|SYLLABUS | GCD Template |Mr. Hess Portfolio Website|
|Glossary| Game Genres| Design Elements|


Gamestar Log In (Wednesday)
Gamestar Log In (Friday)
Tynker: Hour of Code

Class 15: June 8 Wednesday

Finishing up Platformer using Tynker

Today is our last class, so we are going to finish up the platformer you started last week.

Lab Time

Sign In to Tynker

Then go to Free Play. Click on PLATFORMER STARTER KIT. Remember to keep saving your progress as you go.

The goal is to make a simple playable game that includes the following:

  • Collect at least one item.
  • Destroy at least one enemy.
  • Make it so the game ends.

At home, feel free to try out some of the other things on Hour of Code including Code Commander and the Minecraft Mod.


Class 14: June 1 Wednesday

Creating a Platformer using Tynker

We are going to continue to use Tynker to create a platformer game level. Last week, we went through the tutorial that showed how to make a level. Today, you will create your own level.

Lab Time

Sign In to Tynker

Then go to Free Play. Click on PLATFORMER STARTER KIT. Remember to save you progress so you can get back to it later.

Code Commander


Class 13: May 25 and 27

Creating a Game Level using Tynker

Over the next two classes, we are going to use Tynker to create a platformer game level. We will be using the Platformer Starter Kit. It is a little more difficult to use than Gamestar, but it produces a much nicer looking level. Today we are going to go through the tutorial part of it together.

Lab Time

Sign In to Tynker

Then go to Free Play. Click on PLATFORMER STARTER KIT.

We will go through it step by step. Please remember to save you progress so you can get back to it later.


Class 12: May 18

Continuing with Programming with Blocks

We are going to continue programming with blocks using Tynker. Even if you didn't finish Dragon Dash, I would like you to begin Code Monsters. This tutorial shows you how to program enemy interactions using character skill sets which is an important part of many RPGs. It is a lot like Pokemon.

Lab Time

Sign In to Tynker

If you haven't created your account yet, go to Tynker and create your student account. You can sign in using Facebook or your Google account. You can also create an account using your username and password.

Then go to Free Play. Click on Code Monsters and see how far you can get.

You can continue working through this tutorial at your own pace.

Next week, we will begin the Platformer Starter Kit which I think you will like much better than Gamestar.



Class 11: May 11 and 13

More Programming with Blocks

We are going to continue programming with blocks using Tynker. As you continue with Dragon Dash, you will be using a couple of code blocks that are almost always used in programming games. The first is the loop which is the "repeat block (x)." The other is the conditional statement; for example,"if lightning fly then." This code block runs only if the conditions are met, in this case, if the character comes up to a lightning fly.

Lab Time

If you haven't created your account yet, go to Tynker and create your student account. You can sign in using Facebook or your Google account. You can also create an account using your username and password.

Then go to Hour of Code Click on Dragon Dash. Dragon Dash teaches you how to move a character through space in a platformer/top-down style game.

You can continue working through this tutorial at your own pace.

If you finish Dragon Dash, then you can start Code Monsters which we will all begin next week.


Class 10: May 4 and 6

Programming with Blocks

We are going to change course now and focus on game programming using Tynker. Instead of writing out code, we will use blocks which avoids the problem of syntax which is very confusing for the beginning programmer. By using blocks, we can focus on algorithms which makes problem solving much easier. Each block is a chunk of code (either a function or object) that can be used over and over again.

Lab Time

Go to Tynker and create your student account. You can sign in using Facebook or your Google account. You create an account using your username and password.

Then go to Hour of Code Click on Dragon Dash. Dragon Dash teaches you hoe to move a character through space in a platformer/top-down style game.

You can work through this tutorial at your own pace.


Class 9: April 27 and 29

Playtesting Your Game

You will have about 10 minutes to finish up your game, then you will playtest each others games. I will hand out three playtester feedback worksheets to each of you. I want each of you to playtest three games. After you playtest each game, fill out a feedback worksheet and give it to the game designer. When you have received three feedback worksheets for your game, use the suggestions to make your game better.

Lab Time

Sign into Gamestar Mechanic.

Open up your game and finish it if you haven't already done so. Make sure you have filled out the labels.

When you are finished, find three games to playtest. Make sure you fill out a playtester feedback worksheet for each game you playtest and give it to the game designer.

Once you have three feedback worksheets for your game, make it better using the suggestions you received.


Class 8: April 20 and 22

Building Your Game

Last time, you began creating your game in Gamestar using your GCD. After I hand back your documents, you will continue working on them and should try to finish up by the end of class. Next week, we will playtest each others' games.

Lab Time

Sign in to Gamestar Mechanic.

Open up your game and work on it. If you haven't started yet, go to the Workshop and click on "Create a New Game." You might want to start by choosing an appropriate background for your game.

You will also need to create a label for your game.

At the end of class, please hand in your GCD. I will hand them out again next class if you still need it.


