The second annual VizKids Camp was held in the Department of Visualization’s Viz Lab facilities the week of July 11-15, 2011. With logistical support from the Department of Educational Psychology’s Youth Adventure Program and financial support from the College of Architecture’s Dean’s Advisory Board and the Texas Film Commission the Department of Visualization hosted 21 aspiring Vizzers.
During the week long session students ranging in age from 11-15 were grouped into seven teams of three to each design and develop a video game using the authoring tool GameSalad Creator. Incoming first-year MS-Visualization student Tyler Rosas helped the students develop game art by using photographic blue-screen techniques to capture images of themselves for the game as well as create and manipulate digital pictures in Adobe Photoshop. Second-year MS-Visualization student Kendall Litaker guided the students through the technical aspects of game development. Sophomore BS-Visualization student Emily Oswald assisted all the campers as they made their way from brilliant ideas on Monday to game completion on Friday.
Each team was recognized during closing ceremonies for YAP on Friday afternoon. The campers’ families came from Laredo, Rowlett, Stephenville, Katy, League City, Austin, San Antonio, and El Paso to see what had been done. All seven games are posted for public access at gamesalad.com/arcade. To find them search the Newest Games tab for “vizkids”.
Registration for next summer’s VizKids Camp will begin in late Fall or early in 2012. We don’t yet know if we’ll be building an alternative Wii controller, designing graphics for the web using generative art techniques, or spoofing the latest stories from DreamWorks or Pixar, but with campers as clever and creative as these anything is possible.