Litchfield County non-profit seeking young creative video game makers

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WASHINGTON – The ASAP! nonprofit is looking for the most creative young video game designers for their next game design celebration.

The nonprofit, which is based in Washington but serves all of Northwestern Connecticut, said it was an educational organization focused on the arts.

“Our hands-on programming promotes awareness of how the arts, humanity and learning are all interconnected,” said its program director Ali Psomas. “We approach education through project-based learning or child-led learning. Children are much more engaged when they feel empowered to do so. It’s just a different approach to education than standard schooling.


This is the second year that ASAP! hosted its celebration of young game designers, as they solicit submissions from students in grades 3 to 12.

“So many kids don’t have the opportunity to explore video game development,” Psomas said. “I know some schools have programs and some departments help support them. There is so much creativity in video game design that people really don’t realize. I know parents can say ‘These kids and these video games’, but there’s so much art, storytelling, and creativity going into that and we really want to highlight it. “

The idea came from one of the association’s board members, Andrew Linde, who has a media company and experience in game design.

Psomas said this opportunity can turn a child’s passion for video games into a potential career if it resonates with them.

“I feel like I just want to encourage the students to really give it a try,” Psomas said. “We’re just asking for an idea. I just want to encourage the children to get their ideas. I hope they will and I hope we get more and more each year and this celebration continues to grow. With all of the kids playing video games, they should understand the development and design behind what they spend so much time doing. It’s a remarkable feeling.

AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE! asks young video game designers to submit a multi-step plan for their most creative, nature-themed video game idea. Submissions include elevator pitch, design goals, core gameplay loop, artwork, and story elements like narrative, setting, and characters.

Selected young game designers will have the chance to participate in the non-profit organization’s game jam weekend from February 25-27. who will pair them with professionals from the game design world who will work with them and bring their idea to life.

“We organize teams of professional game designers and developers,” Psomas said. “Each team has a voice over artist, a developer and a programmer. These are people from all over the country. We bring them in and they work for three days in February and they meet the young game designer for an hour each of these days.

Psomas said it was interesting to see the inaugural experience last year as their young game designers would explain their vision and take ownership of the project.

“It was fun last year when the game developers met them on Saturday,” Psomas said. “Some of the comments from the students were, ‘I don’t like it. I don’t imagine it like that. Can you change it? And they changed it. It really is a compromise. Kids have a level of authority that they have because it’s their game and the developers are working with them.

Those interested in submitting should visit asapct.org for more information. Submissions should be sent February 1st. The association will select its winners on February 15 and host a live broadcast on March 20 at 2 p.m. featuring the completed projects.


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