Kodu curriculum doc


Published on

Curriculo para maestros al usar KODU en sus procesos escolares.

  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Kodu curriculum doc

  1. 1. Studio K: A Game Design Curriculum for Computational ThinkingLuke Kane, Gabriella Anton, Wade Berger, Ben Shapiro, and Kurt Squire(Draft June 2012)The Goal of the Studio K curriculum is to teach students how to make their own video games with MicrosoftKodu, a visually based, 3D game design tool. We break down the game design process into 7 constructs: Goals,Rules, Assets, Spaces, Play Mechanics, Scoring Systems, and Narrative (GRASPS+N). By thinking of games interms of these constructs, students can more easily think about how to design fun, engaging games.The Studio K curriculum is also designed to support the development of computational thinking skills andproblem solving skills. Educational leaders have identified computational thinking as a critical set of skills thatstudents must be equipped with in order to be successful in any STEM careers.The core structure of Studio K is Play-Fix-Create. Within each mission, students begin by playing a level thathighlights the specific learning Goal of a lesson (e.g., Goals, Rules, etc.). Then they play a similar, but brokengame, in which they must identify the broken part (which is related to the learning Goal of the lesson), and fixthe game. After this, the students can then create their own game using and building on the knowledge gainedfrom each lesson.The following document outlines the core curriculum of Studio K based around Kodu, including lessons,assessments and alingment to Common Core Standards.
  2. 2. Table of Contents Introduction............................................................................................................................................................................ 2 Curriculum Design................................................................................................................................................................ 4 Using Kodu the First Time................................................................................................................................................. 5 Connections to Computational Thinking and STEM Skills..................................................................................11 STEM Standards Alignment............................................................................................................................................12 Missions..................................................................................................................................................................................13 Game Design Introduction...........................................................................................................................................14 Goals......................................................................................................................................................................................17 Rules......................................................................................................................................................................................20 Assets.....................................................................................................................................................................................23 Spaces....................................................................................................................................................................................26 Play Mechanics..................................................................................................................................................................29 Narrative..............................................................................................................................................................................31 Scoring Systems.................................................................................................................................................................33 Appendix................................................................................................................................................................................35Partners: 1
  3. 3. IntroductionThis curriculum is designed to get students to think about games as systems of interrelated parts andcomponents, each of which can be changed or manipulated in order to affect the player experience. In Mario,for example, the Goal of the game is simply “get to the end of the level”; however, if you changed the Goal ofthe game to “collect all the coins”, the player will have to interact with and play through the game differently. We begin by breaking down the components of games into 7 dimensions: Goals, Rules, Assets, Spaces, PlayMechanics, Scoring Systems, and Narrative (GRASPS+N). By designing games in terms of these dimensions,students will be able to more easily think of what things to change, how to change them, and why they wouldwant to change them.To apply these dimensions to a curriculum, we use a Play-Fix-Create flow to highlight aspects of each of thegame design dimensions. The structure of this model looks like this: The students will play a selected game, which is selected to the dimension for that lesson Level 1 (GRASPS+N). The students will then play a broken game and will have to identify what is wrong (some Level 2 part of the game that relates to the lesson) and how to fix it. The students are then free to create their own game, but focusing on manipulating the Level 3 dimension that the lesson is focusing on. They can use the “Play” or “Fix” levels as tem- plates, if they wish. The students will encounter a new create challenge that has a new particullarly difficult or novel design challenge related to the dimension for the lesson. Teachers will have flexibil- Boss Fight ity to choose between assigning a group or individual boss fight challenge, as well as the choice to ommit the Boss Fight from any particular lesson. At the end of each mission, the students will play at least 3 levels submitted by their class- mates for that particular mission. At the end of each mission, we have provided sample Playtest questions that teachers can ask students during these Playtest sessions, as well as sample rubrics for students to evaluate and review eachothers work (See Appendix, pg. 33) Screen shots of example solutions to the challenges are included in frames like the ones below to help with assesment, and sample grading rubrics will be provided in the Appendix. 2
  4. 4. We break the Level 2 and Level 3 portions of the lessons into three unique challenges. This will allow students to work at varying levels of difficulty and complexity, while still being able to complete the basic learning Goals for each lesson. We have also included three unique challenges in the Boss Fight in each lesson. Students have the freedom to choose any or all of these challenges, and they will earn points for the content of all of the game dimension Goals that they include when submitting Kodu levels for these challenges.Group discussions are also a part of this curriculum, and should last about 10-15 minutes. The remainder ofeach lesson is designed so students spend a majority of their time playing games, fixing games, designinggames, and reviewing games.Another important part of this curriculum is allowing students to call on their own experiences with games,which will help them to understand the lessons in terms of those experiences. For example, they will be ableto more concretely think about the Rules of their own racing game if they can relate them to the Rules of MarioKart or Need For Speed.One last thing to keep in mind is that, with respect to the students’ game designs, there are almost never anyright or wrong answers. Your students will most likely have very different experiences with video games, andwill have different ways of thinking about video games, especially what they find fun and why. So, in additionto the game design and computational thinking skills, this curriculum should also provide students a safearena in which to discuss this shared interest and learn how to focus their ideas in order to think more likeprofessional game designers. We also provide links to games from online gaming sites, such as Kongregate.com, and drawastickman. com. These are optional, but they also provide another reference point for students to see how the game design constructs they are learning are present in games they might already be playing. 3
