{CAMPS}

All camps run Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to noon with the option of an afternoon lab extension from noon to 4:00 p.m.

The main learning content is in the morning, while everyone is fresh, with the applied lab time in the afternoon.

See the prices page as well.

"Where do I sit?"

Arrangements for early drop-off or late pick can be made by request.

When you are at a computer you may prefer to use the Google worksheet instead.

Minecraft® and Roblox® Game Development
Hacking with Kali Linux®
Game Coding for Unreal Engine® in C++
Network Essentials
Microelectronics with Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Microchip PIC, and Lightsabers
Game Art and Design for Unreal Engine®
Web Games, Art, and Effects with Canvas and Phaser®
Visual Story Games with Ren' Py® in Python
Discord Chat Bot Development in Golang

June 11th - 15th, 2018 7-16 Minecraft® and Roblox® Game Development This camp takes the beginning lessons from the Minecraft and Roblox courses and combines them into a fun and educational camp experience designed mostly for those who are particularly young. Campers build out their own servers and worlds (which they can take home on USB sticks) as well as collaborate together on creating something fun. Campers don't even realize they are learning core tech skills in the process. Campers are introduced to online coding sites where they can learn real code playing online anytime—even after they leave camp.

Campers who wish to continue their learning at SkilStak should consider registering for the Principles or, if more ambitious, Essentials.

Campers do not receive their own public Minecraft server, but they can continue with the full course in the Fall where students do get their own servers.

June 18th - 23rd, 2018 12+ Hacking with Kali Linux® This camp contains the basics from Linux and portions of KaliHacking and activities from the Hacking Meetup (such as capture the flag). Signing up for a Camp Lab Block in addition to the morning camp block is recommended.

This camp includes some field trips in the afternoons driving to different off site locations to (legally) assess security (and sometimes report flaws to business owners).

Some experience with Linux and programming is definitely preferred but not required.

Campers wanting to continue building their hacker skills should consider 3rd Satuday REDTEAM Meetups at SkilStak and proceeding with Essentials in order to later enroll in the Linux course and eventually KaliHacking.

June 25th - 29th, 2018 14+ Game Coding for Unreal Engine® in C++ Start learning one of the most significant languages ever created while creating simple additions to basic game made with the world's best triple-A gaming engine, Unreal®. The same engine used to create Fortnite® designed and used by perhaps the best game company to ever exist, EPIC® (which happens to headquartered be in Cary, NC). There really is no reason to learn any other engine. Unreal® has become the gold standard used by universities and others for premier Game and Simulation training.

Campers will start by making a very basic map and coding simple additions one at a time. The focus of this camp is on integrating C++ with the Blueprints system. Those interested in focusing on map and game design should consider the camp later in the Summer that focuses on that (and requires less programming knowledge).

Some programming background is definitely recommended but not strictly required. This camp is also offered as a course but the course has stricter prerequisite requirements since only seven students are accepted.

July 9th - 13th, 2018 14+ Network Essentials Once upon on time people like Steve Jobs had to plead and convince people to consider the value of connecting two computers togerther. Now every device in this "Internet of Things" is connected, for better or worse. Understanding TCP/IP networking essentials is the first step toward understanding everything else, Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (the http in web addresses), Secure Shell (SSH) remote connections, UDP enabling battle royale games. Every technologist must understanding of networking.

Campers learn about networks while scanning and configuring them. We'll watch traffic with sniffers designed to watch the very packets travelling over the network in real time. We'll take a field trip or two to local businesses, grab a snack or coffee, and see what we can see. We'll discuss how important network security is -- particularly the maintenance of consumer-grade routers and how a lack of this has allows Russia and others to create a massive bot-net ready to attack others as it has so many already. Campers leave enlightened and excited to configure and secure their own home networks and understand how to host their own servers safely.

We'll spend a day exploring and discovering the advances in decentralized computing brought about by technologies underlying popular cryptocurrencies and their impact on the future Internet.

July 16th - 20th, 2018 12+ Microelectronics with Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Microchip PIC, and Lightsabers Programming microelectronics -- sometimes called physical computing -- is particularly meaningful because it shows that world of programming does not end on the other side of a screen. Everything in our world uses code in some form -- including the biological world. Understanding basic electonics in addition to programming is a powerful combination. There is nothing more satisfying than writing code that makes something move, even just a little.

