On Wednesday I drove up to the Tech Ed 2006 conference just to chat with the guys from GarageGames. It was well worth my visit. I met and got to speak with several gentlemen who were very generous with their time… Jay Moore, whose card gives his title as “Evangelist”, Davey Jackson, their Educational Sales Director, and Stephen Zepp, whose card hails him as “Commander, Torque Bootcamp.”
I went to speak with them because I’m exploring options for teachers to create games for or with their students. So, they gave me a tour of their entry level Torque Game Builder, which is the only realistic option, and even then requires some scripting knowledge to create a game from scratch. They also showed off the more sophisticated Torque Game Engine and the professional level Torque Shader Engine. I love their philosophy of supporting indie game development, and their educational pricing is phenomenal. Thankfully, it also seems they are interested in working with me and with OCDE, and I hope to include them in the upcoming “Video Games in Education” class on May 9th and the summer institute I have planned for August 8th, 9th, and 10th at the OCDE. If you are in Orange County, you can register for these at http://register.ocde.us if you are interested.
While at their booth I also had the opportunity to meet Dave Dunlap of Coccinella Development in person and to see a demo of his 3D Language: Spain! simulation for teaching Spanish, which was built on the Torque engine. Dave has an amazing story about being a pilot “flying the only flight from Boston to LA not to get hijacked” on 9/11. I suppose this acted as a catalyst for him to reevaluate his life and head into something he’d wanted to do for quite a while… combine games/sims with learning a language. Thankfully, Dave seems open to collaboration with me and with the OCDE, too.
The guys at GarageGames are doing, and supporting, good work. After nearly two years of studying this stuff, I’m glad to have finally discovered them. :)