  5. 5. Curriculum DesignGame design has been taught in several different ways and with a variety of tools. We created a curriculum inwhich students focus on the game design components rather than the components of any particular tool. Byusing the Kodu visual language and by following this type of curriculum, students will primarily focus on thethinking of games as problems or systems. This is different than the traditional approach to programminggames, which for younger audiences can cause hangups on the syntax of a programming language, or thespecific utilities of a particular tool. While we have created a framework which could be used with any gamedesign tool, we have provided tips and techniques here for students to really excel with Kodu.We want to start our thinking of games by thinking about games as systems of components that interact witheach other using Rules of behavior. The components of these systems work together to produce a play ex-perience, which we usually identify as “fun”. We define these components as Goals, Rules, Assets, Spaces, PlayMechanics, Scoring Systems, and Narrative (GRASPS+N). This curriculum is broken down into 9 lessons, one foran introduction to these game components, and then one lesson for each individual component.As students work through these lessons (missions) they will build upon the components they have previouslyencountered. However, the structure of the lessons is designed for a teacher to be able to either determine thepath the students take, or for the teacher to enable the students to work through the missions in any order.Each lesson is designed to take approximately two 45-50 minute class periods with most of the work to becompleted in class where the students have access to both Studio K and Kodu. However, the availability of Stu-dio K online enables teachers to shrink or stretch the curriculum to fit available classroom time. As an example,in pilot testing this curriculum was also used in a classroom where students only had 15-20 minutes of inclasstime with Kodu, and then worked independently outside of the classroom to finish their levels at home or dur-ing a study hall period.Technical RequirementsKodu will run on a variety of machines, as well as on XBOX video game consoles. The basic requirements forKodu and Studio K are listed below:Operating Systems: Windows 7 Windows Vista Windows XP (latest updates required)Additional requirements: A graphics card that supports DirectX 9.0c and Shader Model 2.0 or higher .NET Framework 3.5 or higher XNA Framework 3.1 Redistributable Internet connection (compatible with any web browser) In the event of technical difficulties where Studio K is not available, students should save their work in Kodu to flash drives or network storage so their work is preserved until a connection with Studio K is re-established. If both Studio K and Kodu are unavailable, the curriculum is structured favorably for students to create prototype responses to the challenges of each mission. These paper drawings, written descriptions, or lof-fi prototypes can serve as place holders until Studio K and Kodu are again avialable. 4
  6. 6. Using KoduYou can make many different kinds of games in Kodu, each with different kinds of actions and interactions. Butit’s best to start simple. So these first few lessons will help you get acquainted with this great game design tool. 1. Since most games take place in a virtual world, let’s start with making that world. We’ll start simple, and you can add more later. 2. First, find your Tool Menu. It’s a set of tiles at the bottom of the screen. Once you’ve found that, look for the paintbrush icon. This is how we’ll create more land. a. Once you’ve found that, go ahead and start adding some land. If you’re using the Xbox controller, it’s the right trigger. If you’re using the keyboard and mouse, it’ll be the left mouse button. And anytime you’re wondering about what buttons do what, check the left side of the screen. Starting at the top is a list of all the available commands. And if you don’t see what you’re looking for in there, you can always press the Back button (<) on the Xbox controller, or Escape (Esc) on your keyboard...that’ll take you back to the Tool Menu. 5
  7. 7. 4. Ok, so do you have some more land in there now? Don’t worry if it’s not perfectly square or round. You can always take time later to straighten out those edges. For now, let’s liven that land up a bit.5. Plain green grass might not be everybody’s cup of tea, so let’s change up some of that land type. If you’re using the Xbox controller, press the blue X button, if you’re using the keyboard and mouse, put your mouse over the land brush and look for the 4 multi-colored cubes. That’ll let you change your land material. Go ahead and pick whatever suits you and either change some of the land you’ve already added, or add some new land with this new material.6. So now our land looks nice and funky, but it’s still missing something. In your Tool Menu, find the icon to the right of the land brush tool. That’s the Create Hills/Valleys tool. Select that, and then use the right trigger or left mouse button to raise some land. If you go too high, press the left trigger or the right mouse button to lower some of it. 6
  8. 8. 7. Great! Now we have a funky-looking, elevationally-uneven world. But we’re making a game here, so we need some characters. To the left of the land brush tool, find the Kodu icon. This is the object tool and will let you add objects and characters to the world, and then edit and program them.8. For now, just add a Kodu to your world. We’ll program it, and just keep in mind that you’ll follow the same instructions for programming everything else.9. Once you’ve added the Kodu, either press Y on the Xbox controller or Right- click on it. This will let you bring up the Programming interface. Nothing in this world, or any other Kodu world, will do anything un- less you tell it exactly what to do and when to do it. So, this is where we’ll tell Kodu what to do.10. So you’ll notice that there is a blank line in here already that says When and Do. In the WHEN is where we’ll specify the conditions for action, and in the DO is where we’ll specify the action, itself. For example, if we want our Kodu to move when we use the arrow keys, we need to say WHEN: [arrow keys] --> DO: Move. In order to do this, click on the + sign next to either WHEN or DO, and add those tiles. 7
  9. 9. 11. It’s always a good idea to check that what you’ve just programmed is going to work the way you think it’s going to work. So go back out to your Tool Menu and find the Play icon, which should be over on the far left, and play your game. Aside from moving your Kodu, there shouldn’t be much else to do.12. But for this to be a game, we need some way to win, right? So let’s go back in and set up a win condition. Let’s just say that the player has to pick up an apple, and then they win the game. Some would argue this is not a game, but in this condition, we just want to set up a win condition. To do this, we’ll have to add an apple to our world. Go to the Object Tool, and move the cursor away from your Kodu. Then press A or the left mouse button to add a new item to the world. In the menu that pops up find the apple, and add it into the world.13. Now, you can test this out and see if you win when you “get the apple”. But if you do that, you’ll quickly notice that nothing happens. Well that’s because we didn’t tell the game how we are going to win.14. To do this, go into your Kodu’s programming and put this in: a. WHEN: Bump-Apple a DO: Grab-It b. WHEN: Got-Apple a DO: Win Game 8
  10. 10. 15. Test it out, and you should win the game as soon as you bump into the apple (hopefully you didn’t put it too far away). 9
  11. 11. Check out the table below...that’ll give you a quick-reference guide to some handy commands. After you startgetting a feel for this, though, try thinking of some different things that you might be able to do in Kodu. Like Isaid before, there’s a lot you can do, so if it doesn’t seem possible, try tackling it from a different perspective. ACTION WHEN DO RESULT Keyboard Character moves when Movement Arrow Keys Move you press the arrow keys Keyboard Jump Character jumps when Jump Space Bar ( actions ) you press the space bar Mouse Shoot-Blip- Character shoots randomly Shoot Left Click Color-Random colored blips when you press the left mouse button Once the Win condition has been defined Define Win Game Win Game ( outside the game ) and Condition achieved ( inside the game ), the player wins Health When the character’s Lose 0 Points Game Over health is depleted, you lose the game 10
  12. 12. Connections to Computational and Systems ThinkingThis curriculum is also designed to support the development of computational thinking skills. In a nutshell,computational thinking is a way of solving problems by breaking them down into functional pieces that havemeaning beyond the particular situation in which they are being used (Kolodner, NRC, 2011). In this curriculum,we divide the process of computational thinking into 5 constructs: Conditional Logic, Variables, Debugging,Algorithm Building, and Simulation. While each lesson outlines what the different constructs could look like,here is a table that more broadly outlines how we think about these constructs: CONSTRUCT DEFINITION EXAMPLE Using if-then-else logic If I land on a property that is structure to describe a owned by another player in Conditional Logic potential chain of events, Monopoly, then I will have to pay based on a given set them rent. of rules. Variables are symbols that hold value or represent In Mario, variable are keeping track Variables of the number of lives you have left some other thing. and your coin balance. Diagnosing errors in logic Debugging occurs often when you or behavior. This usually are playtesting or checking a new involves fixing rules or feature you have added. When you Debugging mechanics that are make a new iteration to your game, malfunctioning, or you test it for errors and make sure clarifying rules or any changes you have made do not strategies. break the game. In Mario Kart, the actions of The construction of a plan computer controlled Karts are the of action, with the long- result of algorithms, or planned Algorithm Building term goal of re-use in patterns and scripts, which future unknown or deterimine the path an enemy will unpredictable events. follow during the race. Players in chess can move a piece The enactment of around the board without releasing algorithms or plans in Simulation it from their hand. In doing so, they order to test the likely are examining the potential set of outcome. outcomes from that move. Table 1: Connecting the Computational Thinking constructs to examples in Kodu. 11
