One-week summer course with Construct 2/3 - Need advice

For educators around the world who use Construct 2 in classrooms

Post » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:56 pm

Hi!

I'm a high school mathematics, physics and programming teacher that had an idea of hosting a one-week course in game creation with Construct 2/Construct 3 during the last week of the summer holidays this year. The school administration has accepted my proposal and it's now up to me to create the content for this course. The intended audience are kids aged 14-15 years old as a fun summer activity the last week before school starts again.

I'm looking for advice on what to include in such a week as well as stories/experiences from anyone else who has hosted a similar project. The project will run for 1 week but the construct part of it will probably take up something like 3.5 days, since I want to introduce them to creating art for a game and also we will be visiting a nearby science center. I am experienced in programming but new to Construct 2, however I can follow how the sample projects work pretty easily and I don't think I'll have any trouble learning Construct since it feels pretty intuitive.
B
9
S
1
Posts: 11
Reputation: 452

Post » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:38 pm

I can not give you advise on your question, i am not a teacher. So, sorry if i bother you. But.

This 'I am experienced in programming' can be a real burden. C2 is not that 'pretty intuitive' as you might think after a short glance at it. I would like to advise you to invent a little project and 'script' it in C2. That is a complete other world than following 1 tutorial. You still have months, now.

Besides that, i have the most respect for .. , and i admire people who teach today's kids.
B
29
S
17
G
24
Posts: 2,212
Reputation: 18,188

Post » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:59 am

In one week all you can do probably is a "Hello world" of sorts for C2.
You have your basic existing templates but I think the right approach would be to build a game from the ground up.

You also have to consider the default games 14-15 year olds are playing these days.
Back then a single Space Invaders level would be the ideal "Hello world" for a game engine but these days I'm guessing kids would gravitate more towards an Endless Runner types, Flappy Bird or even Stick Ninja.
Image Image Image
B
29
S
11
G
27
Posts: 728
Reputation: 16,993

Post » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:46 pm

You can teach basic C2 commands in a single day and have your kids start developing simple games and each day introduce a couple of new event commands to improve their games.

Here are a few of my capx of simple games designed with just a few events using just basic C2 commands that might help and feel free to use them for your class. They are all commented with easy to follow explanations and simple graphics you can use:

https://www.scirra.com/arcade/tutorial-games/ricochet-tile-buster-free-capx-15362

https://www.scirra.com/arcade/tutorial-games/bug-blaster-turret-soldier-free-capx-15467

https://www.scirra.com/arcade/other-games/peripheral-reflex-test-game-with-free-capx-15595

If you want a platformer, ever runner or slide puzzle game with basic commands I also have those. I was a high school teacher in adolescent high risk treatment programs for many years and I used computer game programming to teach them logical thinking and outcomes and of course patience and perseverance.
Banned User
B
23
S
6
G
58
Posts: 1,229
Reputation: 34,511

Post » Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:49 pm

Did a couple of these "courses" when I was at college and Uni and it seems the key thing to have is a clear end goal.

You need to know what they're going to achieve at the end of the week and put them into realistic teams to do it.

You could have each child working on a separate thing but how i've always done similar "courses" is to have one overall project and each individual works either alone or in a group to assemble a section of it, with it coming together as a whole at the end of the week.

If it's a full 5 day thing then it might be worth doing something similar to the below:
Overview of Construct 2 and get everyone to complete a basic "game" in it and then split everyone up into teams for Art, programming, sound, etc.

Not sure if this will be too advanced for 14-15 year olds though, without knowing their backgrounds.
B
9
S
2
Posts: 66
Reputation: 827

Post » Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:23 pm

I've taken up to a week of class time in Construct 2 with my high school physics students, but that was during the normal school year with 50-minute periods, so I actually only had 250 minutes of class time, which ended up being pretty limiting.

In general, with the exception of highly scripted activities, anything that took me 5 minutes to do would typically take my students 2-3 days. Here's a pretty typical week:

Day 1 (50 minutes) - Have students go through the "Space Shooter" tutorial.
Day 2 (50 minutes) - Finish the tutorial, take it further by making it run on a touchscreen.
Day 3 (50 minutes) - Pick a game template, make a game.
Day 4-5 (50 minutes each) - Continue with your existing game, putting in fun/crazy art and text, or pick a different template and make a new game.

