Game Design and Development in the Classroom
Presentation resources:
http://bit.ly/gamedev_seriousplay
Steve Isaacs, Willi...
Bio
Steve Isaacs, @mr_isaacs
Teacher, Video Game Design and Development
● Masters in Education, Online Teaching and Learni...
What I’m playing
What are you playing?
Evolution of a Game Design and Development
Curriculum
● Summer camps / After school program
● Unit in G & T program
● Full...
Why is Game Design and
Development Important?
Constructionism / Creativity
"Children don't get ideas, they make ideas"
"Better learning will not come from finding bette...
Designing for an Audience (Client)
This is hard for middle schoolers!!!!
Design Thinking / Iteration
Evaluate
Play Test
Conference
Refine
Engaging in process from conceptualization to finished pr...
Collaboration / Interdisciplinary
Computer Game
Development
CSC 5930-002
Dr. Tom Way
Innovative open studio approach to
ga...
Computer Science Concepts
Naturally emerge in construction of game resulting in
genuine, applied introduction to programmi...
Debugging
o It didn’t work...why?
o Authentic problem...not just hypothetical
Cultural Capital / Agency
“In a fishing analogy, landing the fish
would be mastery for the child, and once
taught, we let them move on to be
fascina...
Scaffolded Learning
** Scalable **
So, what does game design in class look like?
Student-Driven Learning
● Open-ended
● Democratic learning environment
● Studio setting
● It doesn’t have to be an “educat...
Setting up the classroom
● Studio environment
o Teacher as facilitator / partner in learning
o Quest Based Learning (3dgam...
Setting up the classroom
Quest Map:
Video Game Design and
Development
Main Quest-lines
Game Design Tools
Modding -- creating content for existing games often with in-game level editors /engines
Cameron
Development Tools
GameMaker Studio
o 2D game engine
o All objects programmed with events and actions
o Drag and Drop (or c...
http://www.yoyogames.com/learn
Side Quests
Student Blogs
Empowering Learners in the Maker Age
● Wood / Sheet Metal Game Controller
● Makey Makey Game Controller Box
● Makey Makey ...
Reflection and Debriefing
“Debriefing is the processing of the game experience to
turn it into learning.”
---Crookall, 2011
Reflection and Debriefing
What does good reflection look like?
● Game design principles
● Storyline / Character developmen...
Steve Isaacs - Game Design and Development in the Studio
Steve Isaacs - Game Design and Development in the Studio
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Steve Isaacs - Game Design and Development in the Studio

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Game Design and Development provides an authentic introduction to computer science concepts. Developing these skills with upper elementary and middle school students enables them to explore computer programming and problem solving within a design framework. The goal of this session is to provide a framework for teaching game design and development in a school setting.

Game design and development is an underutilized, but powerful tool in terms of creativity and design thinking. Video game design provides a valuable context for creating a constructionist learning environment where students are provided with great flexibility in both the learning path and the content as students become creators of content rather than consumers. Developing games puts students in a position to utilize technology as a design tool. Throughout the process, students have opportunities to work in a studio like environment while participating in a variety of activities including graphic design, programming, and sound engineering.

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  • Both
  • Both
  • Both
  • Steve
  • Both
  • Both
  • They have a tendency to want to explain; they want to use words to tell others how it is; getting feedback from players and adjusting game play rather than just saying how it should be; thinking flexibly; seeing your game through the player’s eyes; getting out of “yourself”
  • Steve
  • Egenfeldt-Nielsen, 2007, raise the importance of providing context for discussion and interaction in order to build community of learners and guide student thinking in a constructionist environment.
  • Both
  • OOP: in GameMaker developers create and program objects and behaviors
    inheritance one object inherits characteristics of other object
    paralellism - sequence of instructions happening concurrently
    loops - running sequence mult times sequencing - activity and task is series of steps / instructions
    variables - properties can change based on gameplay
    modularizing - building from smaller parts
  • Steve
  • Both
  • Both
  • Lisa / Steve
    WhilWQe thTHThese topics are often introduced in higher level (high school) courses, we think the full package of skills and abilities naturally occurring in courses such as game design are appropriate and valuable to explore at much younger ages.

    Inadvertent underestimation of middle schoolers.
    But this is a crucial time to grab their attention, give them a little space and let them demonstrate what they can do.
    While these topics are often introduced in higher level (high school) courses, we think the full package of skills and abilities naturally occurring in courses such as game design are appropriate and valuable to explore at much younger ages.

    Inadvertent underestimation of middle schoolers.
    But this is a crucial time to grab their attention, give them a little space and let them demonstrate what they can do.
    Exposure to things they might be interested in (or good at) during these formative years (Kelleher’s work)
    Exposure to things they might be interested in (or good at) during these formative years (Kelleher’s work)

