In a world where technology is growing by leaps and bounds year over year, there is no better skill set to gift your child than learning the details of something they might already like. Giving your child the advantage of learning about video game design and development can set them up for success in a future STEM field.
At these summer camps, students can design, develop, customize, and market their very own video games. They provide them with hands-on experience in the latest technology, and it’s also just downright fun for kids. Plus, they get a chance to hear from and receive instruction from industry professionals and make connections with those in the field.
Here are some of the best video game camps you can sign children up for online or in person.
1. iD Tech
With over 75 different locations at top universities (including virtual options) and 20+ years of experience, iD Tech has a plethora of game design summer camps for kids ages 7-18. From Roblox and Minecraft to video production and battle bots, iD Tech has a little something for everyone.
iD Tech provides your child with state-of-the-art STEM learning. Whether online or on campus, younger kids and teens experience instruction in some of the most sought-after skills in the tech world.
On-campus small groups run eight hours a day for a variety of classes. To find a campus near you, visit their website and enter your zip code. Upon completion of their program, your child receives a certificate.
2. Code Wizards HQ
For Minecraft and Roblox fanatics, students ages 8 to 18 can sign up for a week-long virtual coding camp. No experience is necessary, so it’s a great program for complete beginners without any coding or design knowledge.
Students who opt for Minecraft camp learn how to use Redstone, which is software used to create things in Minecraft. Those who prefer Roblox utilize Roblox Studio to build an obstacle course.
Kids learn script writing with the Lua programming language as well as other critical coding concepts. The virtual game design camps last a week with classes 2 hours long each weekday.
Besides summer camps, they also offer coding classes that touch on other subjects like python, HTML, Scratch, UI, animation, and more. By signing up, campers get access to their community of peers and instructors, slide presentations, and recorded videos they can access in the future.
3. Vision Tech Camps
Vision Tech Camps offer a large variety of video game design courses for kids. Students sign up for basic classes to learn the initial principles or move on to more advanced options like iPhone and mobile game development.
Students can choose from courses featuring RPG Maker, Stencyl, Unreal Engine 4, Source Engine, Python, or Audacity to build a foundation.
Students also gain knowledge of what makes a successful game, different gaming platforms, and multiple publishing options.
They show campers every step of the way, from coming up with a concept to designing and developing a game all the way to publishing it. If your child has played Team Fortress 2 in the past, they have a program specifically for it.
4. New York Film Academy Game Design
The New York Film Academy offers both virtual and in-person video game design camps and workshops for kids and teenagers. Campers can learn game, narrative, and sound designs through hands-on experience with coding and art direction. As a final project, they develop a personal prototype for their very own game.
High school students attend either a one-week session or a four-week session hosted in New York or Los Angeles. For one-week sessions, campers leave with a completed 2D design.
During the four-week summer programs, teens spend an entire week on each phase of the game development process. In addition to game creation, campers also create art and sound effects. Plus, they develop and execute a marketing campaign to promote their game launch.
Online camps with 20 or 40 hours of instruction are available for both age groups. Like non-virtual options, students complete their own game demo in their choice of 2D or 3D. Their faculty of game designers have vast experience and teach your children using the latest software.
5. Girls Make Games
With summer camp locations in California and Washington, Girls Make Games offers girls ages 8-18 three-week camps.
Working in small groups at their STEM camps, campers learn everything from programming in C# and C++, art animation, sound engineering, and game launch promotion.
Additionally, students get to partake in a field trip to a professional game studio. The online summer programs are also geared toward girls and non-binary children. For three weeks in July, small groups attend virtual classes from 10 am to 3 pm.
Students can create games and learn more from experts about various professions within the video game industry.
6. Indiana University Game Camp
If your youngster is specifically interested in game design, the University of Indiana offers a great opportunity for 2D and 3D game development. Intended for students 12 to 18 years of age, students spend 5 days on their campus learning with some of the most sophisticated gaming software in the industry.
Students participating in the 2D camp spend time building a game that’s playable through various platforms.
Students in the 3D camp learn the mechanics of Unreal Engine 4, the leader in gaming technology. The camp routinely receives visits from experienced guest speakers kids can learn from and ask questions.
Students can also participate in an online camp during the month of July. The virtual sessions run from 10 am to 4 pm daily for one week. Each day gamers receive guidance and help to complete the game, followed by direct instruction in using the Construct 3 game engine.
7. Taylor University Game Development Camp
Taylor University is a Christian Liberal Arts College that offers a video game development camp specifically designed for high school juniors and seniors.
For one week in mid-June, students enjoy campus life while learning the basics of the Godot engine. Students receive instruction in game theory and basic programming and then proceed to develop a prototype.
They learn the importance of keeping their faith front and center to honor God in all they do, including their involvement in the workforce and the gaming community. No programming experience is necessary.
While participating in hands-on college-level activities, teens can also improve their spirituality by engaging in scripture, prayers, and mentorship through their helpful staff. Those who wish to study computer science in the future will find their program valuable.