Thursday, August 14, 2014

Video Game Design

In my last post I explained that my summer is split into 3 class periods.  The first period being Comic Book Creation.  While I have students creating some fun comics each week (you can read it and see some from a post last summer) this summer, my second summer, I had students with my every single week. Some I had many weeks the previous summer too.  Not surprised to say, they were a little bored of making comics.  I was not upset!

We turned our class into a Comic Book/Video Game Creation Class.

Each student interested in Video Game Creation started with Hour of Code,  If they were still interested they continued onto Scratch and created a maze game, racing game, and then a platform game.

After creating a racing game one of my students took off and made more games on her own.  Others, as expected, needed more assistance.  Since students were all in different places at different times depending on when the week they started it was hard to teach everyone what they wanted when they wanted.  We had limited time so I found a great resource,  This site provides videos to teach different lessons in Scratch.  There are 24 videos that start with the basics, motion and looks, and advance all the way to arithmetic operations and logic functions. 

With the maze game it was all about focusing on learning Scratch.  Then the racing game was about gameplay.  Last, the platform game, combined previous knowledge, added gravity, and we focused on the look of the game, the art.

I had one student that was interested in making a game but not interested in Scratch at all. Pixel Press Floors to the rescue. It was an amazingly fun app!  You can LITERALLY draw your own video game. 

1. Students can draw their levels on the free printable graph paper and capture the drawing (iPad 3 or newer)

Or students can draw in the app. Perfect for iPad 2 users.

2. Students then design the boards based on two main "stories" or designs.  They pick the character, floor, pits, coins.  For $0.99 they can add power-ups.  For another $0.99 they can add enemies.  Both are well worth the money if you plan on using the app on a regular basis. 

3.  As students design they can test their game.  This is a great for teaching how to test game play.

Pixel Press Floors Trailer from Pixel Press on Vimeo.

As a teacher they have some great resources.  First there are lesson plans,  It contains instructions and rubrics for a 1 day or 5 day curriculum.  Also included are sketch guides, brainstorming guides, and more.

Stop by their Educational Portal,, for ideas, Q&A, and assistance. I found it really helpful this summer.  I found this post about a dry-erase sketch sheet. Great for classroom use.  One was HUGE and on the board:


  1. This is amazing! Kids creating their own games! Great post!

  2. There are great tools available online for make awesome games online like these maze games