  • There are a variety of ways to integrate game design in your classes, whether you have the luxury of teaching a game design course or are trying to work in elements of design within another class. We are going to give some examples of ways to do so with different software options.
  • Open-ended nature is key to allowing creativity to head in multiple directions. democractic -- students teach the teacher; it is a community effort where a variety of voices are recognized; games in and of themselves are educational...it doesn’t have to just be a game for educational purposes...when we pigeon-hole them, we lose some of the benefits.
  • girls, specialization, trying on different roles, creating together
  • girls, specialization, trying on different roles, creating together
  • girls, specialization, trying on different roles, creating together
  • Both
  • girls, specialization, trying on different roles, creating together
  • Creating something...the empowerment of “I made that.” Drag and drop environment makes programming very concrete.
  • GameMaker Studio demo after this slide
  • Creating something...the empowerment of “I made that.” Drag and drop environment makes programming very concrete.
  • girls, specialization, trying on different roles, creating together
  • Egenfeldt-Nielsen, 2007, raise the importance of providing context for discussion and interaction in order to build community of learners and guide student thinking in a constructionist environment.
  • Egenfeldt-Nielsen, 2007, raise the importance of providing context for discussion and interaction in order to build community of learners and guide student thinking in a constructionist environment.
  • Egenfeldt-Nielsen, 2007, raise the importance of providing context for discussion and interaction in order to build community of learners and guide student thinking in a constructionist environment.
  • Egenfeldt-Nielsen, 2007, raise the importance of providing context for discussion and interaction in order to build community of learners and guide student thinking in a constructionist environment.
  • Steve Isaacs - Game Design and Development in the Studio

    1. 1. Game Design and Development in the Classroom Presentation resources: http://bit.ly/gamedev_seriousplay Steve Isaacs, William Annin Middle School stevei2071@gmail.com twitter: @mr_isaacs http://gamesandlearning1.blogspot.com
    2. 2. Bio Steve Isaacs, @mr_isaacs Teacher, Video Game Design and Development ● Masters in Education, Online Teaching and Learning ● Owner/Operator, Liberty Corner Computing, an Interactive Training and Gaming Center ● 21 years in the classroom ● Passionate about game based learning, particularly Game Design and Development
    3. 3. What I’m playing
    4. 4. What are you playing?
    5. 5. Evolution of a Game Design and Development Curriculum ● Summer camps / After school program ● Unit in G & T program ● Full semester elective - Game Design and Development o GameMaker o Portal 2 o MineCraft ● Extension activities / Quest Based Learning ● 6 week cycle / exploratory course in Game Design and Digital Storytelling
    6. 6. Why is Game Design and Development Important?
    7. 7. Constructionism / Creativity "Children don't get ideas, they make ideas" "Better learning will not come from finding better ways for the teacher to instruct, but from giving the learner better opportunities to construct"
    8. 8. Designing for an Audience (Client) This is hard for middle schoolers!!!!
    9. 9. Design Thinking / Iteration Evaluate Play Test Conference Refine Engaging in process from conceptualization to finished product
    10. 10. Collaboration / Interdisciplinary Computer Game Development CSC 5930-002 Dr. Tom Way Innovative open studio approach to game development, simultaneously team-taught with a section of the course at Villinova and The College of New Jersey (TCNJ).
    11. 11. Computer Science Concepts Naturally emerge in construction of game resulting in genuine, applied introduction to programming:
    12. 12. Debugging o It didn’t work...why? o Authentic problem...not just hypothetical
    13. 13. Cultural Capital / Agency
    14. 14. “In a fishing analogy, landing the fish would be mastery for the child, and once taught, we let them move on to be fascinated by some other enticing concept or to use their new knowledge to scaffold to the next higher level. They move on, with greater knowledge and experience, to build upon what they now know.” ~Connie - Little Stars Learning http://littlestartlearning.blogspot.com
    15. 15. Scaffolded Learning ** Scalable **
    16. 16. So, what does game design in class look like?
    17. 17. Student-Driven Learning ● Open-ended ● Democratic learning environment ● Studio setting ● It doesn’t have to be an “educational game”
    18. 18. Setting up the classroom ● Studio environment o Teacher as facilitator / partner in learning o Quest Based Learning (3dgamelab)  Main Quest Lines  Side Quests o Collaboration  Options in terms of working alone or with others  Build in mechanism for peer evaluation and feedback  Community goal: help peer make game better (not critique)
    19. 19. Setting up the classroom
    20. 20. Quest Map: Video Game Design and Development
    21. 21. Main Quest-lines
    22. 22. Game Design Tools Modding -- creating content for existing games often with in-game level editors /engines
    23. 23. Cameron
    24. 24. Development Tools GameMaker Studio o 2D game engine o All objects programmed with events and actions o Drag and Drop (or coding) environment o Ability to use existing resources or create your own o GameMaker has built-in sprite editor o Strong introduction to Programming
    25. 25. http://www.yoyogames.com/learn
    26. 26. Side Quests
    27. 27. Student Blogs
    28. 28. Empowering Learners in the Maker Age ● Wood / Sheet Metal Game Controller ● Makey Makey Game Controller Box ● Makey Makey Power Towel Roll Flute ● Minecraft Automatic Chicken Generator ● Student Created Version of Flappy Bird (code.org) ● Student Created Version of Flappy Bird (GSM)
    29. 29. Reflection and Debriefing “Debriefing is the processing of the game experience to turn it into learning.” ---Crookall, 2011
    30. 30. Reflection and Debriefing What does good reflection look like? ● Game design principles ● Storyline / Character development ● Game Mechanics ● Replayability factor ● Challenge level vs. frustration ● Aesthetics / Sound ● Scoring mechanisms ● Winning / losing scenario

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