A group of 14-year-old Singaporean students from the NUS High School of Mathematics and Science tried their hand at game development earlier this month when they participated in a DigiPen ProjectFUN workshop.
The workshop, Introduction to 2D Video Game Programming (Level 1), explores the basic concepts programmers use to produce video game software. With the help of an easy-to-learn software editing tool, using simple artwork and fundamental programming techniques, students create their own 2D interactive experiences.
One of the underlying objectives of the workshop is to demonstrate how professional game programmers rely on math and science. In one instance, for example, participants used the Pythagorean theorem to make an enemy character sprite move diagonally across the screen. For another game, they applied vector math to simulate a ball rebounding off a wall.
For workshop participant Tan Yuan Wei, who had already learned some basic programming in C, it was an opportunity to take his computer skills in a fun new direction. For other students, the concept of programming was entirely new.
“This workshop lets me pick up additional programming skills on top of what I have learned in school,” Tan said. “I like to play games as well, so I can use what I learned to make simple games.”
DigiPen’s ProjectFUN youth programmes give students a head start in learning about careers related to game design, computer programming, art and multimedia production, and more. Taught by DigiPen instructors, ProjectFUN workshops also support team-based learning, encouraging students to cooperate and work together to solve problems.
NUS High School is one of two schools (the other is Singapore American School) DigiPen is currently partnering with to offer ProjectFUN workshops directly to its students. In 2015, students from NUS High School will have the opportunity to travel to DigiPen’s U.S. campus in Redmond, Washington — home to some of the world’s largest technology companies like Microsoft, Nintendo of America, and more. While there, students will learn even more about career opportunities in games and computer science.
Building on the success of these programs, DigiPen Institute of Technology Singapore is looking forward to partnering with other Singapore high schools to offer ProjectFUN workshops.
If you would like to know more about bringing ProjectFUN programs to the students of your school, please contact Angela Tay at projectfun.sg[at]digipen[dot]edu.