Computer Science Department Hosts Gaming Camps

OGDEN, Utah – While some high school students spend their summer vacation playing Playstation, Wii or Xbox, more than 40 area high school students are learning firsthand what it takes to develop and create the next generation of video games.

Weber State University’s Department of Computer Science is hosting two weeklong gamers’ camps where students work in teams to learn about the tools and code needed to create video games.

The first camp, June 15-19 will feature training in the development and creation of 2-D games. Next week’s camp, June 22-26, will focus on 3-D gaming technology.

On June 19 and 23, camp participants will hear from software developers with The Walt Disney Company.

“They are learning what it takes to succeed in an academic program, as well as in the industry,” said Greg Anderson, chair of WSU’s Department of Computer Science.

The computer gaming industry has grown rapidly in recent years, increasing the nationwide demand for computer game developers.

On June 19, Troy Leavitt, game director for the Walt Disney Company, will speak to the students about his experiences in the video game industry. Leavitt started out as a technical writer for an upstart video game company and has gone on to design and produce nearly 20 different published video games for all the major gaming consoles and personal computers. He is currently working with Pixar on the production of a yet-to-be-announced game property.

Bryant Collard, lead programmer and head of the Engine Simulation Group at Avalanche Software, a subsidiary of Disney’s Interactive Studios, will speak to students June 23 during the second camp. Collard, who holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering, developed distributed simulation systems for military applications before entering the video game industry. He has been with Avalanche since 2000.

In 2008, the Utah State Board of Regents approved a computer science game development certificate offered at WSU. The certificate is available to students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science with an emphasis in software engineering. The WSU certificate is the only one of its kind offered in the state.

The summer camps are open to high school students and cost $15 each, which include a textbook and training manual for each camp participant.

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John Kowalewski, director of Media Relations
801-626-7212 •
Brian Rague, associate computer science professor
801-626-7377 •