Children in Action (Scripts)

In preparation for Game Based Learning, I give you a guest post from the leader of the Redbridge Games Network, Nic Hughes:

We have been lucky enough to work with 2simple using a product called 2DIY over the last couple of weeks. 2DIY if you haven’t heard of it before allows the user to create simple flash games. We have been exploring some of the hidden treasures of the software, a programming language called action script. This is all leading towards making my class experts in action script before some of my class and I go  to Game Based Learning Conference, where I will allow the children to teach others about what they can do.

Below is a brief overview of what we have done over the last few weeks.

Week 1
My class used the software and created a simple game based on the theme of internet safety. It allowed the class to use the basic functions.

Week 2
Started to introduce action script and learnt how to create power ups. So how to make the player jump higher, move faster and fall quicker. This was taught to use via Skype by Anthony Evans of 2Simple. Children liked this and it worked, power ups are a great place to start with action scripts.

Week 3
Introduced more action script ideas, how to teleport a player and how to turn things invisible, these seemed to be much more difficult. The teleporting needed children to think about coordinates which threw some, also others needed to practice power ups again.
I realised that even though the focus of these lessons is to teach action script, it is a concept that was designed for the higher ability in the class. Though I want it to be accessible for all, we just need to remember to balance how many new ideas we add, this week we did too much. We need to practice more.

Week 4
Had two sessions this week – one where we just spent an hour going over the action script skills we had already learnt and practice them by adding them to our World Book Day games from last week.

The main session this week was a small bit of action script teaching in the form of a video from 2simple that reviewed teleporting and the how to lose a life. My class was set a challenge to create a multi level game which included some of the action script skills we have been learning. We discussed game design, what we had to consider to make a game challenging and the story or aim of a game. I didn’t give children a topic to follow, I wanted them to use their imaginations.

Week 5
Most of the class continued to work on their multi level games. I worked with two of the children in my class who where best at using action scripts and we met up with the Year 6 children of  Whissendine CE Primary School their Headteacher Rob Gooding. They taught the children how to make power ups, I helped a little bit. Check out the video below.

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I met up with the school again later and saw two great examples that were using action scripts.

Moving onto week 6 this will be a final chance to practice before 4 of my class attend the Game Based Learning Conference. Come back for more info and some examples of the games we produced.

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