Mar 12 2012

Making Games

Published by jfrank at 1:36 pm under games

“I want to make my cat shoot acorns! Ok?” a grinning sixth grade girl proclaims while pointing to her laptop.

“Sure thing.” I reply, smiling back.

I spent the last three months teaching a class about making video games for Saturday Academy. Working from two schools in north Portland that participate in the SUN after school program, I got to hold conversations like these during each class. During the end of 2011 I began wanting to teach a high school programming course, and when I heard about this opportunity via twitter I knew it wasn’t exactly what I wanted but it was close.

The software environment for the class was pre determined to be Game Maker from YoYo Games. I was skeptical at first wanting a cross platform open system, but it turned out to be good for getting students into game programming AND design all in one environment. I started by having each student sketch a character in four positions, run1, run2, stand, and jump. Using these as different sprites for the same object, we animated the characters and built basic platforming games over the course of 8 weeks.

This video is a montage of various game concepts that students came up with. Enjoy!

One response so far

One Response to “Making Games”

  1. Roduon 28 Mar 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Good work teaching the kids, Joshua. Excellent video montage and the music is perfect.

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