  13. 13. STEM Standards Alignment:Common Core Standards for Science and Technical LiteracyKey Ideas and Details: This standard requires students to be able to cite specific evidence within science andtechnical texts, determine its central ideas or conclusions, and provide an accurate summary of the text.Craft and Structure/Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: The Common Core requires that students be able toanalyze the structure of a body of work, including its different components/major sections contribute to anunderstanding of the topic. Example 1, in the Goals lesson, students must begin to identify one of those corecomponents of games, which is how a player can win or lose the game, and how changing this can contributeto the overall play experience. Example 2, a student may choose to design a game that is supposed to be likeMario, where the player wins when they reach the end of the level. In order to make a statement like this, theymust understand the structure of a Mario game, and that a player wins a Mario game by getting to the end ofeach level. Then they need to be able to reproduce that win condition in a different setting.In another example, a student may design a game where the player wins the game by collecting 10 coins. Afterplaying it a few times, he realizes that his game is too easy and there isn’t much that is preventing the playerfrom winning. So she implements a 60 second time limit. After a few more plays, and after getting a few ofher classmates to play the game, she lowers the time limit to 45 seconds, since most people were finishing thegame between 30 and 45 seconds. The student must understand how to integrate the both the time limit andthe Scoring to structure a game that is more favorable.In this whole iterative process, the student has run simulations and tests of her ideas, gathered data(informally), and adjusted his solution based on those data. This learning process is also in line withengineering design (for example see: Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum), oneGoal of which is for students to develop an iterative process that involved modeling and optimizing. In theRules example here, that is exactly what the student has done.Key Ideas and Details/Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: This Common Core standard also requires thatstudents be able to visually express quantitative or technical information. Try to challenge students to usegame design concepts and CT constructs in other areas. For example, in the Assets challenge, students haveto create a game that teaches a math or science concept. Game design principles can be applied to variouscontent in order to increase engagement.English Language Arts StandardsWriting .7.2. This standard requires students to write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic andconvey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.In Studio K this if found when students write Narratives for their games, including appropriate text bubbles, ingame messages, and over all game story arcs.Writing .7.3. Write Narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique,relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. This happens when students design in gameelements to “Engage and orient the [player] by establishing a context and point of view and introducing anarrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.” 12
  14. 14. Studio K: Missions Game Design Introduction................................................................................................14 Goals...........................................................................................................................................17 Rules...........................................................................................................................................20 Assets..........................................................................................................................................23 Spaces.........................................................................................................................................26 Play Mechanics.......................................................................................................................29 Narrative...................................................................................................................................31 Scoring Systems......................................................................................................................33 13
  15. 15. Learning Goal: This unit is designed to introduce basic game design principles (e.g., what makes a game agame, and what makes a game fun?), and how to think critically about games.Kodu knowledge prerequisites: NoneWe want to start our thinking about games by thinking about them as systems of components that interactwith each other using Rules of behavior. The components of these systems work together to produce a playexperience, which we usually identify as “fun”. We define these components as Goals, Rules, Assets, Spaces, PlayMechanics, Scoring Systems, and Narrative (GRASPS+N).In Mario, for example, the player runs, jumps, and throws fireballs (the core Play Mechanics, which determinewhat the player can do) in order to reach the end of the game and save Princess Peach (the Goal). Mario canonly be hit by enemies a certain number of times before he dies, he cannot fly, unless aided by a power-up, andhe must complete each level in a set amount of time (Rules, which govern how the player may act). All of thistakes place in a level (the Space), which is filled with many objects, enemies, and sometimes, friends (the Assets).In this example, the core Play Mechanics, the Goals, the Rules, the Spaces, and the Assets work together to formthe core experience of a Mario game. The first day should be an introductory day. Who are the teacher(s)? Who are the students? What are their favorite games, and why? Establishing a conversation around games (especially games that the students already play) will help the students get in the mindset of thinking about games as more than just consumable products that are “fun”. When thinking of the GRASPS+N concept, it can be helpful to have students try to list out the steps that they would take if they were making a game. This will help them think about their own definitions of games and how many things they commonly think of as necessary parts of games are not always necessary (Chess, for example, does not have “graphics” or “shooting stuff”). Time: Depending on how many students you have, the introductions should take 10-15 minutes.Activities Level 1: Students will identify their favorite game and then come up with a modification, or improvement for it. This will help them to start thinking about what makes a game fun. a. “A new challenger appears!”: Think about your favorite game and what you most want to change about it. It could be how you win, how you control your avatar, or how big or small the levels are. Type this up and post it on checkthis.com. b. Game Journalist: Write a short review of your favorite game and post it on checkthis.com. What elements of the game make it fun? Think about reviews for games that you’ve read before, and convince me that I should pay money for that game. c. Junior Game Designer: Work with a partner and write a game design document for a new game. It can be any kind of game, about anything, and can be on any platform. What is fun about it? Why would I want to play it? What other games is this new game like? 14
