Designing Games for Kids | #1

(I’m quite late on my first post, I was under the impression that these were just personal journal notes and didn’t realize that we were supposed to be posting on this website. Apologies for the delay, I’ll be posting on a sped-up backlog for a bit until I catch up to present time.)

I’ve been given the task of designing and coding the games for the upcoming Video Game Creator (VGC) classes using GameMaker. Unfamiliar coding environment aside, it feels really weird having to strip out any complexity from my code to make it teachable to kids. There are a ton of little quirks in my coding style that I never really noticed until I submitted my first game to my supervisor for review and we talked it over. There’s something indescribably troubling about replacing all my variables with magic numbers because there is a serious concern that some of my students won’t know how to type. After a semester of EECS 381 it is really difficult to give up all the code design and style that got hammered into my head. Still, complaints aside, it is nice to have a summer job where I’m writing code and getting all caught up in the neat little workflow of cause-and-effect that is a programming session.

2 thoughts on “Designing Games for Kids | #1

  • July 20, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    Hi Ian! My name is Maggie Davidson and I am a Data and Systems Analyst at the LSA Opportunity Hub. I, along with Hub Intern Vishal, will be following along with your blogs this summer! Looking forward to learning about your internship experience!

  • August 2, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Thank you, Ian for sharing this experience with us!

    It sounds like you’re having a wonderful time programming and getting an exposure to learn an unfamiliar coding environment. It is great to hear that you’re getting time to have your code reviewed as well as iron-out inconsistencies in your programming practice.

    I really appreciate your concern about the users and are worried about student’s inability to type. Have you had an opportunity to discuss this with your supervisor and see if there was a particular reason to have it designed this particular way?

    Excited and looking forward to follow along on your journey.


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