Gamer Camp (Birmingham City University)
Gamer Camp is a finishing school for game developers (coders and artists) from Birmingham City University. In short, you will:
-Gain the skills and experience the games industry demands
-Get intensive, practical training from top developers
-Build and publish a working game as part of team
-Tackle real game briefs set by major developers
-Experience all stages of the games development process
The course was founded by Guy Wilday, who was Studio Manager on the Colin McRae Rally games at Codemasters, and Head of Studio at SEGA Racing Studio (SEGA Rally), and now acts as Industry Consultant to Gamer Camp.
Guy's experience of recruiting graduates to work in the past, led to the creation of Gamer Camp; which aimed to fill the skills gap between many graduates' skills and experience and the level that game development studios demand. This was backed up by the findings of NESTA's 2011 Livingstone-Hope Report which also highlighted Gamer Camp as a shining example for others to follow.
So, Gamer Camp was born to simulate a graduate's first year in the industry; ensuring potential new recruits are armed with not just the skills, but also the experience required to be dropped straight into a live AAA project.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), Codemasters, Rare, Blitz Games Studios, Raw Games, Fish in a Bottle, Aardvark Swift (recruiters), PlayMob, TT Fusion, UKIE and FreeStyleGames have all endorsed Gamer Camp, with SCEE kindly supplying PlayStation 3 Development Kits in the process.
Much like a graduate's first job in games, each course runs during full-time office hours (9am-5pm) in NTI Birmingham's studio complex, with applications are subject to interview.
Nano, Mini and Pro
The longest of the courses, Gamer Camp: Pro, runs over twelve months during full-time hours at NTI Birmingham's city centre studios from September, and has students working towards producing a PlayStation 3 (PS3) game, in project teams, for the PlayStation Network.
Pro graduates will also be awarded an MA or MSc in Video Games Development from Birmingham City University. For more details, including course dates and pricing, please visit Gamer Camp: Pro.
Those looking for something shorter, should check out Gamer Camp: Mini, which allows students to study the first 2 months of Gamer Camp: Pro to be awarded an PgCert.
The shortest of the three courses, Gamer Camp: Nano, runs for 1 month as up to 8 programmers and 4 artists or animators create games for a smartphone platform, following one week of intensive tuition. For more details, including course dates and pricing, please visit Gamer Camp: Nano.
Students can apply for each course online (takes about 10 minutes to complete).
Payment is made upon acceptance onto a Gamer Camp course, all of which are subject to an interview.
NTI Birmingham is a digital training centre, part of Birmingham City University, and hosts each Gamer Camp at its city centre facilities.
A trial of Gamer Camp was run for the first time in 2009, with Gamer Camp: Nano running the first times in November 2010 and July 2011. The first Gamer Camp: Pro began in September 2011 with student numbers exceeding the target level.
Games produced for iPhone/iPod Touch during Gamer Camp: Nano 2011 can be downloaded for free using the links below: