach good game development

Today’s teens are the first generation born into a world completely oriented around technology. Their births were announced on a cell phone and their images growing up were sent to family on the Internet. They have social networking pages and build relationships by calling and texting friends.

So what’s the best way to teach technology, and more specifically, the emerging field of video game development, to teens? Campbell, CA based iD Tech Camps, America’s largest national youth summer computer camp, thinks it has the answer. Instruction is broken into manageable parts and classes promote hands-on learning in small groups of just 6 or 7 students-a big departure from a typical school classroom of 30. Topics at the camp focus on the interests of teens. And who wouldn’t want to make their own video game? The small peer group collaboration and emphasis on experimentation encourage exploration and creativity in the rapidly expanding field of video game development.

We provide an environment where instruction is personalized and fluid, said Pete Ingram-Cauchi, president and CEO of iD Tech Camps. Teens choose our computer camp because we have the cutting edge software and tools that are most relevant in the industry. Partnering with industry leaders like Epic Games is vital. They believe in our teaching philosophy. They understand that a key component to offering the best tech courses involves instruction of the industry’s leading game engine, Unreal Engine 3, as provided with the Unreal Tournament 3 game.

Midway, a leading interactive entertainment publisher and developer, and world-renowned developer Epic Games, Inc., recently announced that the highly anticipated and award-winning Unreal Tournament 3 game has shipped for PC. Building off of the massive success of Gears of War, the 2006 Game of the Year, Epic Games has brought the world’s premiere and multi-million unit selling first-person shooter back to the PC. Students at iD Tech Camps will get instruction on the Unreal Engine 3 tools that ship as part of the Unreal Tournament 3 PC version. This way they are getting training in a world-class professional game engine that has also been used in award-winning, million-selling, games including Gears of War, Mass Effect and BioShock.

We’ve partnered with iD Tech Camps because of their reputation for quality game development instruction for teens, said Mark Rein, vice president of Epic Games. Unreal Tournament 3 delivers unparalleled game quality that gamers have come to know and expect from Epic Games. We are reaching an audience of gaming enthusiasts who play the game as well as learn to design and mod with our deep set of tools.

iD Tech Camps and the iD Gaming Academy use the recently released Unreal Tournament 3 in their curriculum and during NVIDIA-hosted Gaming Tournaments. Students will be able to modify Unreal Tournament 3 by adding new levels, redesigning skins or replacing characters to customize game play through interactive modding tools. They can also create 3D video games and design 3D environments and levels complete with advanced special effects.

The couch potato characterization of video game players is being tossed out the window. Players no longer passively play; they build their own environments, characters and strategies. Educators and manufacturers are responding by providing the training, technology and tools that allow users to be more than just players.

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