Unit 3: Computer Programming & Game Design
In this unit, students will create a series of starter game projects to learn the basics of video game design culminating in the creation of a full game. They will start by exploring game mechanics through unplugged and connected activities. Then they will create a maze game, a pong game, and a scrolling game. They will utilize the paint editor to draw backgrounds and sprites. Students will learn various ways to program their players to move including using the arrow keys, mouse, or spacebar. They will complete a series of short challenges designed to explore various ways to enhance their games. They will learn how to keep score; add levels, timers, enemies, rewards, a restart button, and menu; control sprites with a mouse; and make their game multiplayer. Participating in these challenges, along with fixing buggy video games, students will be prepared to build upon one of their three starter games to complete a full game that includes a back story or theme that introduces their characters, rules, and game objectives. Their games will keep score, change levels, and provide feedback to the player. The culminating activity provides students with the opportunity to play one another’s games in an arcade setting and then critique one another so improvements to their games can be made.