Besides amazing graphics and incredible gameplay, the reason why games such as God of War, Need for Speed, or Counter Strike are so popular is in the skills they teach us. All great games make you feel better in real life, which is why players continue to return even years after release. But how exactly do you design real-life skills in the game? Well, it all starts with a good game idea and its applications in our daily lives. A good example of such an idea is Forager, a game that teaches us about grinding, but in a good way. If you look at the big picture, we’re all grinders in real life (at work and in our personal lives), so a game that teaches you how to have fun while doing repetitive tasks is definitely interesting. Now, let’s have a look at how games use real-life skills and how to make sure you integrate them into your own designs. Real-Life Skills to Design in Games Video games are first and foremost a method of entertainment. However, they can also be … [Read more...] about How to Design A Video Game with Skills Transferable in Real Life
Teaching life skills high school
Here’s Your Change is a game set in a small store in a low income Oakland neighborhood. It’s a first-person game structured like Papers, Please, which its designer Rogelio Lara cites as a key inspiration. The player stands behind the shop’s counter and serves a series of customers, all of whom bring small stories of struggle and frustration. Some of the customers are friendly, others less so. As the game progresses, the store’s clientele begins to shift, reflecting a rapid gentrification of the neighborhood. It’s a short, nicely illustrated game that tells a powerful story. Lara created Here’s Your Change with help from other students at an educational initiative called Gameheads in Oakland, California. The game was recently demonstrated at the Intentional Play Summit in San Jose, and at Gameheads’ own annual showcase. Gameheads is an initiative designed to build a pipeline into game development for low-income students and people of color. It … [Read more...] about Low-income, minority students tell their life stories through games
In 2007 fresh out of high school as a senior, if you would have asked me if I was excited for college, I would not be able to contain the emotion in my face. Hell yes I was excited. I had knew that I wanted to make games since the day I finished the Halo: Combat Evolved campaign. I knew that very day that I was destined to create experiences as magical as this one had been for me. Games were epic. They were the ultimate form of art. Sure I loved making music (used to be a rapper yo!), sure I loved programming, sure I loved storytelling. But games…games were all of the above. Games were my chance to create the ultimate expression of the fragments inside my head that wanted to badly to be understood. Games were everything great about every art form all wrapped into a single fun and interactive package. So the only choice for me was to go to school for game development. Here is my experience. It started out OK…err that’s what I told myself. The first 2 years, even … [Read more...] about Should You Go To College For Game Dev? Here’s My Experience.
A Peek into my Video Game Design and Development Courses Recently @techucation reached out to ask for some resources and ideas related to teaching Video Game Design and Development. I responded to his inquiry and realized it would serve as a worthwhile blog post to share with the educational community. Below is a general description of my 7th and 8th grade courses. In 7th grade, I teach a six week introduction to video game design and digital storytelling. In 8th grade I teach a full semester course in video game design and development. I have also developed and teach the full semester course as an online high school course for The VHS Collaborative (http://thevhscollaborative.org/). I hope you find the information helpful as I would love to see more courses evolve that teach important 21st century skills through game design. Currently, I am enrolled in the doctoral program in Educational Technology at Boise State University and the … [Read more...] about Games and Learning
The first rule of fighting games is to make sure your fundamentals are rock solid. If the foundation of your play isn't on point, you'll never be considered a viable competitor. The whiffed launch of Street Fighter V showed that this mantra is as applicable to the game as it is to the people playing it. When it launched in 2016 Street Fighter V had a strong gameplay core, but the emaciated frame containing it couldn't stand up to its contemporaries. A lack of modes that are considered staples for the series and the absence of tools to teach newcomers how to play left all but the most experienced fighting game aficionados out in the cold. This, unfortunately, came to define the discussion surrounding Street Fighter V, and although Capcom introduced offline modes and a suite of training options in the following months, that grey cloud has continued to linger over it. Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, however, represents a new beginning. Arriving two years after the game's initial launch, … [Read more...] about Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition Review