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Games and Virtual World Camps
 

Games and Virtual World Camps

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Presentation given at the AECT 2011 conference in Jacksonville, Florida about the NIU video games camps for middle and high school students.

Presentation given at the AECT 2011 conference in Jacksonville, Florida about the NIU video games camps for middle and high school students.

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  • Technology camps for middle and high school students
  • About the Digital Convergence Lab
  • About the camp
  • About the camp staff
  • We useGameMaker by Yoyo games.
  • We useGameMaker as the main application in our games camp because we have found it is easy for students to learn, and it has a huge community of practice, including Indy game developers.
  • One laptop per child was the route we decided to take so that every child has the same opportunities. However that means 16 different games were being developed and 16 sets of unique questions are being asked.
  • At lunch we walked the student through our landmark building “Altgelt Hall”. After lunch we took students for a virtual tour of Altgeld Hall in Second Life.

Games and Virtual World Camps Games and Virtual World Camps Presentation Transcript

  • Aline Click, Northern Illinois UniversityJason Underwood, Northern Illinois University AECT 2011
  •  The Digital Convergence Lab Games Camp ◦ Theconcept ◦ The technology ◦ The experience ◦ Lessons learned Virtual Worlds Camp ◦ The concept ◦ The technology ◦ The experience ◦ Lessons learned
  •  Interdisciplinary Partnership ◦ University Libraries and Division of Outreach, Engagement, and Information Technology Services Innovative technologies and innovative application of technologies, with an emphasis on learning Primary Missions ◦ Experiential Learning ◦ Shared Research and Development ◦ Community Outreach
  •  Provide an environment that engages middle-school aged kids of all backgrounds and skill levels to the concepts and practice of media design and development, fundamental concepts of logic and programming, and provide an outlet for creativity. Objective of games camp: By the end of this camp, you will design and develop a video game. 4 Days, 9a-4p 2009, 2010, 2011
  •  DCL Staff ◦ Educational Technology ◦ Media Specialists ◦ 3D Artist/Programmers Graduate Assistants ◦ Art ◦ Educational Technology Faculty Fellow ◦ Art Education
  •  GameMaker (by YoYo Games)
  •  GameMaker ◦ Lite/Full exports to .exe ◦ Other (new) versions export to HTML5, Mac version creates Mac Apps ◦ Strong community
  •  Hammerhead (Beat Creator) http://www.threechords.com/hammerhead/download.shtml BXFR (Sound effects) http://www.bfxr.net/ GIMP Audacity
  •  Play/Discuss Build Play/Discuss Build Play/Discuss Lunch Think, Design, Playtest, Change (GameTech, Boys and Girls Club of America, 2009)
  •  Play-Consoles Games you love/What makes a good game ◦ Not too hard, not too easy, gets harder with you, space out, don’t notice time ◦ Fun ◦ Looks good Play/Design Tour-Knytt Stories GameMaker Play/Design Tour-World of Goo GameMaker Clown Game Game Ideas Brainstorm Design Documents
  •  Play Consoles GM: Deconstruct Clown GM: Improve Clown ◦ Lives, Health, Shooting, Rooms Design Documents Play/Design Tour: Aquaria GM: Getting Started Play/Design Tour: VVVVVV GM: Worktime/Special Topics ◦ Gravity, Enemy health
  •  Play/Discuss-Braid Image Editing/Creation ◦ Gimp ◦ Backgrounds, characters, enemies, pickups Audio Creation ◦ Audacity, Hammerhead, BXFR ◦ Sound effects, game music GM: Worktime/Special Topics ◦ Variables ◦ If-Then ◦ Large rooms
  •  GameMaker: Worktime Play Testing Reflection Packaging Sharing/Celebration Where do we go from here?
  •  OLPC “Build time” is resource intensive Staff Debrief Balance whole class versus individual instruction ◦ Job Aids/Web/Youtube Expectations Consoles/Games/Building Lunch Games
  •  Learned how to create game by: ◦ Instructor demo: 75% ◦ Asked peer: 56.3% ◦ “Messing Around”: 37.5% I enjoyed creating my digital game: ◦ 87.5% Strongly Agree, 12.5% Agree I was able to create the content of my game to convey my message to players ◦ 18.8% Strongly Agree, 43.8% Agree, 37.5% Don’t Agree I feel like I learned how to identify and solve problems ◦ 37.5% Strongly Agree, 50% Agree, 12.5% Don’t Agree My ability to express my thoughts and ideas has been enhanced through making games ◦ 50% Strongly Agree, 43.8% Agree, 6.3% D I used many artistic skills to create my digital game. ◦ 37.5% Strongly Agree, 50% Agree, 12.5% Don’t Agree
  •  How did you benefit? ◦ I now know how to make videogames at home ◦ I became even more creative ◦ I may now have a career in this industry What did you like? ◦ I liked being able to make your own sprites through your imagination and ideas ◦ Getting to play my finished game in the end ◦ Programming What didn’t you like? ◦ The frustration of the computer not understanding ◦ How hard it was ◦ It was too short. All the glitches in my game ◦ Learning the ropes
  •  Provide middle school students an opportunity to learn to build independently and collaboratively in a virtual environment, applying design and development concepts in 2D and 3D art, and provide an outlet for creative energy with a high impact, engaging experience. Objective: Create a presence in a virtual world with a customized avatar, clothing, accessories, and a structure, such as a home, castle, fort. 4 days, 9a-4p 2009, 2010, 2011
  •  Most attended the first week “Games Camp” but not all Ages 11-13 13 Males and 3 Females
  •  OpenSimulator (OpenSim)
  •  GIMP (Textures) QAvimator (Avatar Animation) Audacity (Sound) Image from Qavimator.org screenshots
  •  Play – Consoles, PC Theme Presentation (see lessons learned): Zoo, Tribe, Social Justice Cirkus Animation Altgeld Hall Introduction to Opensim Modeling Basics Avatar Customizing Texturing
  •  Play/Build Creating custom textures Creating clothing from templates Face templates Building structure (fort, home) ◦ Windows, roofs, towers
  •  Play/Build Pigeon Impossible Video ◦ Good, Fast, or Cheap 3D Animation - Qavimator Importing Animations Adding sound to objects Build time Screenshot from Pigeon Impossible website
  •  Build time Scripting Celebration
  •  Opensim Challenges Theme for Direction Building with limits, landform and prim size Diversity of Activity/Experience Parcels/Etiquette Anonymity Keeping track of stuff
  •  How did you benefit from the experience? ◦ “It helped me learn how to get past difficult problems” ◦ “I think it helped me when I eventually try to get a job in game design” What are things you liked about the experience? ◦ “Customizing my avatar and space” ◦ “I liked being able to build anything without having to do a 5 hour search for only one type item, and how everything is accessible to you”
  •  What are things you disliked? ◦ “the camp is too short!” ◦ “Less lectures” Please provide suggestions to help us improve our instruction ◦ “I don’t have any suggestons for the camp I didn’t have any problems in the camp, in my head the camp is perfect” Please provide any other comments… ◦ “It would be nice if you could make the camp a little longer” ◦ “MAKE THE CAMP LONGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
  •  I would like to have a career in the video game industry. Strongly agree 37.5%, Agree 43.8%, Disagree 6.3%, Strongly Disagree 12.5% I liked playing with the virtual spaces created by my peers. Strongly agree 75%, Agree 25% I forgot about time passing while participating in the activities. Strongly agree 69%, Agree 25%, 6% Disagree
  •  Girls Scouts Game Design Workshop Aspergers students (middle and high school) At-risk residential camp (high school) Teacher Professional Development Art Education (undergraduate and graduate level students) High School After School Art Club
  •  Jason Underwood: junderwood@niu.edu Aline Click: aclick@niu.edu Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/Aliandrews Digital Convergence Lab: http://dcl.niu.edu Facebook Group: NIU Digital Convergence Lab Twitter: NIUConvergence Illustrations by Scott Fleming Photographs by Elizabeth Anderson