Monthly Archives: October 2017

Now that you have detailed out an idea for your game, you need to research it.

We are going to do this by looking at games that are similar to the one that you want to make.

Research Assignment:(formative)  Due Wednesday, November 1

  • Find and list three different games that are similar to the one that you wish to make. Copy and paste the link to the game into your paper. (10 points)
  • Play each of those games and identify and fully list out the: (45 points)
    • components
    • mechanics
    • game space
    • rules
    • goals
  • For each game, write a paragraph or two answering the following questions? (45 points)
    • What did you like about the game and why?
    • What didn’t you like or would change about the game and why?
    • What elements of this game you would like to use or incorporate into your game?


This week we will continue to develop our idea for a game design by adding details, researching, and developing story and characters.

Monday – The Idea Assignment work day – assignment due at the end of class.

Tuesday – Researching game design ideas.

Wednesday – Researching game design ideas.  Assignment Due.

Thursday – Developing the story and character of your game design

Friday – Writing the story.

Tutoring this week:

Thursday 8:10 – 8:40 & 4:00 – 4:45

Today we will talk about how to brainstorm ideas for games and start to develop your game concept.


The Idea Assignment: (formative)

  • Part 1: (15 points)
    • Brainstorm ideas for three different games
    • Write a sentence for each ideas describing it.
  • Part 2: (50 points)
    • Pick one of your ideas to be the one you develop.
    • Develop a detailed description of that game idea. Include:
      • the mechanics – actions the player can take
      • components – physical objects in the game
      • space – top down/platform, wrap around/scrolling
      • rules – what the player can and can’t do
      • goals – how to win or advance the game
  • Part 3: (35 points)
    • Write a one or two paragraph explanation of your game idea.
      • Explain the setting and gameplay
      • Tell the outline of the story of your game
  • You will turn in your final narrowed down/detailed Video Game Design idea at the end of class on Monday, Oct. 30th through Schoology.

Today we are going to be play-testing the games you have created in Gamestar Mechanic.  Play-testing is a very important step in the game design process.  This is where you find out how other’s see and experience your game.  It is critical that you listen to your play-testers and take their observations and experiences seriously, as the creator of a game is the worst judge of it.  We get to attached and to our games to see the flaws.  Take this process seriously and it will help you to make really good games that will be enjoyed by many people.

Instruction for play-testing:

  • Fill out the top of the play-test form with your name and the name of your game
  • Leave the play-test form at your computer for others to fill out
  • Find three other games that you have not played, play the game, and fill out one of the play-tester sections.
  • Please do not do more than three games so everyone gets a chance to be a play-tester.

How to give good play-tester feedback:

  • Find things that you like about the game and tell the designer what they are.
  • Highlight any areas where you thought the game was too difficult or too easy.
  • Make your feed back specific not general.  Don’t say a liked/disliked everything – give them specific things you liked or disliked and offer a change that they could make that would make the game better.
  • Keep your feedback positive and constructive.  If you are offensive, people will not take your advise.  You will just make them mad – so be polite.

When you are done, please wait quietly for everyone to finish play-testing your game.  When they are done, read the feedback that was left for your game and think about what you might need to change/adjust.  We will be making changes tomorrow based on the feedback received today.

This week we will complete our Gamestar Mechanic Challenge by play-testing and refining our games.

Monday – Gamestar Mechanic Challenge – complete prototype

Tuesday – Play-Test games and give constructive feedback

Wednesday – Gamestar Mechanic Challenge – Refine game based on feedback

Thursday – Gamestar Mechanic Challenge – Game is due – we will grade them during class.

Friday – Introduction to Developing a game design – Brainstorming

You will design a game in Gamestar Mechanic around one of four different themes.  Your goal is to design a balanced game (balanced between fun and challenge).

The four themes you can choose from are:

  1. Amazing Race – Create a game about an amazing race.
    • Timers create pressure and mark the beginning and end of a race. Design a racecourse with a challenging space (long, narrow, or full of obstacles).  Think about making shortcuts and detours to give racers some choice in where they go.
  2. Sunrise to Sunset – Create a game that starts in the morning and ends at night.
    • Changes in the day can be expressed through a change in mechanic (do you do different things in the morning than at night?), the use of backgrounds, music,or a sequence of levels.
  3. Do Not Pass! – Create a game with barriers and obstacles that you have to get by in order to win (or move to the next level).
    • Creating puzzles for your player to solve is a powerful way to control progress through a game.  Creating complex enemy movement patterns can create obstacles too.
  4. Home – Create a game about your neighborhood.  Spaces in the real world can be great inspiration for games.
    • Think about who lives in your neighborhood and how you would represent them in a game.  Ask “what is unique about my neighborhood?”  Think about what people like to do there, how they move around, and the places you like to go.

Game Requirements:  You’re game needs to follow these requirements.

