W4: Game Design @ NMPPS

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We’re a quarter way through our pilot program! Week 4 was full of lots of excitement as we focused more on code in Scratch and taking a deeper look into gamification.

Explaining if/else statements in Scratch
Explaining if/else statements in Scratch

To kick off the session, we reviewed the blocks of code we learned from the previous week: particularly focusing on the if/else statement. An if/else statement checks to see if a condition is true or false – if it is true, the blocks inside the statement run. For example: if the right arrow key is pressed, move the sprite to the right. Else, do nothing. As students were thinking about their stories, we emphasized that every game will have lots and lots of if/else statements! Mainly because the player’s decisions affect the outcome of the story.

This session’s new learning goal was develop. We moved onto discussed the concept of an adventure game and how everyone in the class was making one (maybe without even realizing it!). An adventure game, we defined together, is an interactive story that is driven by exploration and solving puzzles. What does it mean to solve a puzzle? A puzzle can be: decoding a message, finding and using a special item, opening a locked door, or figuring out a bad guy’s weakness. Pairs broke off and began brainstorming 5-8 puzzles for their game. There were no wrong ideas during brainstorming and the class did an excellent job of thinking outside the box and coming up with lots of creative concepts!

Kayla adding puzzle ideas to her game design document.
Kayla adding puzzle ideas to her game design document.

The students were so inspired during our discussion and small work period, we had extra time to do more coding! As a group, we conducted a code along on how to unlock a secret door and switch to a different scene. Surprise! It was made up of if statements!

Even though this session was packed with lots of new information, the class did an excellent job of being open minded and developing their stories on paper and in Scratch. There were some concerns around using Scratch’s built in sprites, but we enforced that for the next 2 weeks, everyone would be designing their own sprites! We’re really excited for week 5 and can’t wait to dive into digital drawing!

-KIT

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