Amazing game designs from my hilarious students
Geeklists of them, and I've always surprised by the creativity and innovation that my middle school students demonstrate.
And we're done! Kablooey! Thank you everyone who thumbed, commented, questioned, or just said good job. As this is our last day, there will likely be no more future updates from us on this thread, but stay tuned for December 2017!
As I had said at the start of this Geeklist posting, "They will count the thumbs on their games. They will respond to all questions and comments. They will adjudicate disputes. They celebrate will memes. They will be so happy. Promise." And they were. So many of you took the time to encourage them, and it means so much to us. People from so many places in the US and around the world challenged and encouraged my students, and I cannot be more appreciative of the BGG community. Thank you.
As I tell them repeatedly, it's easy to be a consumer and to enjoy the fruits of others' work. Creating something and putting it out in the world--that's the goal, that's what can make you happy. Thank you for supporting their efforts.
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About how we do this...
My 13 year old middle school gifted students design strategy games over the course of a semester, and here are their results. We spend two months playing a wide variety of strategy games and analyzing theme, mechanics, and victory conditions. Then, students design their own. They spend about two months on their design and by the end, have created a complete prototype and rule set.
I think game design is the best thing that I've ever taught. My students love games and that hooks them from the start. The project is challenging in so many ways and gets harder, and more rewarding, with every step. Choosing the theme allows them to immerse themselves deeply into a subject that matters to them. Then, by focusing on mechanics and victory conditions, they must think deeply about the experience they are trying to create for their players. Writing the ruleset is the next level of challenge because they must distill their ideas into a cogent, functional set AND then explain it so others can have the same experience in playtesting. After a cycle of playtesting and refinement, students create a polished prototype and we publish the results here for all the world to see.
The project requires holistic, visual-spatial thinking as well as analytical, sequential thinking. They must design the game they want while keeping what gamers want and need in mind. They have to be creative on deadlines and manage their time in class to determine their own courses of action. I never let students design a game with a partner because at the end of class, each student has full ownership of everything in their box--all 8,000 decisions are theirs forever.
All things considered, the results are pretty impressive for students whose only strategy gaming experience might have included Risk and Stratego before this class.
This semester I had FIVE repeat offenders--students who wanted to repeat the class to design games again! Cube Battle, Utopia, Dragcats, and of course, Atlantean Skullduggery are all games created by students who want to keep doing this.
Thanks to all for your interest and support!
If you're interested in teaching game design, I post my resources at www.kathleenmercury.com as well as my school website (and you can see all the other crazy stuff I do like cosplay and film and standup comedy...) https://sites.google.com/a/ladueschools.net/apogee/kathleen-... I'm always excited to collaborate with other teachers and game designers!
- [+] Dice rolls