This course is built on the simple idea of starting with a platform game and adding familiar game patterns and features. The resources here are part of a learning model which has the following elements:
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|Starting Game To Remix||Patterns to Add to Game|
Another way to learn coding from first principles is to learn how to make the sample game from scratch and you can do that by following the following tutorials made with the MakeCode tutorial system.
There is material here for a five session course on game making.
This course uses MakeCode Arcade as its tool. There are several advantages to this tool.
This ethos of this course is broadly in-line with concepts of Project Based Learning. More specifically here’s how some of those ideas come into focus with this material.
This intention of this course is not to teach the underlying concepts of computer science from first principles. Here the idea is to build competency with the practicalities of using the coding tool. In an art studio students start by experimenting with materials and getting to know their tools first. Large concepts come later.
Many sessions start with games and the overall ethos is to try to encourage an informal approach to learning which prioritises a positive connection to the making experience over absorbtion of testable curriculum knowledge.
The use of a menu of Game Patterns as the hub of our learning allows and encourages the course participants to set their own goals and to monitor their own progress. It is also flexible enough to provide materials for those who want to learn concepts in a structured way although it priorities opportunities for more messy approaches to learning.
To encourage messy, experimental learning many of the computer science concepts that it would be possible to teach are intentionally put into the background to prioritise a inclusive process. Care has been taken to reduce the number of concepts and patterns in these areas to a manageable amount.
In addition to these subject related learning dimentions, there are notes on process related learning dimensions outside of subject knowledge that may be useful to facilitators and parents. These include:
The starting point for participants of this course are the Game Patterns of a platform game which are likely to be familiar to them from exposure to family oriented video consoles or mobile games. Through the process of adding these patterns to their games, participants will come into contact with Coding Concepts needed to enact these features using the specific tools of the MakeCode system. In this way the Zoom into the Detail needed to make ideas into reality.
In the same process course participants also have the chance to connect the more immediate learning in the context of games to Wider Patterns of Computing and Systems. While this is not explicitly taught, parents and facilitators Zoom out to point out how the concepts and patterns in Games can be applied in other fields, for example those of Interactive Media Design and Systems Thinking.
If you want to get started or begin to investigate what is available the following links will help you.
Get an overall understanding of the starting game template with the step-by-step tutorial