  16. 16. Level 2: The students need to identify two different genres of games, then compare and contrast the two. a. Apples and Oranges: Compare and contrast any two individual games from within the same genre (i.e., within platformer games, Mario and Sonic). b. Nuts and Bolts: Compare and contrast two individual games in two different genres of games (i.e., Mario and Tetris). What makes each game an example of that genre? c. Fruits and Veggies: Compare and contrast two whole genres (i.e., platformer games, like Mario, and strategy games, like SimCity). What are the core experiences of each genre? What makes them dis- tinct and unique from each other, and how are they similar to each other? Boss Fight: Work in groups of two or three to create a board or card game. Pick either of these two challenges, and for each, there should be an instruction manual to tell the players how to play the game. 1. Bored or Board?: Modify an existing board or card game. For example, if you choose Uno, what as- pects of Uno should be improved? 2. Parker Bros.: Base your board or card game on an existing video game. In order to keep the play experience similar, think about which parts of that game work as a board or card game, and how must you change those to fit the different format (digital video games vs. physical board and card games).Playtest Questions: 1. Conditional/Boolean Logic: How do the students talk about the changes to their games? How do they write and talk about the Rules? a. Using if/then logic is an effective strategy for students when trying to explain the processes, Rules, or chain of events in a game. b. Conditional Logic is the foundation for programming characters and objects in Kodu, so it will be important to refer back to these early challenges once you get started with Kodu. 2. Debugging: When the students are analyzing games for their reviews, their comparisons, or their board game designs, what Rules, processes, or events do they find that they need to change? a. For example, if a group of students is designing a board game that is based on Mario, how do they implement moving? What do they design, but then have to change, and why? 3. Variables: What do the students use to represent objects, abilities, or Play Mechanics? a. In the comparison activity, what aspects of the games or genres do students identify as being analogous to one another? This is the essence of creating variables (or using one thing to represent another). 4. Algorithm Building: How did students write their instruction manuals? Do the steps fully take a player through the game? What information is not included that a player might need? 5. Simulation: How do students walk themselves through various processes, Rules, and events? If they’ve written an instruction manual, then they can talk you through how their game should be played and what you should do in any given situation. 15
  17. 17. Example: A group of students creates a board game based on the Mario games. They decide that the board will look similar to Candy Land, but shaped more like Monopoly. The players will roll dice to move around the board, and if they encounter an enemy, like a goomba or a koopa troopa, then they draw a card to determine the outcome, which can result in advancing past the enemy unharmed, advancing but taking damage, or dying, which means that you have to start over from the previous checkpoint. Checkpoints are cards that you pick up, along with action cards that determine the outcome of interactions with other players and enemies. One action card is drawn per turn per player at the end of their turn. The winner is the first one to get around the board three times. Each player has a token that they physically move around the board, each of which can hold three pegs. The pegs represent the player’s health, which can be increased or decreased depending on the outcome of the enemy encounters. They explain to their friends this process of playing, they start playing, but then the designers find out that it’s taking the players too long to make it around the board, so they decide to add new action cards that will let players move around the board faster. a. In this example, the explanation of what happens when a player encounters an enemy is showing Conditional Logic (if/then statement). b. Debugging occurs when the other students are playing the game and something happened that they had not intended. They identified the problem (taking too long to get around the board), and created a solution (new action cards). c. Algorithm Building is seen when the students are talking through the steps of how to play their game. d. Variables, in this case, are the pegs that represent the players’ health. 16
  18. 18. Learning Goal: Get students to start thinking about the conditions for winning games. The easiest way toframe this is, “How does the player win the game?” or, “What is the Goal of the game?” They should also knowof two different types of Goals: spatial goals and task-oriented goals.Kodu knowledge prerequisites: 1. Adding and removing objects from the world 2. Opening and programming an object to move 3. Koding win conditions into the game, either within the player character or some other object and world condition. 4. Setting up a timer.Games, like systems, are made up of inter-connected components that have Rules for behavior and interactionwith each other. But every system has some Goal, or something that it is trying to complete. In games, theGoal is the win condition, or how the player wins the game. Designing systems involves designing some meansto an end, and designing games similarly involves coming up with something for the player to complete, orsome way of winning. Every game has some condition or set of conditions for winning. In chess, for example,the Goal of the game is to capture the opponent’s king, which is done by moving pieces around the board. Inbasketball or soccer, the Goal of the game is to Score more points than the opposing team.Discuss Goals and what types of Goals are found in games. For example, the Goal in most of the Mario gamesis simply to get to the end of each level. This is called a spatial goal because it directly relates to the player’slocation in the level. In the Legend of Zelda, the player must gather all of the pieces of the Triforce and thendefeat the evil Gannon. This is a task-oriented goal because the player must complete some task to win thegame. In some parts of games, the Goal is simply to survive for a set amount of time (Call of Duty: Black Ops’Nazi Zombie mode, for example).Many quests in role-playing games have the player fetching an item. So when thinking about how to designa game, one of the things that the game designer must consider is what the overall Goal of the game will be.What are some Goals in the games that you play? How do the different Goals change the way that you playthose games? With this discussion, feel free to use your own examples, or ask the students for examples from the games that they play. Also consider using board games or sports as examples. Although the students might play more video games than board games or sports, it is sometimes easier to decompose board games and sports, since they have tangible elements and players can break or change Rules and Goals. In a game like chess, for example, the players may decide on a different set of Rules that govern the movement of pieces, or implement a time limit for each turn. In video games, unless the designer builds that option into the game, the players simply cannot break the Rules...they can either do something, or they cannot, and if they cannot, the game will not allow it to happen. Time: The discussion should take about 10-15 minutes. 17
  19. 19. Activities Level 1: Let’s play Coins: Episode 1 v04. The gameplay is similar to the old Mario games, so it should be familiar to the kids, and the Goals are easily identifiable. a. How does the player win the game? What other games does this remind you of? Level 2: Let’s look again at Coins: Episode 1 v04. Right now the game seems unwinnable. The gameplay is similar to the old Mario games, so it should be familiar to the kids, and the Goals are easily identifiable. a. The Kodu is in another castle!: Program a win condition in which the player can win the game by getting to the castle. b. Sheriff of Koduham: Create a win condition where the player must collect and return coins to another character. c. Time’s Up!: Combine the above two win conditions, but also include a time limit. Level 3: Using only 3 characters, create a new game based on one of the following: a. Over Yonder!: Create a new game with a spatial goal (i.e., a Goal where the player has to get to a point in order to win). b. The Taskmaster: Create a new game where the player must complete a task to win the game (i.e., collect a certain number of points, or destroy a certain number of enemies). c. Time Splitter: Create a game with a time limit. The win condition can be either spatial or task- oriented, but there must be a time limit. Boss Fight: Create a platformer game, and see if you can do the following: 1. “Level 12 Druid”: Decide how you want the player to win the game, and choose which Kodu charac- ter would best be able to accomplish that Goal. 2. Jump Man: Combine the following design tools and concepts to improve the platforming experience: a. Raise/lower the ground b. Increase the distance between platforms c. Enemies on set paths d. Enemies that throw projectiles 3. Creative Genius: Come up with a new Goal that is not spatially or task-oriented.Playtest Questions: 1. Conditional Logic: How did the students set up the win condition (i.e., When-”condition”: Do-”win game”)? a. Identify how the player wins a game (e.g., get to a certain point in the level, collect x coins, destroy y enemies, survive for z seconds, etc.), and how the different Goals change how a player may interact with the game world. 18
  20. 20. 2. Variables: Did the students use Scores or timers in any way? a. Did they make the health bar visible? How many hit points did they give the player, and why? 3. Debugging: a. What was broken in the Fix part? Did the students correctly identify this broken Goal, and how did they fix it? b. Did the students identify anything else that “needed to be fixed”? 4. Algorithm Design: a. Create an algorithm that allows a player to follow a discrete path in the level to achieve the Goal. Can the students write these steps out? Can the steps be abstracted to not require each step to be explicitly pre-specified?Example challenge solutions: Task Master line 6 win condition, medium difficulty Over Yonder! win condition layout, winning by landing on red landtype (spatial goal). Added enemies. Jump Man challenge solution, utilizing land hurdles and water obstacles. Medium difficulty. 19
