Sisters Jessica and Julia are passionate about gaming. Jessica works at an AAA game studio and is co-owner of an indie game studio called Fallstreak. Julia works in PR/Marketing within the entertainment industry, and makes video games in her spare time.
Jessica and Julia were introduced to iD Tech as campers. “I’ve always loved playing video games,” Jessica says. “So the opportunity to learn to make them was something I could not pass up.”
Julia reminisces about her first experience, “Our mom signed Jessica and me up for the game design course when I was in elementary school. I created a game where my cat was the main character in an adventure based on a mix of Legend of Zelda and Kingdom Hearts. iD Tech definitely strengthened my love for video games and digital arts. I still keep a copy of the game I created.”
Julia and Jessica’s experiences stuck with them so much that, in college, they introduced their close friend Liz to iD Tech as well. Liz dove in as an instructor. “I loved the idea of teaching technology and games to kids,” Liz says. She now works at an AAA game studio and co-owns Fallstreak with Jessica.
iD Tech Helps Kids Reach BIG Goals
“[At iD Tech,] I found it fun and easy to make what I imagined. I felt like I could accomplish whatever I wanted, I just had to figure out how,” Jessica says. “iD Tech really gave me the drive to keep learning and not be limited by what I did not know, but find a way to make it work.”
All three girls now have successful careers in game design. Jessica, Julia, and Liz all worked on Fallstreak’s first indie game in 2014: Axle. Axle is a mobile 2D side-scrolling game where you play as an exuberant little gear who maneuvers through various contraptions, charging them up and restoring the spark of their functionality.
As opposed to most games where the player moves up, down, left, and right, in Axle, you move clockwise and counterclockwise. The game features a hand-painted art style and an original electro-swing soundtrack in a unique and vibrant world.
“You can make anything into a game, even a gear, and that idea was how Axle started,” Julia says. The girls put together a talented team to create the game during their senior year of college. It was wildly successful, so much so that the trio founded Fallstreak to continue making games.
The girls describe how iD Tech’s programs gave them opportunities they might not otherwise have had:
“iD Tech allowed me to meet many awesome individuals who were as passionate about video games as I was,” says Julia. “I was able to learn about video games and the gaming industry, which helped fuel my desire to be a part of it.”
Jessica agrees. “Being a camper at iD Tech showed me I could make games, work with technology, and create what I wanted. Then being an instructor helped when I was looking for a job in the industry; people were very impressed that I had already taught a lot of the same stuff I now do at work.”
Liz had a similar experience. “Being an instructor helped me prepare for when I taught at a collegiate level. I learned a lot about how to keep a class engaged, and about how to break down a large project into manageable chunks.”
Learn From Game Designers Like Liz
The girls' skills and achievements as instructors at iD Tech are common. iD Tech staff have degrees from top campuses and often return to teach at camp for multiple seasons, inspiring and educating campers summer after summer. Like Jessica, Julia, and Liz, iD Tech instructors actually work in the tech fields they teach during the off-season, keeping their skills and knowledge fresh and staying on the cutting edge of technology.
“The great thing about iD Tech is that kids get to learn technology through an avenue they’re passionate about, whether it’s stories in their video game or the subject of their website,” Liz says. “As an instructor, encouraging them to nurture that passion is fantastic.”