  1. You must use one of the four themes listed above.  It should be very clear which one you have used.
  2. You need at least three fully developed levels.
  3. Your components, mechanics, game space, goals, and rules need to work well together.
  4. You need fully completed and detailed level intros and outros.  This is a great place to add in some story elements or help to explain the setting.

You will have class time Thursday, Friday, and Monday to complete the prototype of your game.  Tuesday, we will be play testing our games and making final changes.

I will be grading these games on Thursday Oct. 26th during class.



  • Three Fully Developed Levels – 20 points per level = 60 points
    • All elements of your design work well together
    • There is a good balance of difficulty in your level
    • Each level advances the story of your game.
  • Theme – 20 points
    • It is very easy to see which theme you have chosen.  Good and engaging story is easy to understand and follow
  • Intros and Outros – 20 points
    • Completely filled out with instructions, hints, and story elements.
    • Be creative and draw the player in.

Today we start our Game Design Theory unit by setting up an account in Gamestar Mechanic, an online game design learning program.  Please go to to register an account.  Make sure your user name is your first name followed by your last name.  Example:  Fred_Flintstone

You can pick your own password.  Follow the rest of the instructions for registration.  When done registering, click on quests and start playing your way through episodes 1 & 2.  There are several missions in each episode.

If you get done before the end of the time allotted, you can go to the Workshop and play the challenge games to unlock more sprites.

Welcome back to the second grading period.  We will be learning all about how to take apart and examine games during the next few weeks.  You will also go through the process of taking an idea from your imagination and developing it into a fully documented game design that you will present to the class.

Monday – Gamestar Mechanic Episodes 1 and 2 – Identifying parts of a game

Tuesday – Gamestar Mechanic Episodes 3 and 4 – Games as a system of interrelated parts

Wednesday – Gamestar Mechanic Episode 5 – Establishing balance in games

Thursday – Gamestar Mechanic Challenge – Start designing your own game

Friday – Gamestar Mechanic Challenge – Work day (finish your game)

This week we will complete our exploration of careers in Video Game Design by doing our Video Game Careers project.  The focus of the project is for you to develop a road-map that takes you from high school student to working professional in your chosen video game career.  Please see the post below for instructions and rubric.

Tutoring this week: Thursday before school 8:00 – 8:45 and after school 4:00 – 4:45.

Monday: Columbus Day – No School

Tuesday: Career Project Workday

Wednesday: Career Project Workday / PSAT Testing / Spirit Wednesday Dress Day – you will receive credit for Professional Dress Wednesday if you wear professional dress or normal dress with a Career Center Shirt (must be a career center shirt to count).

Thursday: Career Project Workday

Friday: Career Project Workday – Career Project is due by the end of your class period today – Early Out / End of Grading Period

If you missed a day last week, make sure you look at the blog post for that day to see what you missed.  Talk to me if you need a paper or more instructions.

Friday is the end of the grading period.  All late/redo work must be turned in by Thursday Oct. 12th.  Check your grades and let me know if you have questions.

Tuesday – Thursday next week  you will be working on the Video Game Career Project.  This is your summative for the Careers Unit.  Please follow the instructions below to complete your project.  The project will be due on Thursday, October 5.

Video Game Career Project Instructions

  1. Look the career you selected in Choices360.  You can also use the Video Game Careers listed in the Game Career Guide 2014 (pages 85 – 88).   Select a video game design career that you are interested in.
  2. Create a powerpoint presentation about the career you selected. You will need to include the follow information:
    1. What career did you select?
    2. What is the starting salary?
    3. Where are these jobs located (what part of the country/states) ?
    4. What do people in these jobs do?
    5. What are the working conditions?
    6. What kind of education or training do you need to get this job?
  3. Look up colleges where you can get the training/degrees needed to get the job you have selected.  Look in Choices360 and at the Video Game Career Guide 2015 (pages 88 – 113) for a list of colleges.
  4. Add the following information to your powerpoint for three colleges:
    1. Name and location of college.
    2. Name of the degree needed.
    3. Number of years it takes to get the degree.
    4. Total cost of the degree (include cost of tuition, housing, food, books, supplies and equipment).
  5. Now that you have researched colleges, pick the one that you think would be the best one for you and tell me why you picked it.
  6. Look up the admission requirements for that college (due dates, GPA, any other requirements) and put them in your presentation.
  7. Find a scholarship for that college and provide a link to the information/application for it.

Make sure your power point is well organized and includes all the information.  You will submit this through Schoology when done.

Video Game Career Project Rubric:  100 points total – Summative

Career Information (number 2 above): 20 points

Three Colleges with all information (numbers 3 and 4 above): 15 points per college   (45 points total)

College you have chosen (numbers 5 and 6 above):  20 Points

Scholarship (number 7 above):  5 points

Neatness and technical writing: 10 points

Make sure to save this to your OneDrive so you can work on it at home if needed.