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Késako, a workshop on video game creation?

publié le 20 août 2015 à 08:51 par Catherine Claus   [ mis à jour le·26 oct. 2015 à 09:03 par Thomas Gaudy ]
All of our workshops are partnered with local organizations that welcome public youth (like community centers, tutoring learning centers, schools and organizations that are open to those with handicaps…). We would like to enhance the exceptional work these social organizations do as there aren't many people who actively participate in being resourceful and aiding this youth to grow. Our workshops essentially focuses on youth from 12 to 35 years of age as school dropouts or handicapped. The goal of our workshops is to heighten the awareness of the participating youth to jobs in the video game industry and to the competencies required to create a video game:

- On one side, we use video games as a motivation for students to stay in school: "I can see how the knowledge I learned in class can be applied to creating video games. I'm going to find a way to develop my technological skills and knowledge."

- On the other side, passive consumers will, after a workshop on the process of creating these games, become more and more interactive by participating together in the creation of a collective piece.

Our game creation workshops have a process that is explained over the course of five three-hour sessions.

First session: our animator, Thomas Gaudy, will present the different professions in the video game field and the general creation process. He explains the limits within the workshop to the participants. Finally, after a discussion, he collects some ideas from the participants to potentially use in a game.
  Workshop at the Recreational Community Centre in Côte-des-Neiges (fall 2014, Montréal)
Workshop at the Recreational Community Centre in Côte-des-Neiges (fall 2014, Montréal)

Second Session: The participants proceed to building various levels of the game and define the characters and their interactions. This stage is completed by hand sketches on paper.

Third Session: The participants create the first visuals of the game on the computer. They modify the design of the levels on the computer and record the sounds that will be integrated in the game. They must be inventive to create the sounds in their game: for example, the sound of a bird flying was created thanks to a recording of a piece of paper to which our aspiring sound designers added special sound effects! Or else, when the avatar climbs, the sound was obtained by rubbing two glasses against the table… These sounds were created for "Blue Mountain", a game created at a workshop in partner with the Recreational Community Centre of Côte-des-Neiges, in Montréal.

Fourth Session: In addition to continuing their work on the designs and sounds of the game, the participating youth proceed to adjusting the levels in the game.

Fifth Session: This is a particularly important stage to make the game fun to play and a proud achievement to present to friends, family and the public at large: the research of bugs! Then our creator, Thomas Gaudy, helps the youth to correct the last issues in the game.

The work on the programming vision process was accomplished by our internal programmer, Thomas Gaudy. The amount of time put into programming a game equals about a hundred hours of work, hot chocolate (with base of almond milk), overtime hours to the wee hours of the night, from the cries of frustration to joy when the bugs and problems are finally resolved!!! In a nutshell, all of the MAGIC behind the creation of a video game ;).

Once the game is finished, the participants are invited to try it out during a social event. Snack at hand, they can discuss their experience and try their first run-through of the game. The students also present their game to the organization that permitted them to have this experience while explaining (in their words) the stages of game creation and enjoying the happiness they see in those who play their game.
 
Event organized at the Recreational Community Centre of Côte-des-Neiges once the game was finished (Fall 2014, Montréal)

Then it's finally time to value the designed piece of work. The game is presented in exhibitions to the public at large. We choose places that are as varied as the museums: Packman Exhibition 2008 at the musée des Arts et métiers (Museum of Arts and Trades) in Paris for the game "The Search for Prisoners" or at the Cité des sciences et des métiers de l'industrie (the Science and Industrial Careers Project) in Paris for the game "Blind Zombies World Saga" in 2014, or in libraries and cultural centres.

Keep an eye and ear out for our upcoming events: Montréal Digital Spring and the Eurêka Festival at the Montréal Science Centre for the game "Blue Mountain". Stay in-tuned to our infoletter or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Stéphanie Akré.
Translation (french to english): Catherine Claus.