Games By Her, A 12 Week Evening Course for Women and Non Binary People Interested in Game Development

GAMES BY HER

For more information click on the Games By Her Webpage Here

Run by game developers working at Paradox Interactive, our 1-night a week evening course will take place over 12 weeks and give beginner and junior software developers an introduction to game programming. You will learn to make a complete 2D game from scratch using C++. Whether you leave with a desire to move to the games industry or not, you will learn something, have fun, and leave with something new for your portfolio!

This course takes place in Stockholm, Sweden and is aimed at people identifying as women or non-binary who are interested in learning more about game programming. The course material is geared towards junior software developers / engineers who have some development experience (at least 6 months of experience with any language). If you have more experience than that, you are obviously welcome to apply too. If you have less, we will ask to see some personal projects that you have done in your spare time as C++ is typically not a great language to start with if you have no experience at all.

COURSE SCHEDULE

This course is scheduled to run from Saturday, 7th November 2020 until Saturday, 23rd January 2021, with breaks in-line with school term times to make it easier for parents to attend the course.

KEY DATES

Tues 27th Oct 2020
18:00 – 20:00
Introductory Social (Optional)Before we start, there will be a social event where you can meet others doing the course. Due to COVID-19, we will consider whether we run this in person or virtual!
Sat 7th Nov 2020
10:00 – 17:00
Opening DayWe start the course with a full 7-hour day so that you can meet your colleagues, get your laptop set up & ready for the course, and start learning some of the fundamentals together. Due to COVID-19, we might break this day into two groups for 3.5 hours each.
Every Tuesday
10th Nov – 15th Dec
18:00 – 20:00
Weekly MeetupEvery week (except for school holidays) during the course, we will hold a 30-60 minute talk followed by time workshopping the new techniques on your own game project. These sessions will be supported by game developers from Paradox who will help you along the way.

Unless the situation dramatically changes with COVID-19, we anticipate running most of these sessions at the Paradox Interactive offices, but also streaming them online for those who don’t feel comfortable attending in person.

Project Work
(Personal Time)
Weekly MeetupYou will be expected to spend a couple of hours every week outside of the meetups to work on your personal project and solidify the skills you have learned during the sessions. It’s entirely up to you how much time you spend every week, but this time will help you develop your projects to later share on GitHub.
Christmas break take a break over the school break for the Christmas period. You are free to work on your personal project during this time but there is no obligation to do so.
Every Tuesday
12th Jan – 16th Feb
18:00 – 20:00
Weekly MeetupWe return to the weekly meetups after Christmas.
Fri 5th February 2021
16:00 – 19:00
Join the Paradox Social HourJoin the developers at Paradox Interactive for social hour and ask questions to developers about what it’s like to work in the gaming industry.
Sat 20th Feb 2021
12:00 – 18:00
Final day we will finish up the course with another full day session where you can share your personal project(s) with your course mates and get any final support you need to finish up your projects and get them online for the world to download!

Note. The weekly meetups will run every Tuesday between the times shown above. While you do not need to be at every single session, the course aims to deliver new and useful content every week, so you will likely fall behind if you miss more than one or two sessions during the course. Also please note that it is possible the schedule will change slightly as the course progresses – but we will continue to respect school term breaks for any parents who wish to join.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

BUILD A GAME IN C++
C++ is the most used language for developing desktop and console games in the industry. During this course you will build an entire 2D game in C++ which you can add to your portfolio and share with friends.

C++ LANGUAGE FEATURES
We will be using C++ during the course, so we will learn all of the usual coding structures but with the quirks of C++, such as functions, data structures, memory management and object-oriented programming.

MEMORY MANAGEMENT
One of the biggest curve-balls when switching to C++ from another language is learning about handling memory management yourself. We will be using modern techniques such as smart pointers to handle memory management in our game and mini-projects

MINI PROJECTS
During the course we will also build a number of mini-projects in C++ as learning tools. These will give you the scope to add extra features to learn more in your spare time.

GAME DEVELOPMENT FUNDAMENTALS
While building our 2D game you will learn about the Game Loop, handling user input from a Game Controller and the Keyboard and using common game development libraries such as SDL2 to bring our game to life.

DEBUGGING C++
We all make some mistakes along the way and during this course we will also focus some time on debugging our code using Visual Studio or XCode so that we can squish those bugs and get back to feature development.

ADMISSIONS

This course is aimed, and reserved, for women, female identifying, and non-binary people with developement experience who are interested in learning about game development, and are potentially looking for opportunities in the game industry.

This course is aimed at developers with a graduate / junior level of experience, using any language. Applicants should already have a couple of months of professional experience under their belt, or a healthy set of hobby projects visible on GitHub. You certainly don’t need to be a development wizard of any sort, but you should understand the fundamental concepts of variables, functions, loops and arrays in any programming or scripting language.

If you think you have equivalent experience from your personal or hobby projects, you’re also welcome to apply. But please highlight any project you have done that can help us evaluate your level of experience.

We only have 20 spaces on the course, so please tell us a bit about why you are interested in programming and game development. You don’t have to be an avid gamer to take part, but you should play some games (mobile, console or PC) or have a particular interest in game and media technology in a related discipline.

WHO IS RUNNING THE COURSE?

Paradox Interactive is a leading global publisher of strategy games for PC. The publisher’s steadily-growing portfolio includes firmly established PC franchises such as the critically acclaimed Europa Universalis, Cities: Skylines, Crusader Kings, Magicka and the Hearts of Iron series created by Paradox Development Studio and a network of partner studios.

This course is being organised and run by Paradox Interactive. Our goal with this course is to do our part in trying to improve diversity within the gaming industry, especially within the programming discipline which has traditionally had very low numbers of non-white, non-cis-male developers.

You can read more about Paradox Interactive on the Paradox Interactive Corporate Site.

By CJ Sanchez (He/Him)
CJ Sanchez (He/Him) Career Coach CJ Sanchez (He/Him)