Technology

Video Game Design STEM Challenge

Like video games? Keep Reading!

Our video game challenge launched earlier this week!

This STEM Challenge is great for anyone with an interest in video game design. Video games are a big business, and will only grow in the future as more small developers pop up and more platforms for gamers to use are created. Before, we only had a handful of gaming systems and personal computers to play pricey games, now we have dozens of methods for people to play games – and they come in a variety of price points!

Of course, such a promising industry is always going to have room for more developers. Whether you’re a small studio using Unity or applying to a job at Bethesda, it’s important to know what it means to be a video game designer.

What’s the STEM Challenge?

The STEM Challenge is an interactive series designed to give an inside perspective of cool STEM careers, help you take the first steps, and practice your skills in a fun learning environment.

The Video Game Design Challenge includes watching short virtual job shadow videos, a Ted Talk given by a game designer, and hands-on activities you can do as a teen to start working your way toward a job in this industry. There are a total of six sections to the challenge, complete them 100% online, at your own pace over the month of September.

How do I get started?

It’s easy! Just go to the Video Game Design Challenge page, and click the ‘take this course’ button!

Not sure if you’re best suited for interactive fiction games, VR games, or one of the many genres of games that are out there? Then be sure to take the entire course! We have infographics describing the many different kinds of games that exist, as well as a rubric to help you submit a perfect Challenge entry.

I’m No Good at Art and/or Programming – Why Bother with This Challenge?

You should still give it a try! You may surprise yourself and have an easier time designing on a computer program than you did with a pen and paper.

Even if you know that you aren’t terribly talented in one aspect of gaming, you can always improve. No one is a master at anything on the first try, so a lot of effort and trial and error is what everyone needs to get better. Plus you have almost a whole month left, so lots of time to practice!

Keep in mind that we know you only have a month, and we know you aren’t secretly a professional designer from Activision. We’re just expecting a strong effort and a well-designed product. Don’t be too hard on yourself! No coding or programming needed – just give it a try!

How do I Keep Up With My Game Design After the Challenge Ends?

Game design is a fun hobby that you should continue to foster long after this STEM Challenge is over.

The Video Game Design Challenge provides lots of helpful resources to continue in your journey, and you can stay in touch with the latest in the industry in the Computer Science Group.

Good luck, and happy game designing!

What Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory Would Cost Today

Guest post by The Advanced Technology Services Marketing Dept.

Few fictional businesses are as iconic and instantly recognizable as Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Although the eccentric chocolatier can get away with running his operation on “pure imagination” in Roald Dahl’s book and the movies based on it, real-life ledgers have to be balanced with cold, hard cash.

Having a flying glass elevator in your facility might be a hit with employees and visitors, but how much would that cost the company? Not surprisingly, the answer is mind-blowing. Based on the current cost of an all-glass elevator — not to mention the rocket you’d need to get it airborne — you would need to spend an estimated $109 million on that extravagance alone. That’s not to mention footing the bill for the other unusual amenities in Willy Wonka’s factory, such as the 150,000-gallon chocolate river or the edible fruit wallpaper. There are also the more ho-hum expenses, like the factory’s energy bill, and employee wages and benefits. Oompa-Loompas have to eat, too.

Preparing for a STEM career means thinking about all of the practicalities that come with running a business, even one staffed by mythical orange people with green hair. The accompanying infographic breaks down exactly what the operating costs of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory might be if it existed in real life. Spoiler alert: They’re as over-the-top as the factory itself.

Author bio: The Advanced Technology Services Marketing Department is an innovative, collaborative, results-driven team focused on driving the business forward. The department consists of four pillars: Business Intelligence, Product Management, Marketing Communications and Demand Generation.  All team members work cross-functionally to increase brand awareness and drive demand for continuous bottom-line growth in the industrial maintenance and MRO asset management sectors.

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