Games Galore

codingKids

Games Galore is a three-day programme that combines physical playground games and computer programming to give students a greater understanding of game mechanics and construction.

Students de-constructed pre-existing games, such as dots-and-boxes, tag, and the classic staring contest, and then remixed at least one aspect of game play.  Then we play-tested the new version of the games.  As we played our games through we realised that some aspects simply didn’t work as well in practise as they did on paper, so we ended up making adjustments on the fly.

We also worked collaboratively to create our very own physical game.  Unlike most physical games, this one has levels of varying game play.

Our Game

When it came time to sit down and programme the students worked exclusively in the Processing programming language, which is a simplified version of Java.  Each day we tackled a new game, the first two were guided projects that introduced the students to various aspects of the programming language, but the last was entirely up to each individual students.  Armed with the skills they had learned over the previous two days students were able to design and programme their own applications.  As you can imagine, this required a great deal of pre-planning before they even began to code.

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Through these projects students learned:

Correct syntax
—Processing is pretty unforgiving if you forget a semi-colon or spell a word incorrectly
How to draw a sprite in GIMP & import it into Processing
How to move a sprite
—Mouse
—Key Commands
—Random & Automated Movement
To place objects on a screen using X and Y values
Collision detection

You can view all of the projects the students made in our online classroom at OpenProcessing.org

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