In the end, students go in all different directions. A lot of students really love to grab photos off of the internet and use them as sprites. Some students just aren't that into it, and end up just watching others. Some of them have come up with some really cool ideas. One of my former students made a raytracing simulator that got him an internship the next year.

Video games aren't everyone's cup of tea, but it is nice to see when someone really latches on to one of its many facets (art, writing, mechanics, etc.)
www.simbucket.com - HTML5 Science Simulations / https://www.airconsole.com/#!play=com.n ... obotrumble - Robot Rumble on AirConsole
B
41
S
9
G
19
Posts: 347
Reputation: 13,377

Post » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:55 pm

I would like to thank everyone for your tips and ideas, they are all very welcome.

99Instances2Go wrote:This 'I am experienced in programming' can be a real burden. C2 is not that 'pretty intuitive' as you might think after a short glance at it. I would like to advise you to invent a little project and 'script' it in C2. That is a complete other world than following 1 tutorial. You still have months, now.

Thank you for the tip, of course I plan to create something bigger as well as following a few other tutorials to get the feel for what can be done with Construct. What I meant was that I wont have any trouble understanding the algorithms needed to create a game as well as understanding selection, iteration, object composition etc.

MPPlantOfficial wrote:Back then a single Space Invaders level would be the ideal "Hello world" for a game engine but these days I'm guessing kids would gravitate more towards an Endless Runner types, Flappy Bird or even Stick Ninja.

I was thinking of something like that, maybe some kind of endless runner or a doodle jump clone ("endless jumper").

My basic idea so far is to create a few games together during the first few days, I show them how to do stuff and teach them how Construct works. I would like for them to be able to work on some kind of idea of their own during the last day or so, maybe with the help of the included templates. I will probably have a total of (at least) 600 minutes of class time with Construct so hopefully I can show them more than 1 game before moving on to everyone trying to create their own. Please continue suggesting games/tutorials for me to use!

Time allotment
1 day visit to local science center
0.5 days spent creating art, hopefully using Wacom tablets.
3.5 days teaching and using Construct
B
9
S
1
Posts: 11
Reputation: 452

Post » Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:31 am

whatever you do, it has to be really basic, especially for 14 yr olds and with such a short period of time. Will the kids have any prior experience?

I teach college level and we are doing a full semester in C2, I can't imagine only 3 days to teach them. Maybe stick with just a platformer game. Download some tilemaps for them to draw out levels.

Depending on how much experience you yourself have with Construct 2, I might recommend Scratch instead. (which is free) https://scratch.mit.edu/
B
85
S
27
G
14
Posts: 1,121
Reputation: 14,650

Post » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:02 pm

@Ultimadark Biggest tip I can offer: Give them premade assets to use. One of the startlingly time intensive things is to have assets to make the game with. I know construct has a few example assets, and http://www.opengameart.org has a lot more.

Also, one of the best things for a short class is to spend the instructional period cloning something that will give the students a good, rounded beginning in Construct. In my opinion, top down shooters and endless runners are pretty good starting points. I'd copy something exactly, just to make the concept clear for your students. Alien Invaders, Flappy Bird, as close to the original as possible so they don't have to worry about conceptualizing the project.

I definitely think leaving some of the class for experimentation is an awesome idea, just caution your students against overly ambitious ideas. Some pitfalls to avoid: Any kind of casino-esque game (Poker, etc) because you just don't have the time to do arrays, sorting, and random sorting, any kind of RPG, any kind of crafting system.

Also, Extra Credits has an AWESOME video series on making your first game that might be worth a watch, to help inform your lectures. I don't know if you should show the videos as a whole, as it might eat too much time.

Follow up advice- making the art assets first is possibly a bad idea, as the students won't know what art assets they need. If making the tablets available for the full session is possible, I'd just do that, otherwise I'd schedule the tablets for half way through the project, and just use different colored squares/circles until then.

Hope that helps!
B
18
S
3
G
3
Posts: 82
Reputation: 2,543


Return to Education and Construct 2

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest