W3: Game Design @ NMPPS

Week 3 was a big week for the class! We covered such an enormous amount of material in the 2 hours, we might have pulled some brain cells in the process. The students had loads of challenges – mostly because we started transitioning ideas from paper to the computer and started the digital game design process. For those of you familiar with Scratch, you know that it’s a game making application designed by really the people at MIT‘s Media Lab. We chose to use it for this program because it colour codes everything and simplifies difficult coding concepts. It’s a big program that can be intimidating for the novice user but we love a challenge and we were ready to jump in when…

Godfrey and Melyk's Game Design Document
Godfrey and Melyk’s Game Design Document

…the students expressed their concerns about what we were doing next. “How can we start creating our game if we haven’t finished our GDD yet?”

Only then did we (the instructors) realize we hadn’t emphasized the importance of the GDD (game design document) enough and noticed that many of the students still had question marks beside their notes. The class wasn’t making the link between working out the details of the game using the GDD and playing with Scratch to see what capabilities it had. So we re-grouped and gave everyone extra time to finalize as much of the GDD as they could. We wanted them to get all those juicy, fun details on to paper. They got it after that.

Malene and Jennie helping students with their GDDs
Malene and Jennie helping students with their GDDs

We then moved on to Scratch and what it meant to program /code our “sprite’s” first movements. We worked in pairs through building blocks of code and we were able to create the first outline of how their main character would move.

Job well done students!

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