  21. 21. Learning Goal: Students should learn how Rules restrict player behavior. Because Rules also affect the balance,or difficulty, of the game, they should also know how to adjust the difficulty of their games by changing theRules in the game.Kodu knowledge prerequisites: 1. Using Scores to represent non-Score variables (health, time, etc.). 2. Programming a non-playable character to respond to the player character. 3. Programming the player character to move on a specific path.Rules are what determine how an agent may behave in a given system. In games, Rules work the same way,except they determine how a player may behave and interact with the game world. For example, in chess, howone moves a pawn in the player’s direction becomes valid or invalid according to the Rules governing the pawn(e.g., moving the pawn sideways is an invalid move), while different Rules define valid moves for the knight (e.g.jumping over other pieces is a valid knight move).Rules can generally be defined by: • Behavior for which the player will be punished. ◦◦ In basketball, you cannot walk or run without dribbling the ball. This is called traveling, and the other team will get the ball. • Rules that restrict behavior. ◦◦ In chess, the player cannot move a pawn sideways or backwards. There is no punishment, as those are not valid moves; the Rules simply define the set of actions available to the players.How else can you define Rules? Talk about some Rules from some popular games, or games that the studentshave played. What are some Rules in the games that you play? Do the Rules make games easier, or moredifficult? How do these Rules affect the play experience? A good optional activity to do with the kids is to try to invent a new game. This could be a complement to Level 1, but it should happen in the room and should use various objects found within the room. For example, you could make a game about jumping on different colors of floor tiles. How would you win that game, and what are the Rules? What can players do, and what can’t they do? The students should come up with these ideas on their own, but you can help guide them using both your own and their experiences with games. 20
  22. 22. Activities Level 1: The students will play Xevon v07. The game is similar to the classic arcade game, Galaga, but if students are not familiar with Galaga, they might be more familiar with many of the games on Kongregate. com. Level 2: Play and fix A Soccer Game in Studio K. Something seems wrong with the game Rules. What Rules from real soccer can you spot in this level? a. The Referee: List the Rules of the board game, and how they will be similar or different when you implement them in Kodu. b. Head Coach: Add a new character or object that follows a different set of Rules from the main game. Think about how this will change the play experience of the game. c. Commissioner Kodu: Add a new Goal to the game. For example, if you choose chess, the main Goal is to trap and capture the opponent’s king. You could try adding an additional win condition so that the player has to capture at least one of each piece. Level 3: Try to create a video game based on a sport or a board game, but not soccer (since we just used that in the Level 2. How do you implement the same Rules to make sure that players play the same way? a. The Referee: List the Rules of the board game, and how they will be similar or different when you implement them in Kodu. b. Head Coach: Add a new character or object that follows a different set of Rules from the main game. Think about how this will change the play experience of the game. c. Commissioner Kodu: Add a new Goal to the game. For example, if you choose chess, the main Goal is to trap and capture the opponent’s king. You could try adding an additional win condition so that the player has to capture at least one of each piece. Boss Fight: 1. What’s Old is New: Building on the Boss Fight from the Goals lesson, define the Rules for the plat- former game that you made. How are you defining or limiting the player’s behavior? Try to list them in an if/then form. 2. Ah, Nostalgia: Identify your favorite non-digital game, and then identify the Rules for that game. What can the players do? What are they specifically NOT allowed to do? How are different player choices made available? 3. “Teaching an Old Dog...”: Design and create a game that follows these Rules. It does not have to be the same game, but the game world and its characters should follow a similar set of Rules.Playtest Questions: 1. Conditional Logic: Rules are basically just if/then statements. How do the students phrase their Rules? Do they talk about their Rules in terms of if/then? a. For example, a student may say, “If the player loses all of their health, then they will lose a life, and if they lose all of their lives, then they lose the game.” Here, they are setting up a Rule for health and number of lives in a game. 21
  23. 23. 2. Variables: How are Rules implemented in their games? In Kodu, Scores can represent several things, including health, time, and of course, player Scores. How do the students use the Score function in Kodu? 3. Debugging: When the students are fixing the broken Meteors game, they must decompose the game into parts that are working and parts that are not working. They must then construct a solution to the problem. This is debugging. 4. Algorithm Building: The students can show algorithms by talking through or writing down their fix and create processes. This will be present in the steps that they go through to fix the Meteors game, in the instructions for their created games, and in the way that a series of Rules will affect their games. 5. Simulation: In the setting up the Rules for their games, the students will have to walk themselves through the steps the players will have to go through in those situations. This can be observed most easily through their talking or in their written instructions. a. Following from the Conditional Logic example, a student may have to simulate what will happen in the situation when a player loses a life or the game. Adjustments to their design may be necessary depending on the outcome of that simulation.Example challenge solutions: Teaching an Old Dog.... Putting hockey Rules into Head Coach, adding a NPC balloon that launches a Kodu level, hard difficulty bonuses to players, affecting the Rules for how to Score, programming NPC this way is medium difficulty. 22
  24. 24. Learning Goal: Although students can point to and identify objects in their games, they should knowwhy those things have been placed in the game. They should also learn how Assets can provide valuableinformation to the player on the status of the world, as well as the Narrative, without it being explicitly stated.Kodu knowledge prerequisites:Assets are all of the things in the game. They are the landscape, the trees, the buildings, the sky, the power-ups, the weapons, and everything else that you can actually see in the game. The design of the Assets givesthe game atmosphere and personality. Think about what makes the worlds of Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog.They’re both platformers and the general plots are both very similar (the player must get to the end of the levelto win), but they take place in very different worlds. This is largely due to the Assets. As you are designing yourgames, think about the kind of game you are making and what kinds of Assets would best represent that world.You also want to think about what information is being provided by the game world. This is being donethrough the design and placement of the Assets. For example, in many games, characters can climb the sidesof buildings, or walls. Generally the walls look different when they are climbable which provides hints andfeedback to the player. By doing this, the designers have effectively highlighted the path for the player. Sowhen you are designing your games in Kodu, think about how your players will navigate the world, how theywould make sense of what is happening, what they are supposed to do, and where they are supposed to do.You, as the game designer, can provide clues to the player to help them figure out all of these things.Activities Level 1: Play the game, Cottage Adventure v02. Level 2: Let’s look back on the Cottage Adventure game and see if there are things we can fix. a. Trimming the Tree: Identify all of the Assets in Cottage Adventure and list which ones are necessary for completing the Goal, and which ones are not necessary. b. Bacon Grease: Take the Assets in Cottage Adventure that were not important for completing the game and make them part of the Goal of the game. c. This Exam is Cumulative?: Add one additional Goal and Rule to Cottage Adventure. Think about what the game’s current Goals and Rules, then about what might be added to make the game more fun. Level 3: Think about the Assets in some of the games that you’ve played: a. Math Blaster: Build a game about any math or science concept. b. Changing it Up: Remember Coins v07?: Take the story from that game and replace the Assets. c. Once the student, now the teacher: Make a new game that teaches the player something. But as the player, I should not have to do a lot of reading so don’t make a game where the characters just talk about the quadratic equation, or another concept. Think about how can you design the Assets so that they are giving the player information or clues on how to solve a problem. 23