Class 7: April 15 Friday

Writing Your Game Concept Document (GCD) and Building Your Game

Last time, you began writing your GCD for the game you will be creating in Gamestar. You will continue with them today. After I hand back the worksheet you started last week, I will review what goes in each section as you complete your GCD.

Now, open up Game Concept Document pdf. We will use the instructions in each section to help you write your GCD.

Lab Time

Sign in to Gamestar Mechanic.

Go to the Workshop and click on "Create a New Game" in the Workshop. You might want to start by choosing an appropriate background for your game. See how far you can get with your game.

At the end of class, please hand in your GCD. I will hand them out again next class. Next week, you will finish your game and then we will playtest them.


Class 7: April 13 Wednesday

Writing Your Game Concept Document (GCD) and Building Your Game

Since the 8th graders weren't here last week, we will do the same thing today.

Last time, you began writing your GCD for the game you will be creating in Gamestar. I noticed that a lot of you are not understanding what information goes in each one of the sections, so today we will go through each section together as you write your GCD.

I will hand back the worksheet you started last week so you can make any necessary changes to it.

Now, open up Game Concept Document pdf. We will use the instructions in each section to help you write your GCD.

Lab Time

Sign in to Gamestar Mechanic.

Go to the Workshop and click on "Create a New Game" in the Workshop. You might want to start by choosing an appropriate background for your game. See how far you can get with your game.

At the end of class, please hand in your GCD. I will hand them out again next class. Next week, you will finish your game and then we will playtest them.


Class 6: April 8 Friday

Planning Your Own Game by Writing a Game Concept Document (GCD)

Last time, we used the GCD for Get to the Greenhouse to create a game for it in Gamestar Mechanic. Today we will finish those and playtest them.

After thinking through a GCD for Night at the Graveyard and creating a game using the GCD for Get to the Greenhouse, you should be ready to write a GCD for your own game that you will create in Gamestar. The GCD is a great tool for planning and creating a game. I will hand out a worksheet for you to use to write your GCD.

Lab Time

Sign in to Gamestar Mechanic.

Now open up GCD Get to the Greenhouse.

Go to the Workshop and open up your Get to the Greenhouse game. I will give you a few minutes to finish it up.

When you are finished, you can move around the room and playtest other students' games.

Next, I will hand out the worksheet you will use to write your own GCD. Open up Game Concept Document pdf and use the instructions to begin writing your GCD.

At the end of class, please hand in your GCD. I will hand them out again next class. If you think you will work on it at home, let me know and you may take it with you. Just remember to bring it back at the next class.

Homework

Next time, you will finish writing your GCD and begin creating your game.

If you are taking your GCD home to work on it, please make sure you bring it back next time!


Class 7: April 6 Wednesday

Writing Your Game Concept Document (GCD) and Building Your Game

Last time, you began writing your GCD for the game you will be creating in Gamestar. I noticed that a lot of you are not understanding what information goes in each one of the sections, so today we will go through each section together as you write your GCD.

I will hand back the worksheet you started last week so you can make any necessary changes to it.

Now, open up Game Concept Document pdf. We will use the instructions in each section to help you write your GCD.

Lab Time

Sign in to Gamestar Mechanic.

Go to the Workshop and click on "Create a New Game" in the Workshop. You might want to start by choosing an appropriate background for your game. See how far you can get with your game.

At the end of class, please hand in your GCD. I will hand them out again next class. Next week, you will finish your game and then we will playtest them.


Class 6: March 23

Planning Your Own Game by Writing a Game Concept Document (GCD)

Last week, we used the GCD for Get to the Greenhouse to create a game for it in Gamestar Mechanic. Today we will finish those and playtest them.

After thinking through a GCD for Night at the Graveyard and creating a game using the GCD for Get to the Greenhouse, you should be ready to write a GCD for your own game that you will create in Gamestar. The GCD is a great tool for planning and creating a game. I will hand out a worksheet for you to use to write your GCD.

Lab Time

Sign in to Gamestar Mechanic.

Now open up GCD Get to the Greenhouse.

Go to the Workshop and open up your Get to the Greenhouse game. I will give you a few minutes to finish it up.

When you are finished, you can move around the room and playtest other students' games.

Next, I will hand out the worksheet you will use to write your own GCD. Open up Game Concept Document pdf and use the instructions to begin writing your GCD.

At the end of class, please hand in your GCD. I will hand them out again next class. If you think you will work on it at home, let me know and you may take it with you. Just remember to bring it back at the next class.

Homework

Next time, you will finish writing your GCD and begin creating your game.

If you are taking your GCD home to work on it, please make sure you bring it back next time!


Class 5: March 16 or 18

Creating a Game in Gamestar Mechanic using a Game Concept Document (GCD)

Last week, we went over game concept documents and learned about the different sections. Then, we played Night at the Graveyard and discussed what the sections of a GCD might look like for that game.

This week, we are going to use the GCD for Get to the Greenhouse and create a game for it in Gamestar Mechanic. Some of you started this last week.

Lab Time

Sign in to Gamestar Mechanic.

Now open up GCD Get to the Greenhouse.

