Our company is known in the game industry for helping hundreds of thousands of aspiring developers achieve their dream of building their first game. We have worked hard to situate ourselves into the hearts of gamers and the game maker community, and it’s that tradition that guides and shapes our philosophy and our future.
With this position in mind, we have built the Computer Science in Game Design curriculum around these fundamental beliefs:
It’s not Just a Game. Teaching games achieves more than just students learning to make games. It’s about teaching design, computer science, art, and production in a team environment. We aren’t only trying to build a workforce of game developers; we are preparing our youth for a future of problem solving with technology.
Teachers Need Help. Most teachers have not been exposed to programming and game development; at the same time, administrators are pressured to introduce topics that fill the computer science job gap. Teachers ask for training, but often don’t have the time or funds –so they feel lost and overwhelmed. With this in mind, we have designed our course to be as teacher-friendly and self-guided as possible. We believe helping teachers understand and teach computer science is as much our responsibility as teaching students.
Teach Fundamentals. We aren’t focused on teaching a single game development tool. There is no Photoshop of game development. We teach the fundamentals of game development which builds a foundation for problem solving and critical thinking –skills that reach far beyond that of making games.
Drive the Industry. We seek what is best for our industry, which we see as needing people with computer science skill sets. Those that fulfill these world-wide demands will drive the future of the industry and fill the gaps of labor and leadership. Because creating real industry professionals is our goal, we bias our curriculum decisions towards authentic and representative exercises. These exercises are suitable for beginners and intermediates while still maintaining the legitimacy of learning something meaningful. This means using industry tools and perhaps a bit more set up on the part of IT and the school. To us, this is an investment worth making.
Have Fun, Work Hard. Making games is fun, but anyone who has ventured down this path realizes that it’s also a lot of hard work. Students show up excited and often with aspirations that exceed the skills they have yet to develop. In your first week of a creative writing class you aren’t going to write a classic novel and the same is true of writing an AAA game in your first week of a game development class. The trick is to balance both the fun of building games while building the skillsets needed to make a game in a way that continues to engage and motivate students.