How I Went From Attending Talent Camp to Mentoring It

May 30, 2024
Gašper Moderc, Software Engineer

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved playing and making games. Whether it was creating board and card games or digital ones, the game creation process has always fascinated me. I'm also a self-proclaimed bookworm (fantasy novels are my absolute favorites, especially by authors like Brandon Sanderson).

Fast forward to today, and I’m now bringing together my two passions — gaming and reading — to fuel creativity and inspiration in my game development work.

Hi, I'm Gašper, a software engineer at Ekipa2 (an Outfit7 subsidiary).. And this is the story of my journey from an eager student at Talent Camp 2019 to a full-time developer, and now a mentor at this year’s Talent Camp.

A Leap of Faith

My story with Outfit7 started back in 2019. At the time, I was a master's student in computer science at Famnit College in Koper. To be honest, I didn’t really know much about Outfit7 back then and didn’t know that they put on a Talent Camp every year. One day, the teacher from one of my favorite courses mentioned Talent Camp in passing, saying it was a great opportunity to get into the games industry. I jumped at the chance and applied.

And by some miracle, I was accepted!

I remember being super nervous on the first day, not really knowing what to expect. I’m not sure why, but I was expecting an intense and competitive environment where we would just be put into teams and have to fend for ourselves for the next four days. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

The atmosphere was super relaxed and collaborative. Participants came from everywhere — Spain, Brazil, Croatia, and the United States. The diversity was incredible, and it made for a rich learning experience.

What also stood out was the nice blend of hard work and fun. We started with serious coding sessions only, but fortunately, the organizers planned some leisure activities to release some stress, like Nerf gun battles, board games, table football, and even going to a nearby trampoline park. For someone like me, who tends to be more introverted, these activities were a great way to break the ice and relieve stress.

Making a Game in 2.5 Days

So, the premise for Talent Camp is fairly straightforward. You get put into a team and have a little over two days to create a video game from scratch! Sounds simple enough, right!?

Working on this game project was both challenging and rewarding for me. I'll always remember that first day, struggling to decide on a game concept with my team. While other teams were already deep into development, we spent most of the day brainstorming. But once we settled on our idea, which merged ideas of old retro classics, our masterpiece was ready to be built! It was a complex little game, but seeing it come to life was incredibly satisfying.

One of the most impactful experiences was working closely with a more experienced developer on my team. He took me under his wing and sat me in front of a whiteboard to explain how to make games according to industrial standards — something my college course didn't cover. It was a kind of crash course in game development that proved invaluable (I still use some of the approaches he taught me today).

After finishing Talent Camp, I was fortunate enough to be hired full-time by Outfit7. I've worked on projects like Mythic Legends, an auto-chess battler game, and I'm currently developing a new Tamagotchi-style game with innovative elements. My usual workday consists of merging together animations, 3D models, UI elements and a bunch of code to get a seamless result. And best of all, I get to make games for a living!

Coming Full Circle

This year, I’m returning to Talent Camp, but this time as a mentor. I’m excited to give back to the program that gave me so much. I look forward to meeting new participants who share my passion for game development, and to helping them navigate their projects. It's a chance for me to share my industry insights, offer guidance, and hopefully inspire the next generation of game developers.

To anyone considering Talent Camp, my advice is simple: Don’t be afraid; just go for it. Even if you have little to no professional experience in game development, the camp is designed to help you grow. The supportive environment and the wealth of knowledge you gain from peers and mentors are invaluable. If you're passionate about working in the gaming industry and have a taste for it, this is an opportunity you don't want to miss.

I'm excited to relive the Talent Camp experience from a different perspective, and can't wait to see what amazing ideas this year's participants will bring to life.

If you're considering applying, take the leap — it might just be the start of an incredible journey, just like it was for me.

Want to share this article?