Programming – design your own video game

Hey it has been a million years! I have kind of just been doing a lot of the same stuff with my algebra 1 and precalculus classes (with a few exceptions… those should appear on the blog in a bit!). I have been teaching one new class this year, but haven’t felt like I had taken enough ownership of anything to share it here.

The class an introductory Computer Science is run by TEALS which means the projects and plans are theirs. It’s a cool class. We program in Snap!, a visual block-based language. I have a few outside programming professionals who come in to help, which is good. The material is all pretty darn simple, but I don’t have the kind of scope that tells me what people will really use when they work as programmers, in the way that I can do with math.

Anyway, for our last unit, we’re having our students design their own game. Rather than teaching anything like loops or lists or informative things like that, this unit is about more general concepts like good game design, project management, and working in a team. Since the unit is right after break, I had some time to really get into it and I’m pretty excited about what I’ve come up with. The first few days talk about some background information and allow for a bit of brainstorming before diving headlong into making a project.

After these things, I’ll give them a few days to code. Then we’ll spend a day each on debugging, testing prototypes, and the life of a video game developer. I’ll post those lessons later (aka, after I make them, as they do not yet exist).

Here’s the stuff! Use it if it is useful to you!

Day 1 – Intro to game design

  • Lecture/video/audio
  • Student activity
    • handout: analyze games they made in this class for how they incorporate elements of good games
    • handout: list of types of games. which do they prefer and why?
    • if there is time, they can start to brainstorm what they want to create

Day 2 – Intro to team programming

Day 3 – History of games

Day 4 – Planning Protocols


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