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Game Design for Middle School Students

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In this presentation, given to middle school students participating in Aim High, I teach the fundamentals of designing video games. This is an interactive lesson where students spend the majority of their time in teams building, playing and iterating on a game prototype.

Game Design for Middle School Students

  1. 1. ethan levy | aim high comic book club| july„12 LEARNING TO MAKE VIDEO GAMESwww.famousaspect.com
  2. 2. a brief history of Ethan Intern & Test Metrics & User Test Game Design Game Production• 9.5 years experience as a game designer and producer• Contributed to games for PS2/Xbox, iPhone/iPad, Facebook, PC, Browser, DSwww.famousaspect.com
  3. 3. interests surveywww.famousaspect.com
  4. 4. favorite mangawww.famousaspect.com
  5. 5. favorite western comicwww.famousaspect.com
  6. 6. favorite video gamewww.famousaspect.com
  7. 7. favorite board/card gamewww.famousaspect.com
  8. 8. favorite moviewww.famousaspect.com
  9. 9. favorite tv showwww.famousaspect.com
  10. 10. favorite websitewww.famousaspect.com
  11. 11. top 3 hobbies• Video games• DJing• Exercisingwww.famousaspect.com
  12. 12. today, you all become game designers• Roles on a game development team• Q&A• Game design is iteration• Group activity – let‟s make a game o game prototyping o game testing o iterationwww.famousaspect.com
  13. 13. video games are made by teams• Producer• Designer• Artist• Programmer• Writer• Project Manager• Marketing/PR• Community Manager• Quality Assurance• Audio• Product Managerwww.famousaspect.com
  14. 14. producer • Lead the team • Define the vision • Set the goalswww.famousaspect.com
  15. 15. designer • What is the game? • What are the rules? • What does the player do?www.famousaspect.com
  16. 16. artist • Define the look • Create the world • Illustration • Animation • 3d modelingwww.famousaspect.com
  17. 17. programmer • Write the code • Make the engine • Bring the game to life • Solve difficult problemswww.famousaspect.com
  18. 18. writer • Write the story • Write the dialog • Detail the worldwww.famousaspect.com
  19. 19. project manager • Own the schedule • Keep everything running • Set team goals • Track team progresswww.famousaspect.com
  20. 20. marketing and pr • Get the word out • Get articles written • Trailers • Advertisements • Competitionswww.famousaspect.com
  21. 21. community manager • Interact with players • Tell devs what the players want • Tell players what the devs are doing • Keep the community engagedwww.famousaspect.com
  22. 22. quality assurance • Test the game • Break the game • Give quality feedback • Help determine if the game is “done”www.famousaspect.com
  23. 23. audio • Write the music • Create the sound effects • Create the atmospherewww.famousaspect.com
  24. 24. product manager • Research player‟s needs • Gather insight on player behavior • Figure out how to make $$$ • Run experiments in the gamewww.famousaspect.com
  25. 25. what would you like to know about making video games? QUESTION AND ANSWERwww.famousaspect.com
  26. 26. shortened q&a• I cut some of the audio out of this slideshare• You are listening to some of my favorite questions• Students also asked questions on the following topicswww.famousaspect.com
  27. 27. what games I’ve worked onwww.famousaspect.com
  28. 28. if i play their favorite gameswww.famousaspect.com
  29. 29. role playing, cosplay and larpingwww.famousaspect.com
  30. 30. ratchet and clankwww.famousaspect.com
  31. 31. megaman 2www.famousaspect.com
  32. 32. tekken 5www.famousaspect.com
  33. 33. half life 2www.famousaspect.com
  34. 34. bioshockwww.famousaspect.com
  35. 35. borderlandswww.famousaspect.com
  36. 36. all games built on other games GAME DESIGN IS ITERATIONwww.famousaspect.com
  37. 37. tracing the roots of modern warfare 3 • Modern military shooter • Strong multiplayer • 8 th game in the main serieswww.famousaspect.com
  38. 38. building on past successeswww.famousaspect.com
  39. 39. monopolywww.famousaspect.com
  40. 40. basic rules of monopoly• Each player has a character and some money• On his turn, the player roles the dice to move his character around the board.• When the character lands on a property, the player may purchase it for its price• If the player lands on a property another player owns, he must pay the owner rent• If a player cannot pay rent, he goes bankrupt and his properties are given to the player he owes rent• When all players except one are bankrupt, that player winswww.famousaspect.com
  41. 41. parts of monopoly • Components o Characters o Property o Money o Dice o Cards • Goal o Own property o Get money o Last player standingwww.famousaspect.com
  42. 42. iterating on monopoly• Designer o Characters > Heroes o Property > Battles o Money > Loot o Dice > Stats o Cards > Spellswww.famousaspect.com
  43. 43. iterating on monopoly • Writer o Heroes > Ninjas o Battles > Monsters o Loot > Weapons & Armor o Stats > Abilities o Spells > Scrolls • Artist o Define look and feel o Define goalswww.famousaspect.com
  44. 44. group activity• 15 minutes to make a game• Team roles o Artist, Designer, Writer, Project Manager• Change 1 or 2 rules• 3 sentences describing the story• 1 example describing the art• Must be able to play 3 roundswww.famousaspect.com
  45. 45. prototyping• I‟ve shortened the audio here• Students had 15 minutes to prototype• 4x teams of students• Adults walked around and helpedwww.famousaspect.com
  46. 46. game design kits• 3x Blank Game Boards• 15x Poker Chips• 3x 10 sided dice• 8x 6 sided dice (colored)• 20x notecards• 8x crayons• 20x colored glass beadswww.famousaspect.com
  47. 47. rapid prototypingwww.famousaspect.com
  48. 48. rapid prototypingwww.famousaspect.com
  49. 49. player testing• Project manager stays with the game• Rest of team tests another game• Project manager takes notes• 5 minuteswww.famousaspect.com
  50. 50. play testingwww.famousaspect.com
  51. 51. play testingwww.famousaspect.com
  52. 52. iteration• Project manager discusses the test• What went right, what went wrong?• Make 1 change to the game• 5 minuteswww.famousaspect.com
  53. 53. congratulations game designers!www.famousaspect.com
  54. 54. congratulations game designers!www.famousaspect.com
  55. 55. congratulations game designers!• Find games to use as models• Make changes to the rules• Test your game with real players• Take notes and improve• Iterate until your game is fun• Polish up your game• This process works for board games, card games, video games, any type of game!www.famousaspect.com
  56. 56. continue the conversation…• Aim High – Donation Page• Read www.famousaspect.com• Follow @FamousAspect on Twitter• Contact FamousAspect@gmail.comwww.famousaspect.com

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