Spy Hop Partners with Google Fiber for Teen Game Design Class and Showcase Party

Spy Hop Productions is excited to be partnering with Google Fiber to showcase a teen built video game in Salt Lake City.

The teens are enrolled in the Power Up! digital game design class at Spy Hop, in downtown Salt Lake City. Over the course of ten months, eight teens worked as a team of programmers, graphic artists and producers to design and create a fully functional game.

Power Up, Party Down! is an opportunity for the public to see and play the game, hear about the process of working collaboratively, all while enjoying light refreshments. The event will be taking place Thursday, July 28, 2016, at The Falls Event Center in Trolley Square, from 6-8 p.m. The public is welcome and invited to attend.

Last October each student pitched an idea to a panel of industry professionals, who helped narrow down the ideas. The ideas centered around a social, community or global issue. This year’s game, called Gray is focused on perseverance and self-discovery.

Using software such as Adobe’s Creative Suite, Unity 3D and Maya, the students developed the knowledge and skills necessary to build an industry standard game. Spy Hop, a youth media organization that focuses on mentoring young people in the digital media arts, has long seen the value of creative development and digital literacy as a tool to success. “This generation of teens is a generation of tech users. We are teaching them to make something that they consume and helping them create a game that tells their story,” said Digital Arts Mentor Liz Schulte. “The process of solving problems as a group has taught them valuable social lessons, as well. They have learned that communication is key on collaborative projects.”

The Power Up game design class is part of Spy Hop’s Digital Pathways Program. The overarching goal of DPP is to serve as a pathway from secondary to post-secondary education, and ultimately, careers in Utah’s digital media and STEM fields. Power Up! is sponsored by Google Fiber as well as a grant from Utah’s Department of Workforce Services STEMlink program. Spy Hop programming is also funded in part by the Salt Lake City Arts Council, ZAP (Zoo, Arts & Parks) and the Utah Division of Arts & Museums.