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Video-games 101: Unleashing the potential of students and teachers to create fun stuff


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Video-games 101: Unleashing the potential of students and teachers to create fun stuff

Presented at Scratch Conference 2013, 25-27 July, Barcelona.

Since 2006, hundreds of learning resources about Scratch have been developed and shared through the Internet. Therefore, learning how to install Scratch, arrange the blocks, upload projects, or create simple animations is straightforward for younger scratchers. However, they often realize that knowing how to use the Scratch programming environment does not necessarily mean knowing how to develop video-games. Moreover, teachers are usually not aware that their Mathematics, Physics or Arts knowledge can easily turned into video-game programming skills. With the purpose of helping both students and teachers to develop their own video-games in mind, we have created an online course that will be open and freely available for everyone.

The course covers several kinds of video-games and provides step-by-step tutorials to build them from scratch. The first section explains typical videogame mechanisms (i.e., scores, stages, etc.). The second section shows how to build a simple “snake” game using Scratch 2.0 new features like cloning or saving high scores in the Cloud. Section 3 is aimed to create a “Pang” version where simple Physics knowledge is needed to define the movements of the balls. In the fourth section of the course, we use a “Pac-Man”-like game to introduce basic concepts of Artificial Intelligence. Section 5 is focused on horizontal scrolling games like “Super Mario”. Non-arcade video-games are explained in section 6 with a two-player “Checkers” videogame. Finally, miscellaneous demos and proof-of-concepts are shown in section 7.

We want to explain how to create completely finished games, not simple demos. Therefore, each section shows every aspect involved in their development (i.e., architecture, design, fx, coding). In summary, our aim is to create an environment where students and teachers could learn how to use their Mathematics, Physics, or Arts knowledge in a fun-oriented way.

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Video-games 101: Unleashing the potential of students and teachers to create fun stuff

  1. 1. Scratch Conference 25-27 July 2013, Barcelona Rubén del Río Pablo Garaizar Universidad de Deusto VIDEOGAMES 101: UNLEASHING THE POTENTIAL OF STUDENTS AND TEACHERS TO CREATE FUN STUFF
  2. 2. Outline ● Yet Another Video-game Course? ● Video-games 101: ● Basics. ● Video-games: Snake, Break-out, Checkers, PacMan, Super-Tux. ● Roadmap ● Conclusions
  3. 3. Yet Another Video-game Course?
  4. 4. There are hundreds of Scratch tutorials Literally
  5. 5. Most of them are about video-games Not all of them
  6. 6. But usually they are too simple No stages, no high-scores, simple physics, etc.
  7. 7. The 1-hour tutorial syndrome I already know EVERYTHING about Scratch
  8. 8. Let's face big challenges Design and create a real video-game, not a demo
  9. 9. But... Why a MOOC? Nobody told you that 2013 is the anti-MOOC year?
  10. 10. Not everybody learns at the same pace Some get it immediately and get bored, some others need more time
  11. 11. Video-tutorials are just canned content But there is still place for creativity in their projects
  12. 12. We can overcome the 1-hour tutorial syndrome Not only in Programming, but also in Maths, Physics or Arts
  13. 13. We wanted a simple platform The course is currently at Udemy
  14. 14. Video-games 101
  15. 15. The basics Loops, levels, scores, high-scores, end of the game, etc.
  16. 16. Snake Clones, high-scores, destroy
  17. 17. Break-out Basic physics, levels, power ups, destroy
  18. 18. Checkers Mouse-based interactions, limited movements by the rules, 2-players, matching & destroy
  19. 19. Pac-Man Tile-based game development, simple IA for ghosts, fancy scoring display, avoid & destroy
  20. 20. Super-Tux Horizontal scrolling, relative physics, different levels, avoid
  21. 21. Roadmap
  22. 22. Roadmap There is still work to do
  23. 23. Conclusions
  24. 24. Up to 60 videos & 40 activities From the basics to real video-games
  25. 25. There is still work to do New video-games, new activities, new editions of the MOOC, etc.
  26. 26. We want to share it with the community All the content is copyleft, we are open to suggestions, comments or criticism
  27. 27. Thank you ;-) and... happy scratching! 2rurio txipi
  28. 28. References ● Resnick, M., Maloney, J., Monroy-Hernández, A., Rusk, N., Eastmond, E., Brennan, K., ... & Kafai, Y. (2009). Scratch: programming for all. Communications of the ACM, 52(11), 60-67. ● Czikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. Praha: Lidové Noviny. ● Salen, K. (2004). Rules of play: Game design fundamentals. The MIT Press. ● Scratch 2.0,
  29. 29. All rights of images are reserved by the original owners*, the rest of the content is licensed under a Creative Commons by-sa 3.0 license * see references in each slide