I just want to introduce myself.
I'm a lecturer in IT from South Wales, teaching mostly media subjects at college level. Since September I've been teaching an evening class in game design, using GameMaker. However, very early on in the process I realised that GM, great though it is, was not going to be suitable for the class. Too much of my time is spent solving issues specific to GM and teaching workarounds, rather than teaching concepts of game design and simple implementations as I would like to.
I've stuck with it out of necessity, but since October I've been casting around for alternatives, so that I can develop the class and deliver an improved version from September. My criteria were quite specific:
[*:1ahwlv97]free for education/non-commercial use[/*:1ahwlv97]
[*:1ahwlv97]accessible to beginners (drag and drop style or similar)[/*:1ahwlv97]
[*:1ahwlv97]offer advanced options for stronger students[/*:1ahwlv97]
[*:1ahwlv97]deep enough to teach complex topics such as AI[/*:1ahwlv97]
[*:1ahwlv97]able to create a variety of game types (platform, shooter, top-down, etc.)[/*:1ahwlv97]
[*:1ahwlv97]a full range of features- sprites, controls, collisions, text, sounds, particles, etc.[/*:1ahwlv97]
[*:1ahwlv97]well documented, with plenty of public examples[/*:1ahwlv97]
[*:1ahwlv97]give the students skills and portfolio opportunities that could help them get on a degree course[/*:1ahwlv97]
I found Construct completely by chance last week (despite being around for over a year, you have made a very small impression on the web), and I am so far very impressed with the software and community. It ticks most of the boxes, just the documentation is a bit sparse at the moment.
If all goes well, I plan to use Construct for my class starting from September '09. In doing so, I will be producing a collection of teaching resources such as tutorials, examples, and exercises, that I will hopefully be able to share with the community. This will of course depend on how Construct develops in the intervening time, i.e. a 1.0 release, more documentation, etc. I really hope things continue to develop well.
Anyway, that's all I really need to say right now. I look forward to working with you all, and getting my students to share some of their creations with you.