Does Construct 2 teach good programming thinking?

For educators around the world who use Construct 2 in classrooms

Post » Mon May 14, 2018 1:31 pm

I'm currently teaching a BTEC Level 3 Games Dev unit at a college (16-19 year old learners).

Currently been delivering it in VB.net / Visual Studio because this is what we have (learners have to create a space invaders style game).

Going to be moving to C2 for next year for exactly this reason; going in cold with learners who don't know programming and 16 weeks to teach them "to make games" is very challenging if they don't have a programming background.

In all honestly i've spent most of my time when delivering this unit fixing basic programming syntax problems rather than getting my guys to produce good results and working content. C2 offers a straightforward path into games dev that can be really easily built on in future if the students choose to, or provides them with a solid grounding in how game engines work and how to produce good quality content. It's worked extremely well with the group i've trailed it with and they've managed to produce in 2 weeks what the other groups has achieved in 10 weeks.

For reference: my actual background is in UDK/Unreal 3/Unreascript with only using C2 for mobile games in the past but as a jumping off point for games dev it's pretty much second to none. Also Scratch is delivered as part of the curriculum in schools now, so the learners are already familiar with the visual scripting style and can pick up actual programming more easily later on.

Anyway, as someone who is actually teaching games at the moment I thought my perspective might be helpful here.
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Post » Tue May 22, 2018 8:35 pm

I teach a college elective course called Interactive Game Design using C3 and UE4. The students are mainly art students and definitely not programmers.

They take very well to Construct (and less to UE4). I usually start out the semester with 2 weeks of BASIC programming (repl.it) and we make text based games. But the biggest challenge besides picking is the actual game loop which is why I start them with learning old-school loops in BASIC so we have a common frame of reference for what is happening in the game engine. A lot of my students are animation students so they understand frames per sec so that's also another way to explain it.

But wrapping their heads around triggers (green arrow Events) opposed to something like: System Event: Health <= 0 ---- they have a hard time grasping this will run 60 times per second.

The first few projects I only use behaviors and little Event usage. Then I get a little more advanced with variables and basic AI. The other major hurdle is teaching them "flags" or booleans. I don't even touch arrays unless the student is more advanced. UI stuff I also keep VERY basic as that can become some of the most difficult things to code...

A lot of students go on to make really interesting games and I think they get a lot from the class because they've been able to produce something they are proud of.
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