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MakeGamesWithUs gets up close and personal with its new summer academy

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on April 28, 2014

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Ashutosh Desai (left) and Jeremy Rossman, who graduated a year apart from Menlo School, want other people to do what they did in high school — make iPhone games.

“We took computer classes together and had this incredible teacher — Michael Thibodeaux,” said Ashu. “He’s pretty much the best there is. I took six classes from him while I was at Menlo and published my first game, Helicopter, as a result.”

Together, they founded MakeGamesWithUs, which helps people make and publish iOS games through various online tools and tutorials. Now they are introducing a Summer Academy where students will learn to design, code and ship a game in the real world, with locations in Palo Alto, San Francisco and New York City. Deadline for admission is May 3.

“We’ve offered summer internship in previous years,” Ashu said. “It turns out that people really valued the in- person learning. So we decided to launch a two-month intensive targeting 13-to-25 year olds.

“The main thing is the people. In learning situations, you remember your teachers and peers. We believe we already have the best tutorials on the Internet but understand that peers are motivators. All of our current employees as well as Jeremy and I will be teaching, as well as some people from higher education.”

Over a million students have used the online tutorials offered on MakeGamesWithUs, and Ashu is quick to give credit to co-founder Jeremy: “We’re different than a lot of start up co-founding pairs, where one is the techie and one is the business person. In our case we both started as coders and game builders. I trust his instincts and he trusts mine.

“We’ve been living and working together since 2011. We currently have a houseful of roommates and are now even sharing a room. Thankfully we communicate incredibly well!”

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