By Darien Woodard
The young soon-to-be video game developers of iCamp have been working hard for five consecutive days using the popular engine known as Unity, which creates many of the independent games you see today.
The Developers Perspective
In their long process of creating their games, many of these young developers ran into bugs. But like true warriors, they stood out through the pain, through the constant frustration of trial and error and finally gotten a viable product, a beta release.
Game Crew Q and A
with Kristopher Dickerson-Anderson, Laquana Cooke, and Randall Cream.
Darien: What have y’all been working on?
Darien:Why did you decide to bring games into iCAMP?
Kristopher: Working on trying to get a dialogue system in the game currently. My game is about living a life as a person of color and then living life as a white person. With this game I hope to achieve so that people can see what it’s like to see what a person of color has to go through and to show people how easy life is as a white person.
Laquana: To be honest the genesis of iCAMP began from the STEM game designs I run in New York and other places which are game design programs. Where I taught social justice and game design from elementary schools to 12th grade. In various communities from basketball teams to public schools (after school programs and in school programs) to non-profit organizations. I ran these STEM social justice programs and with that history it was a no-brainer to bring game design as a track. I used the game track as a framework and model for what I want to see iCAMP as a whole. The second answer is I worked in the game industry and I see the lack of marginalized people in the game industry and I wanted to change that.
Darien: In terms of developers or the characters?
Laquana: Both. In the development world we are 3% of developers that are African American, yet African American youth spend more time gaming than affluent white youth. In terms of the characters in games in marginalized groups we make up only ten percent of the characters.
Darien: What do you use to make the game ?
Randall: We are using Unity to make the games, which is a widely used 2d & 3d game environment which is one of the most widely used platforms to build games for independent game makers. Most colleges, private schools and schools use Unity because it’s one of the best for students to use.
Darien: How is it to teach students who never made games before ?
Randall: The folks at iCAMP have various levels of skills when they arrive with computing so we have to produce games despite that. But we both tackle design and development issues. If there’s something we’re not familiar with in code we try and design our way out of the problem. With the current class I chose a module in Unity that allows us to make a game that doesn’t require code. If you were to sell this you would use code to change some aspects.