User Generated Education

Education as it should be – passion-based.

Game Jam: Creating a Video Game

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The Game Jam was developed for and offered through the Santa Fe Public Schools’ SAGE (Services for Advanced and Gifted Education) Program although any school or youth group could enter. The game categories were: Board, Card, Action, and Video games. The criteria used to judge the games:

The contest was conceived and developed by Steve Heil – Santa Fe Public Schools Gifted Program Support Specialist. For more information, contact him at sheil@sfps.k12.nm.us.

I encouraged my 5th and 6th grade gifted learners at one of my schools to enter the video game category. I scaffolded instruction (described below) but they created their story narratives, storyboards, and video games.

Introduction to Story Narratives

They were introduced to world and character through the following Pixar in a Box video.

Storyboarding with Storyboard That

Learners used Storyboard That to create the storyboards for their video games.

Storyboard That is a graphic organizer and storyboard creator . The program provides pre-made scenes, characters, text boxes, shapes, and other images to choose from,  Students are able to drag and drop these items into their chosen layout. Scenes are organized into locational and thematic categories (e.g. school). Characters are organized similarly and can be customized with hair color, eye color, and other edits. Text boxes allow the student to give voice to their characters. Shapes and additional images add props to the story. (https://www.edsurge.com/product-reviews/storyboard-that-product)

It was continually reinforced that their storyboards needed to include strong characters, settings, and plot.

Video Game Creation

Learners were given the option of two game creation platforms:-

  1. Scratch – https://scratch.mit.edu/
  2. Makecode Arcade – https://arcade.makecode.com/

To help them make their decision about which platform to use, they were asked to do tutorials offered by each of these platforms. Two of the teams selected MakeCode Arcade and one of the teams selected Scratch. The MakeCode teams were able to create their characters using the pixel image creation function, and the Scratch team created their characters using this platform’s drawing tool.

MakeCode Avatars

Scratch Avatars

Links to the Learner Created Games

Video Overviews

As part of the game jam submission procedures, learners had to record a video overview. Here are their video overviews:

Written by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

May 24, 2019 at 10:26 pm

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