Essentials of Game Design 

Essentials of Game Design introduces students to game mechanics and design practices. They begin understanding games as a designer, rather than a player, as they create an action game using a fun drag-and-drop, game-making interface. They move further into the ideation process by designing and animating an original game character.


Recommended & Required:


  • Recommended for students in Grades 4-5; Useful, but not required, for middle school students.
  • Flash Professional software is required on computers used for this course.
  • Game Star Mechanic (web-based learning game) is used for this course.
  • Completing this course takes 25-30 hours.

How It Works:


In this not-so-complex course, students use a program called Gamestar Mechanic to learn the fundamentals of game design and create their own action games before moving into Flash, where they design and animate characters for more advanced computer games.

Essentials Project 1: First Action Game (15-20 hours): Students learn about game design by playing Gamestar Mechanic, then using tools won in the game to create an original action game.

Essentials Project 2: Design a 2D Game Character (5-10 hours): Students imagine a hero character, write a backstory about the character, then draw and animate it using Flash.

Skills Covered:


Game Design Concepts: Mechanics, Concept Development (Backstory, Goals), Written Design Plan, Paper-Prototyping, Play-Testing, Debugging, Character Design, Presenting, Publishing.

Flash Functionality: Drawing and Paint Tools, Timeline, Frames, Keyframes, Tweens, Symbols, Integrated Development Environment.

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