With a thick Australian accent, Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School (CTE) student Ryan Gundermann easily describes his passion.
"I am a writer. I like story building and telling a story that's fun and interesting," said the junior from the Guilderland Central School District.
Classmate Derek Moscoso also enjoys the art of telling stories.
"It's fun to build characters, to describe a story," the Scotia-Glenville junior states.
Gundermann and Moscoso could easily be describing their passion for English language arts or any literary class. Instead the pair, as well as classmate Dylan Chapman of Mohonasenasen, recently sat down and spoke glowingly of the Video Game Design class offered by Capital Region BOCES CTE.
"You get to write stories and do art. It's everything a game need's to be made," Moscoso said of the class.
Gundermann, who immigrated to the area from Australia a couple of years ago, said his passion lies in telling stories. He decided to turn that enjoyment and combine it with his love of video games to build a career in video game design.
"I enjoy building characters, their mannerisms and attitudes," he said. "I love the art of writing."
Of course there is also the technology aspect of game design - the programming and computer design needed to turn a story into an interactive game that holds the attention of young people, teens and adults alike.
"The small details, like making characters high five each other. People don't realize how hard that is to program and make happen," Chapman said.
Moscoso said there is so much more to video games than meets the eye.
"There's a lot more than people think there is. You have to design details into every characters their mannerisms, their bodies all have to have well-thought-out details," he said.
Students in the CTE program learn how to design videogames; create web pages, computer graphics and characters using Adobe software; create comics using ComicLife; and learn about business procedures and professional etiquette. Students prepare to test for Adobe Certified Associate exams in Flash, Photoshop and Dreamweaver.
Students work on a variety of projects and apply their knowledge by serving actual customers. They also may earn college credit and credit for integrated English or math.
In the top photo, Dylan Chapman, Derek Moscoso and Ryan Gundermann and talk outside of class.
In the second photo, Moscoso asks a question in class.