If you saved the game you started last week, then go to the Workshop and open it up and continue. If you don't have a game saved from last week, then click on "Create a New Game" in the Workshop. Using the GCD, create your own version of Get to the Greenhouse. Please work quickly so you can finish it in time to have your classmates playtest it today. Make sure you save it.

When you are finished, you can move around the room and playtest other students' games.

Homework

Next week, you will be writing your own GCD for a game you will be creating in Gamestar. Please be thinking about it!


Class 4: March 9 or 11

Core Design Elements and the Game Concept Document

Last week, we went over the Core Design Elements and how they work to create a system, in this case, a video game. These elements can be used to describe a specific game.

A game concept document(GCD) is a document that describes a game that the creator wants to pitch to a game development company. It tells the company just enough information to decide if it is a good game or not. A longer version of the GCD is used as a reference for the artists, programmers, and animators to help them create the game. The GCD uses the core design elements to help describe the game. In this class, we will use a GCD to guide us through creating games in Gamestar Mechanic.

Open up the Game Concept Document pdf. Take a look at the sections of this document. You will use this to write a GCD for your own game you will create in Gamestar in a couple of weeks.

Lab Time

Sign in to Gamestar Mechanic, then open up Night at the Graveyard. and play it. The first 2 levels are really short, but we want to concentrate on Level 3.

When you have completed Level 3, as a class, we will describe what should be in each section of a GCD that would be written for Night at the Graveyard.

Now open up GCD Get to the Greenhouse. Then in Gamestar, click on "Create a New Game" in the Workshop. Using the GCD, create your own version of Get to the Greenhouse. See how far you can get with it. If you don't finish it today, we will continue with it next week and playtest them. Make sure you save it!!

Homework

  • Make sure you have finished all 5 Episodes in Gamestar Mechanic.

Class 3: February 24 or March 4

Core Design Elements and Dynamic Systems

I hope you were able to finish Episodes 3 and 4 because they deal with games as dynamic systems. A system is a set of connected things or parts forming a complex whole. A dynamic system is a system where a change in one part will influence all of the interrelated parts. Examples of dynamic systems:

  • Human Circulatory System: heart, veins, arteries, capillaries, blood
  • Computer Operating System: hard drive, monitor, keyboard, mouse, application, printer

You can see how a game is a dynamic system. Now open up the Design Elements pdf. The game system is comprised of space, components, mechanics, goals, and rules. It's dynamic because if we change one element, it changes one or more of the other elements. That is what Episodes 3 and 4 were showing you. Now sign into Gamestar Mechanic.

Lab Time

Go to the Workshop tab and scroll down to Template Games and click on Change the Element "get a copy." Once the game loads, click on settings under "Change ONE Element." Try it with both the top-down view (single vs double screen) and platformer (change gravity settings).

Then play Episodes 5.

Homework

  • Finish all the Episodes including 5.

Class 2: February 17 or 19

Terminology

First, we will learn about game genres. These are the categories of games, such as first-person shooter or real-time strategy. Open up the Game Genres pdf. You can also open up these by clicking on the links on the top of the page. As we go over this, think about the games that you play and what genre they are.

Let's take another look at the Glossary of Game Design Terms. These will be useful as we talk about games.

I hope everyone played through Episodes 1 and 2 in Gamestar Mechanic. Remember that you will have homework almost every week playing Gamestar Mechanic. Sign in to Gamestar Mechanic and look at the Introduction to Episode 3.

Now open up the Design Elements pdf that they were just talking about. Use this for reference. We will be talking more about systems next week.

Lab Time

Play Episodes 3 and 4.

Homework

Finish Episodes 3 and 4 (and 1 and 2 if you haven't finished them already)


Class 1: February 10 or 12

Welcome to the Game Design elective!

We will begin with introductions. I will tell you about myself and the video games I like to play, then you will tell me which video games you are currently playing and which one is your favorite.

Next, we will take a quick look at the Syllabus for this class and get a preview of the Final Project so you can start thinking about it now! You can see links to these above. Later, you can also click on the link to my portfolio website and see some examples of my artwork for games.

At the beginning of every class, you will need to go to this Game Design webpage to get the information you will need for class. You should also bookmark this webpage on your home computer so you can access the documents through the links above.

Click on the links above to see the Glossary of game design terminology and Game Genres that you can use for reference. Also, you will need to study the Element Cards to help you when you play Gamestar Mechanic.

Lab Time

We will set up our accounts in Gamestar Mechanic which we will be using throughout the semester to learn about game design and build our own games. We will be using the labtops in the classroom, but you can access it from home. You will need a computer with a keyboard.

Then, you will play Episodes 1 and 2 in the 1st Quest "Addison Joins the League." If you don't finish it today, then you have to finish it for homework.

Homework

Usually, your homework will be finishing up playing episodes in Gamestar Mechanics, so for this week, please finish up Episodes 1 and 2.


Wednesday Class only:

Use this link to log in to Gamestar Mechanic:

Gamestar Account Log In (Wednesday)

Friday Class only:

Use this link to log in to Gamestar Mechanic:

Gamestar Account Log In (Friday)