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Ideas for a 5 min "How do I get started in games" video for kids.


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#1 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

Posted 15 April 2013 - 07:34 AM

I've been asked to create some video training content for PinkieSquare.com, which is focused on helping kids start up in game development and design.

 

The first topic I'm tackling is "​I want to make a game. How do I get started?​"  Which I plan to have posted later this week.

 

I have two key concepts I'm going to push:

 

1) Pick a game development environment that you can start with and just play around with it: see what you can do:  Suggesting Unity, RPG Maker and Game Maker.

 

2) Think of a very small game to create, something you think you could build in a day with your knowledge.  And finish it end to end.  Then try a project that might take a week, etc... but increase slowly in the complexity and mass.  (its better to have 2 cheap games in a portfolio, then some text saying how you spent 3 months working on cool ideas but nothing came of it)

 

The whole thing is focused on Get Started and Try. 

 

But I'm open to other ideas as well.  Or interesting ways to express what I've just described.  

 

The target age range is 8 to 12

 

Thanks.


Edited by Dan Violet Sagmiller, 15 April 2013 - 07:43 AM.

Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


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#2 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1825

Posted 15 April 2013 - 11:26 PM

Not sure if it's appropriate for the age group but you might consider Torque 2D MIT, which is completely free to use. There are no editors as of yet but a suite of experimental demo examples that can be easily modified. (It may be more appropriate to a higher age, though).

 

I'd ask them to think about what they like to play and maybe why, then look at how it works, then maybe break that into categories like movement or collision or special effects. I think it can be useful because it can invite analytical thought without making it work to think about. They can then use that to help plan out the kind of game they want (or start admiring how many steps the games they  love take to make).

 

As for programming I'd invite them to think about what they want to do from easiest to hardest and focus on getting the simplest things going first-- just getting something on the screen, then making it move, then adding in something of an environment, then interaction with the environment. Like your mass example the game comes alive as it grows, but I think it's important to show that you don't have the tackle the whole thing in one fell swoop. (It's kind of like the "how do you eat an elephant?" saying... "One bite at a time")


--------------------Just waiting for the mothership...

#3 silkroadgame   Members   -  Reputation: 211

Posted 16 April 2013 - 03:06 AM

For kids who just start,I think they will have some questions to ask.

Firstly,to pick game development environment is a good push,but they may want to know which environment is the best or the most appropriate for them.So I suggest you to describle advantages and disadvantages of Unity, RPG Maker and Game Maker clearly. Otherwise,they still don't know which one should choose.

Secondly,when they have a game in mind,they would still ask,"Where should I start to make this game out?",you should tell them the different workflows of making games I think.

 

Btw,I suggest those because there're lots of beginners are asking the same questions.


http://www.game-silkroad.com
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#4 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

Posted 16 April 2013 - 04:40 AM

I'd ask them to think about what they like to play and maybe why, then look at how it works, then maybe break that into categories like movement or collision or special effects. I think it can be useful because it can invite analytical thought without making it work to think about. They can then use that to help plan out the kind of game they want (or start admiring how many steps the games they  love take to make).

Thats a good idea.  This would be an excellent time to start them thinking about this.

 

 

Firstly,to pick game development environment is a good push,but they may want to know which environment is the best or the most appropriate for them.So I suggest you to describle advantages and disadvantages of Unity, RPG Maker and Game Maker clearly. Otherwise,they still don't know which one should choose.
Secondly,when they have a game in mind,they would still ask,"Where should I start to make this game out?",you should tell them the different workflows of making games I think.
 
Btw,I suggest those because there're lots of beginners are asking the same questions.

Thanks for the suggestion.  I was actually planning on three extra videos that get you started in 5 minutes.  I hadn't thought of doing a comparison of each though.  That perhaps, could be another video.  


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#5 mippy   Members   -  Reputation: 1004

Posted 16 April 2013 - 07:28 AM

  1. Replace textures in a finished game, using GIMP or other software.
  2. Modifying a select group of variables in a ready made game.
  3. Making a level for an existing side-scroller using one of the engines you mentioned above.
  4. Making a click and interact discovery game (I made my first story-game in hypercard for mac), where you come up with your story and logic with branching events based on clicks.

I don't think it matters so much which engine you use, as long as there is some help/community who can support the kids and it is possible to work with a template game.



#6 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

Posted 16 April 2013 - 08:20 AM

Replace textures in a finished game, using GIMP or other software.
Modifying a select group of variables in a ready made game.

I'm going to skip this one for this video, because then I should also cover legal rights to do that kind of stuff.  I do plan on that for a later video, so this, I think is a good idea later on.

 

Making a level for an existing side-scroller using one of the engines you mentioned above.

Great Idea.  I've been thinking of a Raw Engine, where you start to shape your full game, I haven't eve thought about in-game editors, or level editors.  That's a great place to start.

 

I don't think it matters so much which engine you use, as long as there is some help/community who can support the kids and it is possible to work with a template game.

I would disagree with one possible direction from this.  Something like Torque, XNA or Blitz have (or had) good community support, but everything you build starts with code.  considering that much of the age group hasn't really seen much algebraic variable usage, I wanted to start them on things where you can do a lot with out looking at code.  Especially with RPG maker/Game Maker, where it has list based variables and conditions, where you start to gain those programming concepts, without being left to pure text programming.  

 - I'll also mention that it doesn't sound like you were arguing against this, its just a point that I wanted to clarify.


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#7 herbertsworld   Members   -  Reputation: 276

Posted 16 April 2013 - 09:03 AM

For a group between 8 - 12 years old, I think Little Big Planet 1 or 2 is something they can relate to faster than an off the shelf engine. In your video, you can show the technology behind it, but I worry that you may a lose them in the jargon if they haven't been exposed to this kind of stuff before.

 

If you had the option, it would also be cool to get them to try out. LBP is a great tool for kids, not perfect, but you can get multiple kids making a level at the same time.



#8 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

Posted 16 April 2013 - 09:10 AM

LBP is a great tool for kids

I'll look into this.  It sounds useful.  

 

Odd note:  I'm entertained by this sentence in specific.  I own LBP, as in Learn Build Play.


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.





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