This last June, the new summer camp Girls Make Games provided a three-week crash course in game design for young girls in the San Francisco Bay Area. The campers broke up into small teams based on their tastes and skills. By the end of camp, each team had created its own game demo. Sounds awesome, right?
When the idea for a girl-centric, game-focused summer camp was originally conceived, founder Laila Shabir had no idea that it was going to become an internet sensation. She just wanted to encourage more girls to go into game development.
It turns out that lots of other people want the same thing. With support from Double Fine, Google Play, MIT, The Computer History Museum, and others, Girls Make Games is taking the world by storm. Soon, they’ll have locations in 14 more cities around the world.
At the end of camp, the teams pitched their new games to five industry experts. The winning team, with help from Shabir’s indie game company LearnDistrict Inc., has now created a Kickstarter for their game, The Hole Story. The girls have until August 12th to raise money for their project.
The Hole Story stars Wendy, a young archeologist who stumbles across a magical time capsule in her backyard that sends her back in time. Wendy uses her shovel to solve riddles, complete challenges, and rescue the missing princess Alonna.
The Kickstarter has already surpassed its goal of $10,000, but that’s no reason not to chip in a couple of dollars. The (very young) dev team has added all kinds of cool stretch goals, including console ports (making the game playable on systems like PlayStation and Xbox). The Hole Story has already been greenlit on Steam, and soon it will be released on mobile, PC, Mac, and Linux.
If you’re totally stoked to see young girls getting excited about game design, be sure to share this project and encourage more girls to start designing games. You might also be interested in CoderDojo, a massive organization of free, volunteer-run coding clubs for kids.
If you want to send your daughter to Girls Make Games next summer, you’d better move now. The Bay Area location already has a waiting list of more than 200 kids. The camp’s other upcoming locations (including Seattle) will certainly be following suit.