"In terms of the work you produce in a month, it's been amazing,” says Tommy Boxwell, Gamer Camp: Nano graduate whose team built and published an iPhone game in under a month on the last course in July 2011. “It's probably the best month you could invest in; certainly in terms of what you get out of it.”
Gamer Camp: Nano is a high-level, month-long course running 9 to 5, Monday to Friday within a simulated studio environment at Birmingham City University’s NTI Birmingham ( www.ntibirmingham.co.uk).
The course has been co-designed with partners such as Blitz Games Studios, Codemasters and FreeStyleGames to give budding games artists and programmers the development experience needed to start a career in the games industry.
“Having a degree alone isn’t enough these days, a person wanting to break into the industry needs to show that they have something that most university courses just can’t provide, and that something is experience,” says Gamer Camp Studio Manager Iain Harrison (Artist, Star Wars Battlefront 3, GoldenEye 007: Reloaded).
Places on the popular course are limited and subject to interview. Those interested can apply on a first come first served basis at www.GamerCamp.co.uk.
The month-long course costs £950 to attend, with trainees given one week of intensive training in games art or programming by Gamer Camp tutors and industry veterans, Iain Harrison and Alex Darby (DJ Hero series), in addition to guest speakers from industry.
Tuition is followed by a three-week development period in which trainees must work in teams to build a game to a brief, using real development hardware, processes and tools.
Games produced onGamer Camp: Nano are then published on Apple’s App Store (pending approval of submission). Aliens vs Humans, created on July 2011’s Gamer Camp: Nano, was downloaded over 10,000 times in its first two weeks online, and can be downloaded from the App Store for free.
Nano is one of three courses built on the Gamer Camp principles, the others being Gamer Camp: Pro – a year-long Masters degree culminating in a PS3® game, and Gamer Camp: Mini – a 3 month PgCert based on the first part of the Pro course.
“Gamer Camp: Nano provides an opportunity to work in a development team of other like-minded individuals, and work on a small-scale project that will actually be published,” says Iain.
“This is pure gold for anyone with real, serious intentions of working within the games industry.”