Game design remains one of our most popular areas of instruction here at Digital Media Academy. Helping it remain popular and fresh are our curriculum developers, who stay on top of breaking trends in game development.
Take virtual reality (VR). This is a technology that’s blowing gamers’ minds, as they see video games come to life in entirely new and unexpected ways.
And thanks to the work of Shane White, DMA Assistant Director of Curriculum & Instruction, it’s a technology you can explore this summer at DMA tech camp locations across the U.S. and Canada.
We wanted to get Shane’s take on VR, the Unity game engine and why it was important enough for DMA to develop a special curriculum for it:
DMA STAFF INTERVIEW: SHANE WHITE, ASST. DIRECTOR OF CURRICULUM
Please tell us why this curriculum was developed. Why Unity? What’s so special about it?
Developing games is one of the best ways to engage students’ creativity and critical thinking ability while teaching them essential skills like coding and the design process. Unity is a professional game development tool that hits the perfect balance of usability and depth of application. Students can learn it quickly and be making games in no time, but the software is powerful enough that they can dive deep into development, using the same techniques professionals use.
Which DMA class will feature the Unity curriculum?
This year DMA has a one-week Unity game design course focused around creating games that can be played on a computer or in virtual reality with the Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard.
We also have a DMA game design academy where students can stay an extra week to get more hands-on experience with Unity, creating a more advanced game that uses more programming skills and design techniques.
What will students actually do in this class?
Students will create 3D or 2D games that can be played on a PC or in virtual reality. By making use of the Unity editor and the C# programming language, they will create environments, levels and puzzles. In the Academy, students can use more advanced techniques to create a bigger 3D game, or learn to make games for mobile devices running Android or iOS.
What was your process for developing this curriculum? Did it differ from your usual development process?
This year DMA is partnering with Unity to adapt its highly esteemed curriculum into something that will mesh with DMA’s standards. The curriculum developer, Dioselin Gonzales, is a virtual reality engineer at Unity and a Made by Girls role model. She will be working directly with DMA to make sure the course is on the cutting edge of game-development and virtual-reality topics. Unity will provide DMA with professionally developed assets and materials to use in the course, so students can have tons of stuff to create with.
What skills will students pick up in this class?
Students will learn to think creatively and solve problems in unique ways. They will learn the basics of programming, narrative storytelling, user interaction design and the design process.
What will students actually make in this class?
Students will make a game for their PC or phone. Students can choose to make the game be a virtual reality experience or a more traditional gaming experience. All games, code and assets that they create can go home with them, so they can keep building!
What else should our readers know about this program?
Every student who takes the virtual reality course will go home with a custom DMA Google Cardboard, so they can bring a virtual reality experience with them anywhere a smartphone can go.
DMA = CCC (CAREFULLY CRAFTED CURRICULUM)
At Digital Media Academy, our expert staff of curriculum developers is always in a state of developing exciting new courses, as well as constantly refining our existing roster of popular tech camps and courses.
It’s no wonder so many of our students choose to come back for several years in a row. They know that each time they spend part of their summer at DMA, they’re going to learn exciting things and become personally enriched by that experience. The quality of instruction is high, and the range of material covered is wide.
Of course, game design is just one of the many tech areas covered by DMA. Check out all our DMA programs online and come experience the DMA difference this summer.
Register now and get summer camp for less. See DMA Winter Savings online.