Gamer Camp Seeks the Next Generation of Game Developers

26 August 2009

Would-be game makers in the West Midlands are being offered the tantalising chance to develop and produce games for Apple’s phenomenally popular iPhone, as part of a four-week training course by Birmingham City University and Screen WM supported through Advantage West Midlands.

Gamer Camp, a Birmingham-based training course for aspiring games artists and programmers from both within and outside the ever-expanding industry, runs for five days a week between 16 November and 11 December 2009.

“Successful applicants will be given one week of professional training in either game programming or interface designing, followed by three weeks of mentoring in which they’ll work with other participants to produce their very own game for the iPhone,” says Rebecca Ashby, Commercial Project Manager at Birmingham City University’s Screen Media Lab.

iPhone games produced as a result of Gamer Camp will then be free for anyone in the world to download via the massively-popular iPhone store (publication subject to approval by Apple). Teams of budding game-makers also get to present their game to a panel of industry experts– including a representative from 4iP (a fund for interactive media projects with potential public good), at the culmination of the four weeks.

“Guy Wilday, who has many years experience in the games industry as a former Studio Director at SEGA Racing Studio and Head of Studio at Codemasters– responsible for the influential Colin McRae Rally series, will lead the training process,” adds Rebecca.“This will include separate workshops for coders and games artists, along with three evening masterclasses also open to people outside the course.”

Areas covered by the course include game design principles for mobile devices, an introduction to and advanced tuition in the iPhone software development kit, and cool tricks and optimisation techniques.

To be eligible for Gamer Camp, applicants must be based within the West Midlands region, and fit either the following programmer or games artist criteria.

Programming applicants should have, and be able to demonstrate:

C programming skills

Experience working with Windows, Mac OS or Linux API’s

Must be able to present a game demo or design document for a game that demonstrates interest in sector

Games artists will cover interface design, focusing on user-experience, and should have, and be able to demonstrate:

An ability to draw (e.g. character design, environment design, concept boards)

2D design skills

Animation skills

Must be able to present a game demo, folio, design document or application that demonstrates interest in sector

Places on this course are limited, so to apply, please:

Make a booking enquiry on the Gamer Camp course page found on www.ntibirmingham.co.uk/training

An application form will then be sent to you. Complete and return this form along with a CV and visual examples of previous work to rebecca.ashby@bcu.ac.uk by the deadline of 11September 2009

Shortlisted applicants will then be interviewed on one of the following dates; Tuesday 22, Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 September 2009.

ENDS

For further information please contact Birmingham City University Media Relations Office on 0121 331 6738, email press@bcu.ac.uk or out of hours on 07967 271 532.

Notes to Editors:

1.GamerCamp is managed by Birmingham City University’s Screen Media Lab, with training taking place at NTI Birmingham and the Birmingham School of Visual Communication.

2.For online use; a direct link to the Gamer Camp training course page can be found here: http://www.ntibirmingham.co.uk/training/course.aspx?id=80

3.Participants will be encouraged to produce games with the 4iP agenda in mind; i.e. with potential public good.

4.A ZIP file of assets can be downloaded from the following address: http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/859167/GamerCamp%20Images.zip

5.Screen WM is the regional agency which supports, promotes and develops a sustainable and thriving screen media sector in the West Midlands. Screen WM will:

promote the West Midlands region by raising the profile of its diverse locations

promote the West Midlands by highlighting the abundance of talent within the region’s screen media sector

support businesses through skills development and financial assistance

develop talent, from new entrants to professional freelancers and employees, within the West Midlands through skills development

support the region’s moving image heritage and develop access to it

develop and inspire audiences across a broad range of screen media

promote and develop the cultural diversity of the region through the moving image

Screen WM is supported by the National Lottery through the UK Film Council, the European Regional Development Fund and Advantage West Midlands.

6.Advantage West Midlands is one of nine Regional Development Agencies in England whose role is to transform the English regions through sustainable economic development. For more information visit: www.advantagewm.co.uk.


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