Developing your first video game from scratch is cool, but it’s not easy. Even with a team of top teenage programmers and the support of an awesome computer science teacher.
For three weeks, I watched my son Jacob and a group of grade 11 students work night and day to make their first video game. What started out as a fun project and ended up being a herculean task. Jacob said it was like being a beginner skier and accidentally finding yourself on a double black diamond run.
Their teacher introduced them to Game Maker in computer science class as an introduction to object-oriented programming. She recruited some of the best programmers to compete in a Game Maker contest with the Dufferin-Peel S.S.B.
Like most teenagers, Jacob is a super creative kid who’s played a lot of great games. Naturally he wanted to his team to enter the best game ever for this contest. So he worked with his team to create a multilevel game called Computer Crusader. It included over 70 sprites, weapons, and enemies to defeat. His artist friends designed the characters and backgrounds. One student even wrote original music tracks for the game.
Wow! This was going to be awesome. Everyone was so excited to be part of this project. They worked hard, troubleshooting glitches and making the pieces work together.
They succeeded in publishing the game even though it wasn’t quite as perfect as they hoped. They learned a tough lesson — executing the game is way harder than planning it. Maybe they should have planned a simpler game.
After seeing how hard Jacob and his friends worked, I know that everyone who enters the contest is a winner. I hope you’ll support these kids by casting your vote.
How to support these kids
To vote for Computer Crusader – Game 18 or any of the other amazing games that were created for GameMaker Contest 2013, please go to http://gamemakercontest.weebly.com and click Vote.
What do you think? Will participating in this contest help prepare these kids for a career in technology?