FAQ

What is Minecraft?

Minecraft is a video game with no defined story or place for players to go. Instead, players simply explore the world around them and are free to engage in creating structures, maps, fighting enemies, or any other goal the player sets for themselves. This makes it naturally suited for use as a learning platform, as lessons in game design, electronics, and programming lend themselves to this environment.

Can Minecraft be played on a Mac?

Minecraft is a cross-platform game and as such works on Windows computers, Mac computers, and Linux computers. However, while Minecraft does have a Pocket edition for mobile phones, most creations made in our Minecraft camps are only compatible with the Mac/PC/Linux version of Minecraft, not the Pocket edition or the version of Minecraft made for consoles such as the Xbox or Playstation.

Why should my child go to Minecraft camps?

Minecraft, in addition to being a fantastically fun game for students to play, offers students a great opportunity to learn a variety of subjects they might not otherwise – including programming, game design, & electronics. Through Minecraft, students are easily motivated to learn concepts such as Java programming and electrical engineering – concepts that they may not otherwise be exposed to until high school. At Minecraft camp, we motivate students to go on exploring technology using a format that is guaranteed to captivate their interest and keep them focused.

Do kids need to bring their own Minecraft account to VisionTech?

Students do not require a Minecraft account, though they may choose to use their own if they have one. For students who do not possess a Minecraft account, a VisionTech Minecraft account will be provided for the duration of the camp. Students who wish to use their own account must bring their username and password to camp.

My child has never played Minecraft? Which Minecraft camps are appropriate for my child?

For a beginner, either 3D Game Design with Minecraft, Minecraft Server Setup or Adventures in Minecraft are appropriate for a first-time Minecraft player. Our Minecraft Modding with Java & Forge camp and Minecraft Modpack Development camp assume that students are familiar with how to play Minecraft.

Will children be learning or playing at Minecraft camps?

Vision Tech uses Minecraft as a learning tool, not just a game. In Vision Tech Camps, as in all of our tech camps, kids have specific learning goals they must meet every day. Our Minecraft camps focus on learning objectives such as learning a new type of circuit, building a certain type of mod, or designing a game level. On the first day of camp, students are made aware that they have specific learning goals, and must actively engage in learning goals when the teacher is teaching.

What is Minecraft Modding?

Minecraft Modding is the process of creating a Minecraft mod – a “modification” to the game, made by creating Java code designed to extend the game of Minecraft with things like new items, new weapons, armor, monsters, and more! By creating mods, students are learning Java programming as well as game design itself, by seeing how to not only create these mods but to see how these affect the gameplay of Minecraft.

What is a Minecraft Modpack?

A Minecraft modpack is a collection of multiple mods – often including some made by the creator of the modpack, and others made by other mod creators. A modpack is designed to combine these mods into a single, unified experience that usually revolves around one or more themes, such as magic, technology, or space. By building a modpack, students learn both about the game design of balancing mods, as well as the technical details of putting multiple mods together using code.

What is video game design?

Any action or claim brought against Releasees, or any of them, in connection with this Waiver and Release of Liability, must be brought within one (1) year of the date that the loss or injury giving rise to such claim occurs.

Why should my child learn video game design?

Parent/Guardian acknowledges that it is their responsibility to notify Vision Tech regarding any known allergies of the Participant, and if necessary, to bring an EpiPen or any other necessary medical equipment to Vision Tech activities. Parent/Guardian verifies that the health information you provide to Vision Tech is correct and complete and that the Participant has permission to engage in all Vision Tech activities.

What game design courses does VisionTech offer?

Vision Tech may, at its own discretion, dismiss any Participant whose actions are deemed disruptive or otherwise detrimental to the atmosphere of VisionTech’s activities. Parent/Guardian acknowledges that there shall be no refund in the event of such a dismissal. Parent/Guardian also acknowledges that the Participant may be dismissed without a refund in the event of Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco possession/use, viewing inappropriate material on the internet(including violent, racist, pornographic content, etc.), inappropriate language, threats of violence, theft, bullying, sexual harassment, hacking, or damage to Vision Tech property or premises.

What is the difference between 2D & 3D game design?

For a beginner, both 3D Game Design with Minecraft, or our more general 2D Game Design camps, such as Mobile Video Game Design are appropriate, so parents may freely choose the camp that is more suited to their child’s interests. In terms of concepts, the 2D Game Design courses are more suited to learning programming and art, while the Minecraft game design camps are more suited to learning about level development and user experience.

Should my child pick Minecraft game design or a more general 2D game design camp to start with?

Absolutely! At the end of camp, students will take their game or game project home to continue working on at home.

Will my child take their game home after the game design camp is over?

For a beginner, both 3D Game Design with Minecraft, or our more general 2D Game Design camps, such as Mobile Video Game Design are appropriate, so parents may freely choose the camp that is more suited to their child’s interests. In terms of concepts, the 2D Game Design courses are more suited to learning programming and art, while the Minecraft game design camps are more suited to learning about level development and user experience.

Can these video games be played on a PC or a Mac?