  25. 25. Boss Fight: 1. Importer: Take any game that you have played outside of Kodu, and try to build that world inside Kodu. For example, you can choose to make a Mario game, but think about what the world of Ma- rio looks like. What Assets can you use to make your game as close to Mario as possible? 2. One Ring to Rule them All: Make a game entirely focues on one super spcial Asset. How can you program it to be special, and what other kinds of Assets will you use as obstacles to prevent a player from reaching it? 3. Clean Up, Clean Up: Create a game where you need to clean up a Space like outerspace or your back yard. Will some Assets you need to clean up be more difficult than others to clean? Will there be other characters preventing you rom collecting the Assets.Playtest Questions: 1. Conditional Logic: How do the students plan out their games now that they have had some practice through several missions? Do they set up steps for themselves more often now than previously? a. Did any of the Assets have complex code? Did any objects interact with other objects besides the main character? 2. Debugging: When creating complex game worlds with hundreds or even thousands of Assets, do the students playtest and debug their games enough to make sure that each Asset functions correctly? a. For example, if a student is duplicating the same Asset over and over again, does he or she make sure that the function each Asset serves, and its corresponding Kode still functions after each duplication? 3. Variables: What Assets hold the variables in the students games? Do they put world Kode (or global variables) inside non-player characters? Do they make those Assets indestructible to prevent those global Rules from being destroyed? 4. Algorithm Building: How did students write their Kode? Have they taken advantage of page switching or inline switching yet? Have they used multiple pages on multiple Assets? 5. Simulation: Students normally just start filling blank worlds with Assets, but at this point in the missions, are any students practicing with certain Assets before implimenting them into their games? 24
  26. 26. Example challenge solutions: Importer, creating a complicated system like the Another view of importer, showing the main Asset classic game Frogger in Kodu can be difficult, starting positions, and the colored paths that link especially when the Assets are non-player characters the motorcycle Assets to the roads. and are constantly duplicated, hard difficulty Games, like Importer, can utilize Assets to make them seem more challenging. In Importer, as shown in the picture on the left above, the game seems complicated and difficult by the many motor cycles. However, in the picture above on the right, we must notice how these Assets are just a few objectes bing recreated by using the creatables part of Kodu. Just because Assets are used does not mean that there has to be many objects cluttering the game with very complicated programming. Game designers should be able to simplify their games in order to best utilizes the Assets. 25
  27. 27. Learning Goal: Students should learn that the game’s Spaces play an important factor of game design. Spaces(and especially multiplayer maps) are carefully designed to elicit a specific experience, whether that experienceis awe and wonder or fear and tension.Kodu knowledge prerequisites:Spaces are where the game takes place. Think of a game like Star Wars: The Old Republic. This game takesplace in very tight, cramped, poorly-lit Spaces, where it becomes difficult to see and avoid enemies. Thisincreases the tension and the feeling of dread, which contributes to the games’ scariness and adds to thetheme of the game. But then think of a game like Shadow of the Colossus, where you have vast, wide-openSpaces. How are the play experiences different? How are they similar? What kinds of emotions do thosedifferent environments evoke? When you are designing your own games, think about how the Spaces interactwith the Goals and the Play Mechanics to affect the overall player experience.For how Spaces impact the play experience, it may be helpful to think about sports. There are boundariesin nearly every sport, and the game must take place within those boundaries. Soccer is a good examplehere, since there is the traditional outdoor setting, and the smaller indoor setting. How do the different fielddimensions affect the overall game, or even some of the Rules? Outdoor soccer is played on a much biggerfield (70 yards x 110 yards) that is made of real grass, with 11 players per side, and it uses full-size Goals (8yards wide x 2.5 yards high). Indoor soccer is played on a small field (regulation hockey rink size, or 200 ft x 85ft, or 28 yards x 67 yards) that is made of artificial turf, with smaller Goals (5 yards wide x 2.5 yards high), fewerplayers (5 + a Goalie), and different Rules to restrict player behavior. In both settings, the players are playing agame we call soccer. But changing the Space in which the game takes place changes how the game is played,and consequently, the experience that both players and fans have. INDOOR OUTDOOR Field Dimensions 28 yards x 67 yards 70 yards x 110 yards Goal Dimensions 3 yards x 2.5 yards 8 yards x 2.5 yards Number of Players 6 11 An important point to mention here...some of your students might say that they play games like Spore, Zoo Tycoon, Sim City, or some other game like these. All of these are sandbox games, which means that the player is almost never restricted, in terms of where they can go and what they can do. Content aside, this is a really good opportunity to ask them how those games would be different if the Spaces were more confined. The other side of this would be asking your Farmville players how the game would change if it took place in a less restricted Space, like the much larger Sim City or Civilization. In both of these cases, what features of the game would the designers have to change? Could they even call it the same game, or would the play experience be so different, they’d have to call it something else? 26
  28. 28. Activities Level 1: Save Princess Kodu. You play this game through a first-person perspective, and must navigate a maze in order to save the princess, who is being held in the castle at the end of the maze. a. Think about how the Space of the game is affecting the play experience. What if the game was not in first-person? How would the Space have to change to maintain the same play experience? Level 2: Who Turned Off the Lights is supposed to have the feel of a tight, cramped, tense environment. a. Raising Kodu: Make level a dark and scary maze by only altering the Space. b. Light the Way: Use the Assets to give the player some way to see their way through the maze. The students should use the glowing, creatable star as “flares”. c. Resident Kodu DLC: Add another section to the maze, complete with more enemies and a new Goal. Level 3: Let’s think about spaces in a different way. a. Water and Oil: Pick two games that you know of or have played that use Spaces differently, then list the similarities and differences between those games. What are the Goals and the Rules? What are the play experiences like? How could you replicate those in Kodu? b. Shadow of the Kodu: Design a unique, open world (lighting, water, ground, etc.), program a maximum of 4 enemies, and design the Space so that the enemies will surprise the player. Design a Goal that fits the design of the Spaces (saving the princess, etc). c. Matryoshka Kodu Build into the world a separate Space that is more maze-like. You can use either Save Princess Kodu or Who Turned off the Lights for ideas. Boss Fight: 1. Designer’s Choice: Design a simple game using any type of Space that you want. The Space can be tight and cramped, wide open, or somewhere in between. 2. A+ Student: Build a Space where the player learns how to play only by clues built into the level without the help of text clues. 3. Kodu-Kudo: Design a game that maintains the same Rules and Assets as one of your previous challenges, but has different Space. For example if you chose to design a level that is tight and cramped, try to design a wide-open game, but maintains the same core play experience. a. In this example, think about the aspects and characteristics of the gameplay that are important for that experience of being in a tight, cramped Space. How can you replicate that in a wide-open Space? 27
  29. 29. Playtest Questions: 1. Conditional Logic: How do the students plan out the layout of their levels? In what order do they put their games together: core mechanics first then level detail, or vice versa? 2. Debugging: Are students critical of how the layout of their level will effect the player’s experience? Do they playtest and iterate the design of their games to see how much it influences game play? 3. Variables: Do students recognize that game designers often use the spacing of the game to effect the easiness or difficulty of obtaining a particular objective? This can often effect the speed at which some game players master a particular play mechanic (especially when using Scores or time limits). 4. Algorithm Building: Do students recognize how the Kode that they program can interact with their game Spaces? Do they use tiles like “Strong”, “Close by”, or “Far away” to change the dynamics of a game? 5. Simulation: Do students practice a play mechanic is several types of worlds or Spaces before determing the best Space to utilize? Do they spend too much time designing a level which eventually does not fit the design of the rest of their mechanics?Example challenge solutions: Shadow of the Kodu, Kode showing how these Designer’s Choice, maze level with obstacles and a enemies surpise the player, and only attack when time limit, alternative Scoring based on which path “close by” and only shoot “level”, easy difficulty. the player takes, easy difficulty. 28
