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As Stuart Compton, game development teacher at Warren Tech, did 4 a.m. rounds at the school Sunday morning, he passed by a team of students and heard various call-outs.
“Is this file checked in yet?”
“Yes, it’s in the deposit directory.”
“Great! Allie, is she animated, yet?”
“On the way…”
Everything he heard he said sounded like a professional development studio. He should know, as that’s where he spent most of my professional life.
Compton and 80 students had been at the school since Friday afternoon participating in a Creative Jam in which students were creating an entire video game in 48 hours. This year, the event expanded to include all creative endeavors and teams will have 48 hours to finish a creative project.
“It’s really useful because you learn new things as you go along,” said senior Brendan Navarro, who was acting as lead producer and coder for his team. “we gain a lot of new skills and that will help later on throughout college.”
Navarro, 18, is studying game and app development at Warren Tech. He hopes to pursue a college degree in computer science.
“I stayed all night,” Navarro said Saturday morning. Energy drinks and excitement about the project fueled Navarro and his team as they worked on creating a horror video game.
As lead, Navarro wrote code for and built the levels for the game that required players to find their way out of a graveyard.
For the competition students in various study fields came together to make a final project. For Cade Matekovic, who is studying special effects, a team that included students studying STEM and robotics, audio, graphic design and game development, allowed his team to create a first-person virtual reality game that was two-player with the assistance of a robot. STEM students built the robot that was tracked into the game with e controller.
“There’s no limits to what we can do,” Matekovic, 16, said, adding that his team chose virtual reality for a more immersive and challenging experience.
Student projects ranged from virtual reality linked to robot motion; linear story-telling in an illustrative installation along the walls of the hallway; and complex, character-based, 3D animation.
“Students who were so shy they were barely capable of saying “Good Morning” at the beginning of the year were dancing down the hallway to get coffee because they were so happy about how their team project was going,” Compton said. “The students learned more about each other, working together, themselves, and their chosen fields of expertise in 48 hours than they will in months of traditional schooling.”
Student projects will be judged, and winners announced, sometime in February.
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