Most games built in our game design camps can work on both PCs and Macs. However, many of these games require this to be set during the game design process, so ensure that students are aware of what type of computer they have at home.

What kind of software is used in game design camps?

We use professional grade software for all our video game design camps. For our 3D Game Design camps, we use Unreal Engine 4, and the Source Hammer Engine for level development in our TF2 and DOTA game design camps. For our Mobile Game Design camps, we use Stencyl, and the Apple XCode Development Kit, along with the Android Developer Kit to build our games. For specific software used per camp, please visit our individual camp pages.

Will children be learning or playing video games?

At our video game design camps, kids have a structured curriculum that they work on, with set goals & expectations. The only times that kids can be freely playing is during break time. During the rest of camp, students are guided to work on their game design projects and rewarded for achieving these goals.

What is Programming?

Programming is the science of writing a series of instructions to command a computer to perform the desired task, such as moving a robot, or making a game character perform certain actions. Programming involves the creation of these series of instructions, or “programs”. The code of these programs can be written a variety of different programming languages, such as Java, Python, or C, but regardless of programming language, these are a series of instructions for the computer to perform.

How can learning programming help my child?

Computer programs have become ubiquitous in recent years, both in the workplace and at home. Learning the basics of programming helps students understand how these programs work, and better understand the world around them. In addition, learning programming helps kids develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Programming also helps students to become active content producers and explore tech careers including programming, game design, & robotics

What programming courses does Vision Tech offer?

VisionTech offers several programming courses, including Robotics & Visual Programming, Computer Science & Robotics with Arduino, Java Programming, Game Development with Python Programming, Minecraft Modding with Java & Forge, & Coding & Video Game Design with Tynker. In addition, our 3D Level Design with Unreal Engine 4 camp features some optional programming segments.

Is coding different from programming? Is scripting different from programming??

While there is a technical difference between the terms programming and coding, the two terms are often used interchangeably – even in professional environments. Scripting usually refers to small programs built in certain languages, and while it is also often used interchangeably with programming, it is used less often – for example, you would be unlikely to see someone programming in Java to refer to their code as a script.

What programming language should a new learner start with??

The choice of first programming language for new students is often hotly debated among teachers and computer scientists. However, while each student is unique, we believe that it is best for students at younger ages to start learning with a visual programming language, such as those offered in the Robotics & Visual Programming camp. For older students who are planning to learn a more “traditional” programming language with written code, we believe the ideal first language to be either Python or Java. However, each student is unique, and often student interest in a topic, such as an Arduino robot, can make their first language choice more suited to their interests.

My child has very little programming experience, is my child a good fit for Vision Tech??

Absolutely! At Vision Tech, every child will work on their individual computer and projects, thus controlling where they start. Beginning programmers will start with introductory lessons, designed to give first-time learners a solid foundation to learn to program.

My child has done some programming at home, is my child a good for Vision Tech?

Absolutely! At VisionTech, every child will work on their individual computer and projects, thus controlling where they start. Advanced students will start with a quick refresher, and move on to intermediate and advanced lessons with more challenging programming projects.

Are these programming camps a good preparation for the AP Computer Science class?

Our Java Programming camp gives kids a solid foundation and a good understanding of programming concepts that will be covered in the AP Computer Science class. However, this camp does not follow the AP Computer Science curriculum designed by Collegeboard and is intended as a solid preparation to give students an edge who will be taking the AP Computer Science class in school.

What is an IDE?

Many of our programming camps use an Integrated Development Environment, or an IDE during camp. An Integrated Development Environment is a tool designed to make programming easier on the programmer, often flagging common issues up, and assisting in the running and debugging of code. These IDE’s generally vary depending on the language being taught in camp, but these are often invaluable tools assisting programmers.

What is the Java programming language?

Java is currently one of the world’s most popular programming language – and a great introduction to programming. The Java Programming Language is currently what is tested on the AP Computer Science tests, and a great programming language to get kids and teens coding. Java code is cross-platform, meaning that it works on Mac, Windows, and Linux computers, regardless of operating system, thus making ideal for all computer users to start learning to program.

What is the Python programming language?

Python is quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular and easy-to-learn programming languages – and a great introduction to programming. The Python Programming Language is one of the fastest growing languages in the world, and a great programming language to get kids and teens coding. The Python interpreter is cross-platform, meaning that it works on Mac, Windows, and Linux computers, regardless of operating system, and provides an excellent introduction to coding, given its user-interactive nature.

What are C programming languages?

The C family of programming languages, including C, C++, C#, Objective-C, Robot-C, and many others are programming languages that are influenced by the original C language. C and C++, in particular, are extremely popular, and while older than some more recent languages are valued for their speed. However, due to complexities in their design, many of these languages can be a little tricky to use. While some variants, such as C# are easier to use, they often sacrifice the speed that makes C++ so popular.

Register today with Vision Tech Camps. Choose from Minecraft Camps, Programming Camps, Robotics Camp, Video Game Camps.  Computer science camps for high school students. Coding camps for kids and more. 

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