Concord Academy Game Design club is a haven for those interested in the intersection of art, music, design, and coding. The group was founded in 2021 by Thomas Crowley ’24. That spring, he welcomed Jessie Ma ’24 as co-head and rounded out the group with the addition of Quinn Williams ’25 in late 2022. The group looks to ignite a passion for game development in the CA community by teaching fundamental skills from coding in the professional game engine Unity to simple animation for characters.
Thomas has been interested in game design since middle school and always hoped to be able to pursue this passion at CA. He explained, “Game design was a medium of creative expression that I was personally really interested in since around late 2019, and I liked how it’s very intersectional in that a video game is one piece of art.” Thomas was excited to found a group where he could pursue this personal passion while simultaneously teaching and connecting with like-minded peers.
Currently, the club is working on a larger project to create a CA-themed arcade-style video game. Thomas described, “[It is like] Super Smash Brothers but set in the Stu-Fac and other areas of the CA campus with your teachers as the characters.”
The creation of this game emphasizes the intersectionality so crucial to the club’s mission. Club members select different areas of interest, from coding the game to creating sounds to drawing and animating characters, to help put together the completed video game. When the club meets each week, usually on Friday evenings, students split up into different groups to focus on their primary interests. The club also spends time together, often over the end of dinner, discussing the overall progress of the game. In this way, members can focus on their preferred skill set while still being heavily exposed to the other aspects of the game’s creation that they may be less familiar with.
Thomas, Jessie, and Quinn hope that the creation of this video game can help to expose students to the world of video game development. Game Design Club is also collaborating with STEM club DEMONS, which Thomas also co-heads, to help develop the physical structure for this project. Thomas, Quinn, and Jessie picked the Unity game engine to help teach students how to use industry-standard software for coding and intend for the more artistic aspects to also be of a semi-professional quality. This way, members can meet others with similar interests and have a sample of what game design or a related industry might feel like to work in.