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From Game Player to Game Developer

boy assembling project circuit board

Are you bored playing your favorite video games again and again? Tired of the same old characters exploring the same old levels, getting destroyed at the same spots?

Wouldn’t it be more fun if you could design new interactive levels, create bold new characters and give them a whole new arsenal of mind-blowing weapons and vehicles? You could wage new wars, turn up the battle intensity and create your own unforgettable, unique experiences.

You love playing video games, so why not take a top selling hit and mod it to be your own? iD Tech Camps and the iD Gaming Academy for teens offer you the opportunity to learn these fun skills at their summer technology programs.

Unreal Tournament® 3, the world’s premier first-person shooter, ships with the foundation anyone needs to get started making games with the award-winning Unreal® Engine 3 toolset. Unreal Engine 3 provides the platform and tools needed to develop cutting-edge 3D projects. Consequently, it has been used as the backbone for bestselling games like Unreal Tournament 3, Gears of War®, BioShock, Mass Effect, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and many more.

Many video game companies actively recruit aspiring game developers who specialize in “modding” (modification of) existing video games–a colossal trend sweeping the industry.

“We encourage students and aspiring game developers to make mods for Unreal Tournament 3,” said Mark Rein, vice president of Epic Games. “It’s our experience that people who have a strong grasp of the Unreal Engine toolset increase their chances of getting a job in the game industry. Epic has recruited a significant portion of our staff from the mod community, and we are even co-sponsoring the $1 Million Intel Make Something Unreal Contest, a mod competition for Unreal Tournament 3.”

This increasing appeal in Unreal Tournament 3, the Unreal Engine and game modding in general has spiked the interest of many teens looking to get in on the action. Recognizing this trend, summer technology programs like iD Tech Camps and iD Gaming Academy have not only incorporated game modding and video game creation courses into their curriculum, but they have also provided a platform allowing their students to work with the best game development software available. As students learn to create and mod levels, they will also gain valuable level-design skills that can be directly leveraged in the growing and lucrative game development industry.

“We make sure that our video game design courses use cutting-edge technology like Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 3,” said Pete Ingram-Cauchi, President and CEO of iD Tech Camps and iD Gaming Academy. “Students are given the tools to create levels, characters and scenes that only their wildest imaginations could produce. Where else can you do this? It’s awesome.”


At iD Tech Camps, ages 13-17 attend weeklong summer camps using Unreal Tournament 3 in the Game Modding and 3D Game Design courses. In Game Modding, gamers redesign Unreal Tournament 3, adding their own skins, levels and characters. In 3D Game Design, teens use Unreal Engine 3 to design 3D environments and make 3D game levels with dynamic range and bloom lighting, particle effects, physics and an advanced scripting language. iD Tech Camps provides weeklong, day and overnight technology summer camps for ages 7-17 at over 60 prestigious universities nationwide including Stanford, UCLA and MIT.

Meanwhile at the 2-week iD Gaming Academy, ages 13-18 take a 2-week immersive program of intensive study in the dynamic world of video game creation and game development. Gamers can take Level Design- Unreal Engine 3 where they modify Unreal Tournament 3 with custom maps, storyboards and character treatments. They’ll learn what makes a game addicting and the strategies behind compelling game play as students create their own levels. Other iD Gaming Academy courses include Game Modeling with Maya® and Game Programming with XNATM for the Xbox 360® and PC.

With Epic’s game engine toolset being used at iD Tech Camps and iD Gaming Academy locations across the nation, teens are able to satisfy curiosities while opening new doors that have tremendous impact on their lives and future careers.

“At one time, half the people who worked for us were chosen because of their modding work — level designers, artists, programmers, everything,” said Rein.

So if you are looking to design professional games that both look and feel like the ones you play at home, consider iD Tech Camps ( and iD Gaming Academy ( game design camp for teens. Whether just for fun and creativity, or to learn a skill that may open doors to creative opportunities in the videogame design field, these summer gaming camps will open new levels of fun and excitement. What starts as a mere hobby can turn into a potentially lucrative career opportunity in the fast growing video game industry.

Written by Ryan Barone