Game Creation

Today I started team teaching with my colleague Kynan Robinson @kynanr based around the idea of game creation. We have 23 boys and 4 girls in a class of grade 5/6’s. These students have been selected based on their interest and aptitude in the area of ICT and gaming. We will be working with them an hour a week for the term.
We started off with the question “what makes a good game?” Students worked in groups to answer this question.  Here are the student answers to what they believe makes a good game;

  • A good game needs good graphics, regular updates, multi player and allowing the player to control where they go and what they do.
  • Good characters, good levels, new items, unlocking achievements,
  • Learning about real life, targets, relationships between characters
  • Good graphics,

An adventure, a moral to the game, and a virtual game

  • Things happen that isn’t expected. Effects, levels, different versions
  • Games that are addicting
  • Characters with personality
  • YOU choose what the character looks like.
  • Multiplayer (Games when you can verse or play with people around the world OR with a friend.)
  • Characters that you can control or use as an avatar
  • Games that get harder and more challenging as you play.
  • Games that you can learn from.

Some of their own questions that the students came up with were –
What makes games so addictive?
What makes a good character in a game?
What makes a good baddie?
What makes a good team player in a multi-player game?
What makes a game fun to play?
Why do people play games?

Our plan is for students to begin to design and create their own games. The students have had some experience with Scratch but we would like to find other platforms to design our games. I have been doing a bit of research about Game Salad and would be keen to find out if this is a worthwhile program? I have read a little about Stencyl and Game Maker however would love some more information about these programs or any that are better? Any ideas? Anyone had any experience with these programs?

2 thoughts on “Game Creation

  1. Hey,

    I’ve been teaching a 5/6 elective with gamemaker for the last 6 months and struggled with the steep learning curve for all but my top students. Early on in the unit I also found I didn’t have a strong enough grasp of the program to help guide the students and unlike many other programs I use the students found it wasn’t intuitive enough for them to explore it on their own.

    I haven’t explored gamesalad as we’re predominantly a windows school 🙁 and we don’t have enough macs for all the students. I also tested Stencyl over the holidays and was very impressed, its entry point (with the premade actions and sprites etc) is much lower, unfortunately I’m not running a programming elective this term so I can’t comment on the way the students used it but I think it’s the way to go.

    If you decide to go with gamemaker send me an email and I’ll send you some stuff I made for it.


  2. Hi Kristen,
    I haven’t used the games that you mention…I have used Scratch and Microworlds Jr which is a logo programming environment (Scratch is based on logo too).

    My friend Sylvia Martinez knows lots about gaming and I found this wiki page from a presentation thatshe did. I think you might like to have a browse!

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