  30. 30. Learning Goal: Students will learn about Core Mechanics, and how they get implemented in different Kodugames. They will also learn the way in which different Core Mechanics seed different types and genres of gamesKodu knowledge prerequisites: 1. Page switching 2. “Not” tilePlay Mechanics are the things that players DO in games. If the Goal of the game tells the player how the playercan win the game, the Play Mechanics provide the player methods for achieving that Goal. They are the actionwords, like “run”, “jump”, “shoot”, “trade”, “take cover” or “upgrade my equipment”. For example, in Mario, theplayer can run, jump, and throw fireballs in order to get to the end of the level, which is the Goal. In chess,the core mechanic is moving pieces around the board, according to the Rules that govern each piece. Theseactivities become mechanics when the Rules of the game give them special meanings that make them more orless valid in play.The particular set of actions that a developer makes available to the player also helps to define the genre ofgame that they are making. For example, think about why Mario games are categorized as “platformers” (or2D games played on a scrolling platform), or why the Civilization games are called “Turn Based Strategy” games(games where each player plans and carries out only their moves in a turn before wathcing what other playersintend to do on their own turns). So when you are thinking about your own designs, think about how theplayer wins the game, and then how you want them to be able to accomplish that Goal. Those are the actionsthat you want the player to be able to perform, which actions you’d like to limit, and how that will change theway that your players will interact with the rest of the game. As an added layer of depth, try to get the students to think about how Play Mechanics and Spaces interact with each other. In Mario Party, for example, the Play Mechanics and Spaces work together to create a lighthearted, social playing experience. But what if the levels in Mario Party were less social, and did not have the lighthearted Wii controls? Conversely, what if the Play Mechanics were less restrictive, like in the Uncharted games? How would other aspects of the game have to be changed to maintain that play experience?Activities Level 1: Play and win two puck man levels. a. Think about 3 Play Mechanics. Level 2: Puckman is behaving funny! The level has a maze, a puck, coins to eat, and is winnable. There are four ghosts that move in square paths around the maze. But they don’t feel like they chase you, there aren’t very many coins, and the level is not too challenging. Let’s change the main Play Mechanics while only using the available objects. a. Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde: The ghosts don’t seem to be moving. Can you fix it? b. Atlas and P-Body: Add two teleport huts that send puckman from one side of the screen to another. c. Kodu-Man: Add preprogrammed power coins that glow, make puckman glow temporarily, and lets him eat the ghosts. 29
  31. 31. Level 3: Create your own level and a new mechanic! How could we make a game more fun and challenging? a. Not for the faint of heart: Use paths in you design to create a challenging moving AI. b. 1-UP: Adding a fruit prop that appears temporarily and gives puckman an extra life and moves along its own path. Include an object that will appear temporarily and gives your main character an extra life. Bonus points if it moves along it’s own path. c. Shadow, Speedy, Bashful, and Pokey: Add a ghost generator castle to the middle of the level, that generates a new, faster ghost every time one is eaten, and modify the maze walls for ghosts to come out of it. Boss Fight: Create a game using the given maze world template. See if you can do the following: 1. Take and Bake: Use pre-created walls and choose the best robot to create the core mechanic race, have at least one competitor in the race that follows a path to the finishing area. 2. Daedalus: Add your own maze walls from scratch, and improve the racing experience by moving maze walls around. Use the cannon robot to implement the obstruct mechanic. 3. Theseus: Add a speed boost item and a boss in the middle of the maze. Improve your mechanic and receive an average of 3 stars from other player reviews.Playtest questions: 1. Problem Decomposition: a. Break down a game genre into its most fundamental system parts (e.g. maze game is made of Rules, Assets, Spaces, etc.), and identify those elements that make the core mechanic of a game. b. How many key mechanics do player use in the game the student is designing? 2. Pattern Recognition/Generalization: a. Can the students dentify the maze game pattern and it’s core mechanics, and use them to create a new game in Kodu which is only altered to increase or decrease the difficulty slightly? 3. Algorithm Design a. Can students program their game to be beaten completely by artificially programming a “player”? This skill is important to designers who would want to know the most basic or the most complicated algorithm of choices a player might attempt to beat an objective.Example challenge solutions: Inline switching is an alternative, and it allows you to maintain some controls or states from one page to another. This enables things like glowing, teleporting and other complicated mechanics. Puckman page switching, enables new state, such as glowing when the Puck bumps a coin. 30
  32. 32. Learning Goal: The students will learn about how games tell stories differently than books or movies tell stories.Narrative provides the structure for the events of the game. This means going beyond the story and thinkingabout how and why events unfold. But in terms of story, think about games with good or bad stories, andhow that affected the play experience. How does a good story keep you interested in playing the game?Conversely, can you think of any games where the story was so bad, so long, or so distracting that it made youstop playing the game? How do video games tell stories differently than books or movies?When you’re designing your own games, think about how the story affects the way that you design the gameand the choices that you want to make available to the player, and when they should be available.Kodu knowledge prerequisites: Level 1: Go to drawastickman.com, and draw a custom stickman and watch him come to life in this interactive stickman adventure. Did you like this game? How would you rate the game (A, B, C, D, F)? Was it fun? What are some Assets in Stickman? What is the story? Who is the main character (protagonist)? Who is the antagonist? What is the climax? Level 2: I started a project for my friend who is an English teacher. He wants to build a game to tell some of the story of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. But I ran out of time and could not finish the game. Can you make sure that it works for me? We need to make sure that the person playing the game understands what is going on under the sea. Maybe we should change some of the places the sub visits, or maybe we should make the giant squid dart in and out of the level more often to better fit the story. Or maybe we should do something completely different. It’s your mission now. a. Assistant Editor: Rewrite, add, or delete the text bubbles to make the story clearer. You can even change the story altogether if you think that it will make sense. The Goal is for the player to be able to better follow along with the story of this level. b. Action Director: Make the battle between the ship and the “squid” at the end of the level better fit the story. This might mean changing the mechanics or the timing, but the Goal is to make the player better understand that these are enemies of your sub and that defeating them is the only way to win. c. A Real “Jules Verne”: Add another character or plot point from the story 20,000 Leagues under the Sea to the game. You might need to research the story online to find an event, character, enemy or other feature to add. Level 3: Make a game about a childhood short story or fable such as the Lion and the Mouse, or Humpty Dumpty. Be sure to include appropriate Assets to make the world feel like the story you are trying to tell. a. The Fabled Aesop: Make a short simulation a small part of one of the stories. This should be a simple retelling of the story with characters, Assets and speech bubbles depicting the story. For example you could make a level where an object falls off a wall to illustrate Humpty Dumpty falling. b. The Brothers Grimm: Introduce a sequence of two events that a player can play through in one of the fables or short stories. An example of this could be having the player first push Humpty off of a wall, and then picking up the pieces below. These two events are linked, and should help the player follow the Narrative of the level you are building. 31
