School of Computer Science
Binus University, Indonesia
Teuku A. Geumpana and Raymond Bahana are two lecturers at School of Computer Science at Binus University in Jakarta, Indonesia. They have been teaching with Construct 2 for over a year.
At the start of September 2012 in the new semester Geumpana and Bahana made a slight modification in the way they teach. Before Windows 8 was released they challenged the students to make game apps for Windows 8. Construct 2 was chosen as the main tool for this challenge. As a result at the end of the semester the students managed to produce nearly 75 games of which 70 were published to the Windows Store. Three of these apps won prizes in an official Microsoft & Scirra Partnership competition!
Geumpana and Bahana were kind enough to answer a few questions for us about their experiences using Construct 2.
Why did you choose Construct 2?
We both agreed that the students should make something different and that their class projects should be more meaningful, known and widely available for public.
Normally the class project stops when the students complete the course. We wanted to change that, we wanted to motivate the students to continue building apps even when the course is over. To achieve this we have to make the project as engaging and as fun as possible.
As our objective was to make the project interesting and fun, we had to choose a game making tool that was fun and easy to learn as well. After discussing all our options, we decided on Construct 2. Construct 2 is an easy tool to use when you want to make games in a quick way. It offers a variety of different and interesting features for game making, as well as helpful templates and resources.
The tutorials available on the Scirra website are also very helpful for the students to learn how to use Construct 2.
Do you enjoy teaching with Construct 2?
Yes, teaching Construct 2 is extremely easy. All sources of tutorial materials are already available on the official Scirra website. We can easily demo or show how the physic functions run right away. Events, behaviours and instants were easily managed and organized in a very user friendly interface.
How have students responded to Construct 2 during the course?
The students are also enjoying very much to learn making games with Construct 2. As mentioned before, Construct 2 is quick and easy to learn even by students with no programming background. We also tried teaching it to our 1st semester students in an open game development workshop organized by our student club and they loved it. They also are very excited because by simply using a free edition, they are already able to produce a nicely working and professional look of game apps. Interestingly, the two apps that won prizes in an official Microsoft & Scirra Partnership competition early this year came from the 1st semester students.
What does Construct 2 offer to students over other software?
Many interesting features are offered by Construct 2. Quick and easy usage is the best offer from using Construct 2. But that`s not all, as we mentioned earlier, construct 2 also offer nice interface to manage events, behaviours and instants. It also provides an excellent visual effect with multi platform export functions. This function helps the students to publish their games at Windows Store. This is important for the students, because this is how they will build their portfolios during their studies. Having their portfolios accepted at the international level standard are unique achievements for each student.
Why do you feel game development is a useful skill to teach students?
We think, game development is a unique skill that each student should have. As we all aware, today, nearly every device with a screen plays games; this phenomenon is growing wider together with the rise of many mobile devices. Game provides interactive entertainment for all range of ages. It reaches everybody. We want our students to have great game development skills so they know how to create unique and creative game apps that are played and liked by many people.
Do you have any success stories from your students?
Started from the group projects from the class “Wireless Mobile Software Engineering” and the class “Multimedia Technology”, now there are at least three start-up companies that were setup by students that focus on game developments. These start-ups are not the only start-ups at Binus International. There many other start-ups with many creative and interesting game apps have been created. However, these three start-ups are among early start-ups with most portfolios of their works.
Crying Onion is the first start- up that we`d like to mention. It started with less than 5 members, now they already have 10 members that consist of programmers, designers and marketing people. They already have four game apps available on Windows Store (Maru Toy Catch!, Contagion!, Buavita Juice Maker & Buavita Popsicle Toss), one app in certification and three other apps are still in development. They participated and won several achievements in Microsoft DevCon 8 2012, Oracle Think Quest Competition 2012, INAICTA 2012 and Imagine Cup 2013.Their game app “Maru Toy Catch” Won the prize in Microsoft DevCon 8 2012 as well as Microsoft & Scirra Partnership competition. They are now building professional games that include the focus on monetization.
ATV is the next start up. Two of their success apps that initiated the start- up were Telebeanies and River Guards. Along the way, another start up Unyuu Production join ATV by bringing their app; Pop The Bubbles as another success app. In total they have five apps that are available on windows store (Telebeanies, River Guards, Pop The Bubbles, Malware Defense, Car Load Simulator) and two still under development. Telebeanies was also one of the app that made to the top 10 of Microsoft & Scirra Partnership competition. Knowing the potential of its app, ATV is now improving Telebeanies and soon to publish Telebeanies 2. Currently, the start-up consists of 11 members that play different roles as programmers and designers.
Last but not least start-up is Duren Studio. Even though the majority of the members came from the lower semester students, they have managed to produce four game apps that are now available on Windows Store (Sticky Survival, Catch Me, Math Canon, Ball Escape). Their first professional game app with professional design is currently in certification process called Thieving Hermes. Just like the previous two start-ups, this group consist of combination of seven members that act as programmers and designers.
Any other comments?
Construct 2 brought a new colour to our teaching and learning. Now, students are enjoying developing games and make collaboration across schools to get programmers, designers and planners. This is a positive atmosphere we`d like to see from our students. BINARY as the official student club at the school of computer science is also adding a new category of game development competition in their yearly BITMAP competition. This shows that game development is no longer a difficult thing to do.