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Digital Games Design

Next semester (starts January) I’m probably taking a Games Design unit with the Digital Media Computing (Higher) group. As well as this, I’m on the SQA’s Qualification Design Team for a forthcoming NPA in Games Design.
The Digital Games Design unit is quite straightforward in terms of content, but does involve a lot of research and writing. There certainly has to be a good mix of practical to go along with the written assessments, so I’m looking at ways to introduce more practical aspects to the unit.
One plan I have is to create a template for a game in Adobe Flash, Star Wars game ideawhich the students can customise by creating their own graphics, animations and sounds. I already have a simple side-scrolling shooter game, which can be easily customised visually and aurally to look and sound like different types of game. For instance it may be possible to use stills from a science fiction movie like Star Wars and make a space-age shooter. Alternatively students can make the player’s vehicle into a helicopter and change the scenery to look like the Vietnam war of the 1970’s. Another idea is to swap the vehicle for a superhero and have Sauerbraten screenshotSuperman flying across the streets of Metropolis.

As well as 2D games in Adobe Flash I’m also hoping to investigate 3D and multiplayer games, perhaps by using the free 3D game engine Cube 2: Sauerbraten, which is so easy to use that even my 9 year old son has built some really amazing looking levels with it. There are also some great video tutorials for Sauerbraten on Youtube, so very little is required in terms of development for using these tools. What’s more, students can download it and take it home, which is always a great incentive for some self directed learning.

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Categories: Game Design, teaching
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