Game Design Camp - Grades 6-12

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Game Design Camp - Grades 6-12


Learn real-world game design principles and techniques such as prototyping, level design, collision detection, animation, and debugging.

More than just a Gamer -- A summer camp that will graduate your student from being a passive user to an engaged thinker and possible entrepreneur!
Make, play, and learn about games and game development over the course of a week. Students get hands-on experience with professional video game-making tools and techniques. At the end of the week we welcome parents and family members to an open house where we highlight skills and showcase the student-led projects.

The camp is for middle and high school students in grades 6-12 in Fall 2017. Tuition is $495 for the week. There is a $150 deposit to hold a seat with the remaining balance to be paid before camp starts.

Game Design Camp 2017
June 19-23 (FULL)
July 17-21 (FULL)

Scroll down for details about the camp.


Game Design Camp

Do you have a passion for games and want to create your own? 
Our Game Design camp is a perfect next step to improve programming and design skills while studying what you enjoy. Learn the theory and techniques needed for creating 2D and 3D games, as well as other forms of non-linear art from a professional instructor who is an independent game developer with industry experience.

Each morning begins with a presentation and discussion exposing students to critical aspects of game development, followed by hands on learning and coding. During the afternoon students are given the opportunity to focus on select topics working alone or with peers along with the support of our instructors. Students are encouraged to both explore new areas of the game development process and focus on the topics and skills they enjoy the most.

At Start Code, our small instructor to student ratio provides customized learning. Unlike other camps, our instructors have degrees in Computer Science, Design, and STEAM-focused fields.

Dates Grades Session By April 30th After April 30th Snack Lunch T-shirt
June 19-23 *FULL* 6-12 5 days $455 $495 Yes No Yes
July 17-21 *FULL* 6-12 5 days $455 $495 Yes No Yes

Here are some things to know about the camp

Camps instruction runs from 9:00-3:30 every day with drop off beginning at 8:30am.  Pick up is between 3:30-5:00pm which will be after-care time (no additional fee) including options for multiplayer gaming.

Camp is open to middle and high school students who will be in 6th-12th grade in the fall of 2017.

Location: All camps take place on the campus of Academe of the Oaks high school located near downtown Decatur just off College Avenue.  (Click for map) 
School address:
146 New Street, Decatur, GA 30030

Students are encouraged to bring their own Windows laptops. 
IMPORTANT: The main tool used in this camp, GameMaker, runs on Windows ONLY.  Laptops are available for rent for an additional fee of $50/week.

A morning snack is provided. Students bring their own lunch.

On Friday parents and family are invited to a showcase highlighting student skills and projects.

There is a $150 deposit per camp. In case of early cancellation, $50 is non-refundable. In case of cancellation within 14 days of camp, the entire $150 deposit is non-refundable.

Our camps regularly fill up so register now to hold a seat.


Learn More about the topics covered

2D Game Design

The roots of video games, there is a lot to learn about the fundamentals of 2D game design. We introduce GameMaker:Studio as an easily accessible game creation software with project-based material. As we go over new new mechanics of games like platformers, tower defense, and space shooters, students learn how they function in code and add more to their game projects.

Game Maker Studio

GameMaker: Studio is a game creation tool known for both its ease of use, and professional results. With both a simple drag-and-drop interface and professional-level scripting, GM:S provides an environment for students not just to build great games according to their skill level, but also to keep challenging themselves to advance those skills build even better games. Examples of professional games made with Game Maker include Undertale, Crashlands, Spelunky, Downwell, Nidhogg, and Risk of Rain.

Non-linear Storytelling

Twine is an interactive storytelling tool that offers a low technical barrier of entry to allow students jump right in and start making stories exactly how they envision them. Students get an opportunity to flex their creative writing skills and are challenged to imagine how their stories may deviate into different paths. Students learn how to script different choices the player might take, and think about how those choices can influence their story. Twine’s ease of use allows students to quickly test and improve on their stories.

3D Game Design

3D game development is normally very time consuming, but we still take the time to touch on each of its facets. We examine the process of creating 3D graphics, from the basics of meshes and textures to advanced methods like digital sculpting. We also learn about the unique challenges of making 3D games and how we can apply what we already have learned about game design. Students can create simple 3D models and make textures for them using Blender.

Industry and Polish

Today it's easier than ever to not only make a game, but also get your game out for others to play and even turn a profit. We discuss avenues for publishing video games and apps to a digital storefront, the best methods of polishing a game for your audience, and marketing and promotion. Students take the time to make sure their game projects are the best product they can be, and come up with a solid plan on how to either develop their idea further, how to distribute it when it’s done, or how to construct a comprehensive pitch for a new one.