Teaching Game Design at Spirit Lake 1


It’s been a great start to the summer session teaching game design at Warwick Middle School. Students started off playing two math games, an adventure game and a collector game. We discussed the idea of game genre and what is needed to make a video game – assets, code, story line. We also talked about what else goes into a game design, like a discussion of game mechanics.

But first, software testing!

Because not testing enough is a major flaw in most new developers, we discussed that’s briefly and then, before leaving the building, everyone took a photo and uploaded it to One Drive so that we knew that the camera worked on each iPad and that the media could be uploaded.

Picture of dirt road taken by student in Warwick, where I'm teaching game design
Road from Warwick School (thanks Kelsin)

Did you know that teaching game design can be done outdoors?

The weather at Spirit Lake is beautiful and what better way to learn about photo and video editing than to create your own assets? Thanks to the wonderful paraprofessionals, we were able to split the students into groups of 3 or 4 and walk around the area taking pictures and videos.

After 45 minutes walking around town, we regrouped in the classroom and discussed possible game ideas. We came up with

Possible games based on Warwick

  • Rez Dogs – You are chased by angry dogs. You can climb trees to escape. In level 2, the dogs are bigger and meaner but you have a big stick to fight them off.
  • Ghosts of Warwick – Some of the students took really cool pictures of abandoned buildings. I’ll post some this week. We also had a student run back and forth down the hall and we are going to add audio to that of screaming and spooky sounds. Also, I might possibly have been run over by a school bus.
  • Build Warwick Rec – This is a search game where the purpose is to collect enough equipment and money to build a recreation center for Warwick. We took pictures of sheds crammed full of random stuff where you’d need to find a basketball, etc. We also had a stack of metal barrels that could be a math problem. Solve the code and find a treasure. Get it wrong and get blown up.

It’s going great so far and it’s only the second day. Next time I’ll try to show case some of the students’ work after they’ve finished photo editing.

Hey, while you’re here, check out Making Camp Lakota


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

One thought on “Teaching Game Design at Spirit Lake