Last week I received the following email from a representative of the Make-A-Wish foundation.
I am writing on behalf of Make-A-Wish Nebraska. I currently have a 17-year-old wish child whose wish is to to learn how to program animated video games. I am at a complete loss as to how I could go about making this wish come true for this child. He is looking for competence and knowledge. He is a smart kid who has started to teach himself but would really like to walk away from the wish being able to animate and create games all by himself. As the president of Intrinsic Algorithm and being in the industry, I thought maybe you would have some insights. If you all have any thoughts on how I can make this wish happen, it would be very much appreciated! Please feel free to write me back or give me a call to discuss.
I was wondering if we could do something to help this out. Obviously, the idea of the child being able to “walk away from the wish being able to animate and create games all by himself” might be a bit of a stretch. However, perhaps we can at least immerse him in what it is like?
I figure that either through studio or individual efforts, we can show this kid a little of what goes on in the biz. Let him sit in as a shadow while we work. Alternately, if the kid is an artist or has a simple game idea, we could use it as a game jam … that is, put HIS ideas or art into a simple game that we slam together for him.
At the very minimum, I would like to invite this child out to the next OGDA meeting on the 17th (I might not be there, BTW.)
Thoughts? I want to be able to get back to the lady that contacted me.
I think that’d be a good idea. We could throw something together as a group, i’m sure, and have the kid be part of the process in all areas. Make it a small game, that way we show him how to do the basics and let him be part of the process. I’d suggest using an engine that would be easy for the kid to play around in without having to do a lot of back-end work to make something playable.
Yeah, I could see doing a workshop in GameMaker or something (it’s been awhile since I’ve worked in it, but I remember it requiring minimal coding skills at start) to give him a taste of the process, and then directing him to further resources if he wants to continue to learn it on his own.
Thinking like that shows an expert’s touch