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CoffinNail

Game Programming Presentaiton

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A few of my friends and I have agreed to do a presentation, on behalf of the Game Developers Network at USF, for the Great American Teach In. We will be going to a local middle school and talking to them about game development, and more specifically game programming. I have asked what the students are learning (it is a magnet school) that might relate to the topic, but the individual that contacted me did not know. I have some ideas about what to talk about that will interest middle schoolers, but I was wondering if anyone had any great ideas. Anything you can think of that would be good to teach kids about game programming that can fit into a 50 minute presentation.

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Play a game and describe what people did to make it in a nutshell?....

Every thing I ever see is like this "Make a game design document, go to a publisher." That was always boring to me. If you actually walked around in a game maybe like zelda that is not M rated, and describe how things collide and show wireframes of 3D models to show how they are made. Describe how the AI walks around to find you, or like distance triggers, or line or forward line of sight triggers. I think it is interesting to show and describe how a game most of the kids may have played, is thought up and how the gears work inside of it. Then if the 1 or 2 kids actually are interested and go online, they can be like "make character collide with wall" etc.

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yes, that sounds like a good idea above
make sure that you pick a game that has interesting gameplay mechanics, such as in zelda you can carry chickens and throw them, where you can explain how that probably was a challenge to the developers
or in minecraft how you can put a pig in a minecart etc. (you can right?) or ride a pig too..

standard games are all well and good, but if you want the kids to remember you, id probably go for some of the more peculiar cases too

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Might sound drole, but you should mention something about some base math requirements and show them why, show them angry birds. ballistic travel and kinematic equations are usually good enough to do most simple games and they are taught right there in highschool (is that middleschool?, never had that division where I live).

biggest of all, if they want to make great games, they have to play some and try to think about what made those games fun or not.

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