Project Development

Once students have developed "mad coding skills" by completing Scratch 1: Intro to Programming, they are ready to take it to the next level in our Project Development class.  Up to this point they have created a variety of games, animations and apps, but projects have been more a proof of concept than a finished game.  

In this class, we will design and code a game from concept to finished product, using the same methods I developed as Games Director for Fox Kids. 

DESIGN: 
During our design phase, students will learn to brainstorm new game ideas, control scope, differentiate between core gameplay and secondary features, and create art and audio asset lists.

CORE GAMEPLAY:
This phase most closely resembles what they accomplished in our Intro to Programming class.  They will create the core gameplay including player controls, collision, gravity and physics, weapon systems and enemies.

AI (Artificial Intelligence):
In this phase we will develop enemy AI behaviors and develop the logic and write code to tell enemies when to perform different behaviors such as dodging, firing, patrolling etc.

UI (User Interface screens):
We will add a title screen, instructions, credits, win and lose screens.  Students will learn how to manage game states for each of these screens.  We will also discuss story, thematic elements and cutscenes.

ADDING LEVELS:
Now the that game if fully playable, we will begin to expand the content by providing multiple stages or game levels.  We may progressively introduce weapons, power-ups or enemies with each new level, and students will learn how to manage game states for each level.

ART & AUDIO:
We will add final art assets into the game, replacing temporary programmer art we may still be using.  We will explore how to share art assets from one project to another.  We will also add sound effects and music to our project.

BALANCE & DEBUGGING:
We will discuss game balance, managing the learning curve, tools to minimize frustration and boredom and maximize fun.  As time permits we will tweak game variables to experiment with game balance.