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Would anyone be interested in teaching an online Game Dev. course?


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#1 makuto   Members   -  Reputation: 856

Posted 30 July 2012 - 03:07 PM

If anyone's noticed, high schools are severely lacking in one subject: game development. And I want to alleviate this gap in education by starting an online course on game development at a high school level. Everyone ages 12 to 18 can join the course for free. It'll be one of those webcam based courses where everyone can see each other and talk to the teacher.

There won't be grades because it probably won't be an official anything. After all, actual knowledge is more important than grades.

The most important part of the course would be the projects the students do, because we learn best by doing. There are three categories of projects:
1. Topic: This is a 10 minute to 1 hour project on the lesson. Students are encouraged to group up with up to two others and help out with the project. A a topical project could be "Make 4 unique cats in Inkscape".

2. Discipline: This is a week long project focused on parts of a single discipline, such as SDL programming (programming discipline) or a spritesheet based on cats (art discipline). Groups of 3-8 are recommended.

3. Game: This is a month to two-month-long project with teams of at least 5 students. They are challenged with making a game with some loose characteristics (i.e. something to do with cats) in a certain amount of time. Many disciplines should be involved (so there are actually some artists with all those programmers). After the deadline the games are presented (probably competitively).

Instructors go over each project and award the student with "experience points" based upon how well the student did (And yes, after so many experience points they "level up").

I said something about disciplines. Basically, when students register their classmate profile they select what part of game development they're most interested in. The options are:
  • Art Production
  • Music Production
  • Sound Production
  • Graphics Programming
  • Physics Programming
  • Artificial Intelligence Programming
  • Engine Architecture Programming
  • Game Design
  • Business/making money with games
These aren't set in stone, they often overlap, and the students can change their interest on demand. Each discipline is intended to have its own two to three month course, meaning that the student could take several every year (even two at the same time, but that's not recommended).

Course lessons are intended to be once or twice a week and last about 45 minutes. Students should be encouraged to make the lesson less of a lesson (whoa) and more of a class discussion about the topic. Topic projects are due at the beginning of the next lesson/discussion. Students are responsible for setting up communication with their project group (this might actually be built in to the web cam system). At the bottom of the recorded discussions are links to further deepen ones knowledge of the subject (and to avoid any teacher blasphemy).

The only problem I have is a very sizable one: who's going to teach it? That's where you come in. These courses are intended to be open for anyone to teach who has experience in that specific discipline. I could teach a few myself (namely game design with a companion The Art of Game Design, and some engine architecture programming), but I would much rather have professionals teach the course. All I'm asking for is an hour or two a week for two months. That's 8-16 hours teaching kids what you love to do.

Even if I don't get any other people to help me teach, I will continue on with the course. Thanks!

Want to get to know my work and I better? See my website: Au 79 Games

I wrote General Tips on the Process of Solo Game Development


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