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Teen Game Workshop was just the beginning! If you want to continue pursuing your interest in computer programming and game development, there are tons of opportunities available to you, both locally and online. Check them out below:
 

Local Opportunities

There are groups right in town that are meet to talk about coding and game development on a regular basis. They are good places to learn more about game development and talk with other people who are doing the same thing!
 

Tech Valley Game Space

TVGS is an active community of game makers that gathers on a weekly basis at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity in downtown Troy to socialize, work together on group projects, and to coordinate hosting of monthly events. These events can be presentations, classes, workshops, exhibitions of locally created games and playtesting sessions of work in progress. Participants of all backgrounds and skill levels are welcome and encouraged to attend!

Visit their website for more info and a helpful list of other learning resources.
 

Albany IGDA

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) is a non-profit organization that brings together people in different communities who are interested in making games. The Albany-area chapter meets the first Wednesday of every month at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity in downtown Troy. Independent and professional developers in the area come every month to give cool talks about game-related topics:

Visit their Facebook page for updates.
 

Albany Can Code

If you’re interested in making IT or computer programming a career, keep your eye on this group! They’re working in the area to organize workshops and helpful info for local people to get into professional IT and computer science fields.

Visit their website for updates and more information.
 

Online Opportunities

Learning to program is easy and accessible with a lot of cool online tools. There are plenty of free courses and fun tutorials you can take to hone your programming skills and learn to make even better things!
 

Free Classes and Tutorials:

Visual Programming:

Grok Learning
Scratch
Code.org

Programming Languages:

Make School
Khan Academy
Codecademy

 
When looking at different programming languages, we suggest starting with Codecademy’s Python course. If you took the Ren’Py class, this should already look a little familiar! Khan Academy’s Javascript courses are also good to start with.
 

Career Opportunities

If you’re looking for a future career in game development, there are a number of things you should consider and start preparing for. The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has a few suggestions about where to start:
 

There are many paths into the game industry – it depends a lot on where you are, what you want to do, your ability to network effectively, and so on. Instead of relying on one single resource for guidance, the IGDA suggests looking across a range of resources that can help enlighten on potential paths into the game industry.

The best advice the IGDA can give you for starters is to:

a) Figure out what area of game development interests you the most
b) Research the skills are required to achieve that type of job
c) Take every possible opportunity to work on games, even if creating them yourself.

 

Important skills for a Game Developer:

1st Playable has a list of suggested skills for different areas of game development, that may serve as a good place to start:
 

Game Development Specialties:


Design Specialties


Programming Specialties


Art Specialties

Narrative Physics Graphic design/UI
Audio Audio Characters/environments
AI Animation (2D and 3D)
Human-Computer Interaction Technical artist
Graphics

 

Game Development Skills:


Designer


Programmer


Artist

Familiarity with popular culture Programming languages Art style flexibility
Flexibility Scripting languages Traditional art skills
Written/Verbal Communication Data structures Figure Drawing
Technical writing (for design documents) Algorithms Color Theory
Creative writing (for dialogue) Mathematics Lighting
Mockups (explain your designs) Modding experience Perspective
Reading Technical documentation Design
Exposure to lots of games Problem Solving Photography & Image Composition
Good / bad, all platforms! Familiarity with different development environments Computer Skills (Photoshop, Flash, 3D modeling & animation programs)
Video games & board games Legacy code experience Basic math
Observe what you play
Scripting languages
Basic programming

 

Free Software

Ren’Py and Construct 2 are just two of many free software options available to people who want to make games. These tools all have a lot of other people using them, so there are lots of tutorials and helpful learning information online as well! Be sure to check them out:
 

Game Software:

Ren’Py
Construct 2
Unity
Scratch
GameMaker

Supporting Software

Audacity: Free audio editor and recorder.
Blender: Free 3D modeling program.
Krita: Free digital painting program.