  33. 33. c. Jim Henson: Build 4 events in sequence. Each event should rely on the others and should connect the player to the story you are telling. The events might have a specific order or might be played in a different fashion, but you should use text bubbles, level design or other tools to relate them together. Boss Fight: This is the last misison, and often the most overlooked by some novice game designers. Lets look back at some of your previous levels and see if we can make some improvements: 1. Remix: Resubmit any level that you submitted previously for Boss fight, but include a Narrative for the enemy in the level. Make sure the player of your game knows who the enemy is, and why it must be defeated. 2. Mini-Game: Take any level that you have submitted previously for a boss fight, and make a mini- game inside of it. But, just don’t make any mini-game, make one that fits the story and flow of your game so that a player would want to spend time playing it. 3. Globetrotters: Create a game where the player is going to feel like they are travelling to different parts of the world. Utilize both Assets and Spaces to create this feeling, and make sure the player goes to at least 4 distinct parts of the world.Playtest questions: 1. Conditional/Boolean Logic: a. When designing the Narrative for the game, do students produce the core Play Mechanics first, or do they decompose their Narrative first to see what mechanics will work for their particular game? 2. Pattern Recognition/Generalization: a. Can students make simple mechanics that are repeated throughout the game to give it continuity? This often helps the player keep track of the story because they understand how these mechanics fit into the bigger picture. 3. Debugging a. Can students continually bring others in to playtest their games to make sure that they story makes sense? Do they make suretmajor Play Mechanics do not fail, causing the player to lose track of the larger Narrative?Example challenge solutions: Hearing another character is a great way to program automatic interaction between multiple characters in your Seeing another character can also serve as a trigger for games. This can help designate or actions like talk bubbles. Distance also becomes important trigger new events. in these interactions. 32
  34. 34. Learning Goal: Students will learn how to implement Scores into their games, and how more than just thepresence or absence of a Score can change how players interact with the game.Scoring Systems are one form of representing a player’s performance in the game, and are usually representedas points or some sort of currency (money, cash, gold, etc.). Scores are present in a lot of games, but not allgames. The single-player campaigns in many games don’t really have Scores, right? But the multiplayer modesdefinitely have Scores in competative games. What are those Scores used for? Now think about Mario. Howdo you Score points in Mario, and what is that Score used for? Sometimes, Scores are part of the Goal of thegame. Think about arcade or puzzle games like Angry Birds or Tetris. The entire Goal of those games is to getthe highest Score possible, right? So as you think about the Goals of your own games, think about whether youwant “Scoring” to be a part of those Goals and how that will affect the way your players play through your game.Also think about Achievement or Badge systems in games: Achievements in Steam and on Xbox Live, orTrophies on Playstation Network. What are they used for? How do you get them? Would you enjoy the gamemore or less if games didn’t have these?Activities Level 1: Play the game, Kodu TD. Think about how you score points, the purpose they serve, and how hyou can tell if you are doing well. Level 2: Something is going on with the Meteors v03 game. There are three different Scores, and it seems pretty random...can you figure out what’s wrong? a. The Abacus: Without looking at the code, identify the pattern by which the Scores are increasing or decreasing. b. Fix’er Upper: Get rid of the purple and orange Scores, and then fix the code for the red Score so that you can win. c. Pro Modder: Implement a different colored Score that gives you some kind of power-up. Level 3: Make a game where you can use the Score to represent basic game parameters, such as time and health. a. Shot Clock: Implement a Scoring System that is linked to the timer. This means that your game will need to have a timer. b. Health Bar: Use a Score to represent your character’s health. c. Frag Counter: Use a Score to count how many enemies are in the world. Boss Fight: Create a game where you can use various Scores for purchasing different things, such as power-ups, restoring health, or hiring companions: 1. “Buy Somethin’ Will Ya!”: Implement a Scoring System that allows you to purchase items from a vendor, such as stars. 2. “Give this to the old woman...”: Program a Scoring System that allows you to replenish health at the cost of Goal-dependent points. For example, set the win condition to getting 20 green points, then set up a condition where you can replenish health by spending green points. 3. “It’s dangerous to go alone...”: Program a Scoring System that allows you to hire a companion, who will help you in the game. 33
  35. 35. Playtest questions: 1. Problem Decomposition: a. Do students recognize the vast importance of variables in their games? Have they used variables in Kodu to have a variety of Scoring methods, such as using Scores to unlock items or abilities? 2. Pattern Recognition/Generalization: a. Have students latched onto any particular variable that they have used throughout several games, such as countdown timers? 3. Debugging a. Do students test their Scoring Systems to make sure that their math is complete? Often novice game designers set an objective at certain Score, and fail to test to make sure that Score is mathmatically achievable, or whether the Score will need to be hit exactly in order to trigger the win.Example challenge solutions: Scoring systems can be used for a variety of variables, including complex currency systems with different rewards. Scoring can be based on multiple players, over multiple scoring systems and for several win or loss conditions. 34
  36. 36. AppendixGame Review Rubrics: Tfollowing rubrics are example assessments that students and teachers should use toevaluate their game design skills.This first rubric assesses the game designer’s ability to think about the core concept of their game, includingthe overarching Goals of their design. Kodu  Game  Lab  Rubric  v1.0 3  =  Exceeds  Expectations,  2  =  Meets  Expectations,  1  =  Fails  to  meet  Expectations Game Play Experience 1, 2, or 3 Game instructions are clear and helpful to the viewer Game provides helpful feedback when the player advances or fails to advance through the game (e.g., quiz game provides feedback on a response; when a character dies a life is lost or a message appears, etc.) Game is navigable and intuitive to use Game has an ending/conclusion that provides closure to the player. Using clear instructions Game mechanics are simple to understand and learn, but challenging to master TOTAL, GAMEPLAY 0 Concept Development 1, 2, or 3 The game provides enough context up front (either in the storyline or mechanics) so that the games objective, strategy are apparent to the player. Game concept, storyline are coherently integrated with the mechanics and gameplay (e.g., an educational game uses effective instructional strategies; social issue games use mechanics that fit well with expressing the topic, etc.) It appears that game designers have a clear idea of their “audience”. TOTAL, CONCEPT 0 Genre Put a one next to all that apply: Civics STEM Social Issue Math Science English Social Studies Entertainment Other Language and Culture TOTAL, Genre 0 TOTAL 0 Rubric created with reference to: Scratch Design Curriculum, by Wes Fryer http://wiki.wesfryer.com/t4t/resources/scratch Rebecca Reynolds, Globaloria Project evaluation rubric 35
  37. 37. This second rubric is more focused on assessing the game designer’s ability to work with Kodu to master theprogramming language, to design the key functions of their game, and to design elements for the game thattheir audience will enjoy. Kodu  Game  Lab  Rubric  v1.0 3  =  Exceeds  Expectations,  2  =  Meets  Expectations,  1  =  Fails  to  meet  Expectations Complexity / Code / Actions 1, 2, or 3 Game includes at least 3 sprites that have received Kode The world settings are configured properly to make sure the game functions correctly. Game has an objective - there is a reason to interact with the game, it has a "win condition" and a "lose scenario." Game Kode functions correctly in all areas with all sprites. Game complexity is enjoyable and adds depth to the game. Includes at least one complicated move / script technique TOTAL, Complexity / Code / Actions 0 Visual and Sound Design Elements 1, 2, or 3 The visual design of the game creatively reflects the concept of the game (e.g., the designer uses color, shapes, and patterns so that the visuals and design reinforce the ideas in the game design plan) The visual / graphic style carries throughout the game consistently (e.g., elements of color-scheme, character design, game-play objects are held consistent throughout the game) Genre Put a one next to all that apply: Civics STEM Social Issue Math Science English Social Studies Entertainment Other Language and Culture TOTAL, Genre 0 TOTAL 0 Rubric created with reference to: Scratch Design Curriculum, by Wes Fryer http://wiki.wesfryer.com/t4t/resources/scratch Rebecca Reynolds, Globaloria Project evaluation rubric 36