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I have been invited to help a couple of students make a video game. I would be working with 2-3 students aged 9-12 yrs.

The time frame is 10 x 2hr classes over 10 weeks, with plenty of preparation time on to get some assets ready.

Does any one know of an existing lesson plan for this kind of thing that I could use and contribute to; or ideas as to what the kids could achieve in this time frame? Type of game? 3d/2d? Should they make models, be given models and do programming? Do you have any experience with what kids this age respond well to?

I have a preference towards open source frameworks, but could be convinced to use a free commercial framework if you think there is enough benefit.

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closed as not constructive by Byte56, Sean Middleditch, Jimmy Shelter, Nicol Bolas, Tetrad Mar 13 '13 at 16:37

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Unfortunately this isn't really the place for this question. I suggest you ask the question on a site that accepts open ended questions/discussions. The FAQ has a short list of those. –  Byte56 Mar 13 '13 at 1:33
    
They respond well to seeing something working and playable quickly, with new interesting/"cool" things happening each day as they work on it. How you get there depends on what class you're making; a class oriented for artists will be different than for designers and different than for programmers. –  Sean Middleditch Mar 13 '13 at 2:37
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2 Answers 2

Your question about whether they should make models or be given models and focus on programming is really a basic question about what subject matter you're teaching. There's no reason you couldn't spend 10 weeks (or more) on just model creation. If it's a course in making a video game, I would keep the asset-creation to a minimum, which means go with a 2D rather than a 3D game. There's some great art assets available at opengameart, including very professional and flexible artwork created for the Liberated Pixel Cup.

My suggestion would be to start with a platformer. Ten weeks ought to be enough time to get a basic one working. I'd imagine you'd start with the idea of the game loop, then rendering a sprite to the screen, then moving the sprite in basic ways, then more sophisticated ways of moving the sprite (jumping! shooting), then creating and loading a map, working with a camera, generating enemies, basic collision detection. I wouldn't spend more than a single lesson on the asset creation, except to show them some basic tools to edit images, then provide the opengameart materials and if they wanted to tweak those they could do so. If you had time in the course you might get to some fancier terrain features, moving platforms, ladders, platforms you can jump "up" through, etc., but you may not get there in ten weeks.

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What are you exactly trying to teach these children?

Are you trying to teach them basic programming or are you trying to just make a game so they understand core mechanics and breaking problems down?

If the first I would either start on XNA teaching C# and breaking down into sudocode for them as it's pretty easy to get something displaying quickly.

If the latter, why not introduce them to Construct 2 or Gamemaker.Both are free for what you seem to want. You can find tutorials everywhere to get a game up within hours.

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