Super-Dot's blog

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A little over three years ago, the administration of the Game Dev Club at SJSU wanted to host a game jam, but was worried that nobody would show up. mkapolk suggested that the Club organize a shindig coinciding with THE 371-IN-1 KLIK & PLAY PIRATE KART II: KLIK HARDER, so that if nobody showed up to the physical thing, at least we could hang out with y'all on the Internet.

It was a success, our club contributed 35 games to the Kart!

So we decided to do it again on Klik of the Month. On a whim, to encourage people to come, I threw in that we would teach people how to make games if they didn't already know. I didn't think anyone would take us up on that.

FIVE PEOPLE took us up on that.

Since I was the one who offered it to begin with, I ended up giving them a basic rundown of Game Maker, and all five of them made their first game in two hours. (Actually I think we were there for four hours.)

Since then, I've given a few more tutorials at a few more events, and one of them got video-recorded.

Fast-forward to May 2013, when a woman from a Bay Area summer camp contacted the Club to see if anyone was interested in teaching 5th-8th graders how to make videogames.

I showed her the video and got an interview; I showed her eighteen games I made, eight of them trainwrecks, and got the job. (Also I said some stuff about education and math and computer science.)

Last week, according to the curriculum, I was supposed to lead eight kids (paired into four teams) to make four games.

Last week, I led eight kids (paired into four teams) to make eleven games.

This summer is gonna be a good summer.

td;dr: Thanks in part to Klik of the Month, I have a summer job teaching 5th-8th graders how to make videogames! The results so far are beautiful.

PS: We're using Scratch and Alice, which were good decisions on the part of the curriculum designers.

Scratch is incredibly intuitive, and it supports some surprising things, like Cloud Variables (which are stored on MIT's servers), webcam/microphone asset creation, and an entirely web-based interface for making and playing games. I think it'd be great for prototyping and trainwrecks, and I encourage KnP refugees to check it out!

Alice is a little complicated at first, but it's probably a better basic introduction to 3D gamemaking than Unity, especially for non-coders. If you found Unity too hard, check it out too!

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