Thursday, July 8, 2010

Designing Games: Students’ Reflections

Next week, we have the opportunity to present at the 2010 Office of Schools Conference: Engaging Learners through Innovative Practice. We are presenting on Students as Game Designers using 3D animation software. A teacher and two students, who were involved in the MacICT Game Design project last term, will also speak about their experience with the project.
At MacICT we have been exploring multi-touch surfaces and, at the Conference, the students will be collaborating on a game design storyboard using a multi-touch IWB.
Both students created games based on the book, Rowan of Rin which they had studied in class. I asked the students to reflect on:
  • How they turned one of their 'exciting events' into a game level?
  • What they learnt from designing and building their own game?
  • What did you find challenging?
  • What do you think about designing and building games at school?
Below is their response.

“For the last event, the Dragon’s Lair, I get the player to click on a series of baby dragons, which is completely different from the story. In the story, Rowan pulls a bone out from in between the Dragon’s teeth. Pretty much the only similarity is having the Dragon in the background. You have to blow up the little Dragons to finish, instead of earning the big Dragon’s trust.”

“When I was designing my game, I had it all planned out in my head and I knew what I was doing. When I was making the game though, I changed practically every single scene and made it even better. I learnt a lot more about Kahootz as we had lessons on it, designed the game and built it. I knew about Kahootz before we had the lessons but I still learnt a lot of things I didn’t know before, like variables and actions.”

“I found variables and actions a little challenging. Variables and actions are what you use to tell your game how to work. These were challenging because they were new to me. I also found it hard to think of different types of challenges.”

“I think that designing and building Kahootz games at school is really fun and puzzling. I think it was really good for my learning on the computer and revision on Kahootz. I definitely think it is something we should go on with in the future.”

“I based my game on Rowan of Rin, a book we read in class. The book is about the town of Rin. Rin was cut mysteriously of their water supply and Rowan, the main character, is chosen to venture up the mountain with 6 others as the town suspects that the dragon at the top of the mountain might have something to do with the drought.”

“On the way up the mountain, the team faces 7 challenges. I took 3 of those challenges and changed them into levels of my game. For example, the forest of spiders was one of my levels and I made sure that the level could be as much the same as the book as possible, but it’s just impossible to make it exactly the same as the book, so I changed some of the items to give a new feeling to people who have read the book, and also because some of the items I needed were not there.”

“When building my game, I learnt that you need support for you to strive for something better, and for getting ideas from your friends. I found that a lot of my game I thought up of after dwelling on my friends’ ideas so that my game would be different from theirs but with a touch of their good ideas.”

“All I found challenging during the design process was making my game in the time limit we were given.”

“I thought that the designing and building process was really fun because I got to work with my friends and I got to really use my brain power. Overall I’d be happy to do this again.”

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