For the next four weeks of Code Club the students are going to make their own game in Scratch. This is the reason they joined. This is what they’ve been telling me they want to do. I could just let them go at it but I want to help them be successful so I’m making them follow some guidelines. In fact, I’m having them create a detailed plan, put their ideas down in a GDD (Game Design Document), and pitch it to me or another adult volunteer before they start coding.
Last time we met I handed out this Scratch_ Game Design Document – Google Docs GDD template. I created it after looking at a number of sources from the video game industry and from some online teaching projects. It’s a revised, more detailed version of one I used last year with my 4th grade math group when they made Scratch Math Games. Code Club members have the choice of working with a partner or by themselves. The game planning was their homework. It is due tomorrow.
I also sent home Code Club World’s Create Your Own Game Project idea packet for some basic directions.
The last time Code Club met, we had a special guest speaker. She is a parent volunteer who manages a team of software developers and she came and gave a nice presentation on key software development steps: Planning, Testing and Time Management. For a fairly dry topic, the students were respectful and attentive, which I greatly appreciated.
Here are some of the great points she touched on:
- Make a plan – think about the steps it takes and how long to do each step
- What if I want to add a really cool thing that was not in the plan? Make your plan flexible
- Sometimes you have to move on even if something is not perfect
- Test and test again – test often, get other people to test
These are real world ideas from, well, the real world. They seemed to take the presentation seriously and I hope that means they’ll do a good job on their pitch tomorrow. I’m excited to see what they’ve come up with and a little nervous, too.