Gamer Camp is a finishing school for game developers (coders, artists and producers) from Birmingham City University. In short, you will:
- Gain the skills and experience the games industry demands
- Get intensive, practical training from top developers
- Tackle real game briefs set by major developers
- Experience all stages of the games development process
- Receive an MA or MSc from Birmingham City University (excl. Gamer Camp: Nano)
The course was founded by Guy Wilday and Oliver Williams in 2009, with the first masters course (Gamer Camp: Pro) running between 2011-12. Guy 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. Oliver is Associate Director at NTI Birmingham and Studio Director of Gamer Camp.
Guy's experience of recruiting graduates to work in the games industry and Oliver's experience of designing employment-focused, learning programmes 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 even 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, Crytek, 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 for the course 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 subject to interview
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:
Aspiring programmers and games artists should check out Gamer Camp: Pro, which runs over twelve months during full-time hours at NTI Birmingham's city centre studios every September, and has students producing PC, iPad and PlayStation 3 (PS3) games in dev teams. Gamer Camp: Pro graduates are also awarded an MA or MSc in Video Games Development from Birmingham City University.
In 2012, Gamer Camp: Pro was joined by another MA/MSc course, Gamer Camp: Biz, designed specifically with industry to cater for those looking to work within the business side of games development. Typical applicants are often looking to start their own indie games studio or project manage within the AAA games industry,
The shortest of the three courses, Gamer Camp: Nano, runs for 1 month as a dozen programmers and artists or animators build a game for the iPad's App Store, after receiving one week of intensive tuition.
Students can apply for each course online here.
Payment is made upon acceptance onto a Gamer Camp course, all of which are subject to an interview.
You may also be able to apply for one of a number of course fee waivers.
NTI Birmingham is a digital training centre, part of Birmingham City University, and hosts each Gamer Camp at its city centre facilities.