Campers have the opportunity to explore several areas of physical computing by working on projects on the Rasperry PI, Arduino, and for the truly daring, our unique MicroChip PIC® learner programming boards that can code tiny consumer chips in Assembly and C. Don't worry, there's just a taste enough of each to understand the differences. For example, how a microcontroller and microcomputer are substantially different.

Then, of course, there are the light sabers. We solder together competition grade, milled aluminum, light sabers after diagramming the simple electronics it contains. Those who sign up for the camp lab block will have ample opportunity to "test" them on the lawn out back.

July 23rd - 27th, 2018 12+ Game Art and Design for Unreal Engine® Unreal Engine® is particularly special because it is the same engine and development environment used by the perhaps the best game development company in the world right now. Tools have been built into it for artists, designers, and coders so that they can work in concert with the least amount of frustration. Other engines can't come close. There is a reason Unreal is the preferred engine not by most every triple-A game development teams, the government, NASA, large event-planning and architecture firms, but also most colleges and universities with Game and Simulation offerings.

This camp is for future game designers who want to create maps, place items, and add basic game mechanics. Drawn from the industry standard text book on the topic campers first create a simple game and then test each others out providing feedback. Campers can take their game home and show it off with pride. Unreal, with thousands of assets, is also completely free providing the best entry into the game development world.

Game and simulation can be a life-long hobby but the skills translate directly into other technologist careers.

July 30 - August 3rd, 2018 12+ Web Games, Art, and Effects with Canvas and Phaser® Flash is dead. Phaser® is the new Flash. It uses 100% modern web technologies.

The state of modern JavaScript has suprassed most expectations. JavaScript is now -- without a doubt -- the single most important programming language on the planet, even moreso with Microsoft's® recent aquisition of GitHub®, the world's largest source code repository and the creator of the popular Atom editor. More importantly Microsoft now controls the Electron® platform used to create tools like Slack® and Discord® as well as their own open source editor VSCode® using nothing but web tech.

Campers are introduced to the web languages (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) but spend most of their time coding in JavaScript using the Phaser® 3 game and simulation framework. They learn about the core canvas element of HTML and how to paint to it as they create a simple game anyone can play immediately on the web (no USB needed). They will also learn some online tools for creating art to use in their games.

August 6th - August 10th, 2018 12+ Visual Story Games with Ren' Py® in Python Ren'Py® is a little known -- but industry standard -- tool specifically for creating "visual novels" popular with anime fans in particular. If you are an artist who enjoys creating amazing stills this is your engine. By combining images with narrative, powerful story games that depend on imagination for immersion can be created and easily shared.

Perhaps you are not an artist but would like to code some "interactive fiction" popularized by the first ever computer game, Adventure, and other iterations such as Zork®. Sometimes words are the best vehicle for a game that draws on deeper images impossible to create except for in the heads and imaginations of the players. Text adventures and story games are a literary niche of endless possibilities requiring very little coding ability and with almost no limitation.

If you are a literature or English teach we would welcome you as well to show you the power and possibilities coding can bring to the literary arts.

August 13th - 17th, 2018 14+ Discord Chat Bot Development in Golang Discord® is THE chat app, for gamers or anyone really. The technology and interface is far superiour to Slack®, which isn't surprising. Game development tends to attract some of the brightest coders in the world, and with far less pretention. Interactive chat bots are here to stay. We see them in many forms from Amazon Alexis® to Discord chat bots. Creating a solid and module framework for expanding the vocabulary of these bots is core to their development. Ultimately they are all simple text processing applications.

Campers code their bot in Golang, invented at Google and one of Forbe's "two highest paying languages you have never heard of." In the process they learn a bit about networking, hosting, and web application programming interfaces (APIs). Most importantly, each leaves with a bot ready for additional intelligence to be added later, be it snarky responses to trolling to reporting the latest cryptocurrency valuations. One fun option is creating a narrator bot for an entire story game that can be played together by everyone in the chat room.