As a part of our Game Based Learning Trials, Game Development Strand, Fairlie and I have had the opportunity to do some work with the fantastic Paul Callaghan (@paul_callaghan) about the process of developing games, before even turning on a computer. Our last session, we took 4 students from our grade who did the same activities that we had been doing. Some of these included were:
- Identifying the Nouns and Verbs in a game.
- Characters and their movements.
- Back Story.
- Level Design.
The 4 students enjoyed the day so much and got so much out of it, we felt it was a shame to deny the rest of our students the opportunity. So our group of ‘experts’ planned with us a day for the rest of the students to pitch their ideas for games.
The day started of with the Nouns and Verbs activity, an amazing way for students to associate the 2 parts of speech and it was unbelievable how easy they found it to come up with the Nouns and Verbs that they can relate to games. This was followed up by a Game Discussion task that they applied to the last game that they had played. This activity is designed to get them thinking about what makes a game fun and enjoyable. The final activity was a design brief, where the groups had to design different levels of a particular game featuring Captain Playlunch!!
The really amazing work occurred after recess where the students designed their own games. The groups each had to come up with a 2 minute presentation for their idea and ‘pitch’ the idea to our panel of experts. Each ‘pitch’ had to include:
- Main Character and some information on them
- Nouns and Verbs of the Game
- Front Cover
- Type of Game
- Platform for the game
- Back Story
- Controls of the Game
Every single group came up with an amazing game idea, and no 2 groups came up with the same idea. Some of the games were designed for Xbox 360, Wii, PC and even the iPhone/iPod.
It was an amazing day full of powerful learning, engaged students and an awful lot of fun. Who would have thought it, a day of game development in our classrooms and not a single computer was turned on.