The last day of game design class

Yesterday was the last day of teaching my son’s 8-week game design afterschool class. I survived, yay! So did he! It went pretty well overall, I think. By the last two weeks, I think everyone was getting a bit restless, as it was getting harder to have the 4th and 5th-graders focus. On the last day, I didn’t really try to teach them anything; we just practiced, with a Pokemon / Magic tournament.

I also took them out into the hall and interviewed them on video about their game design ideas for a few minutes; I’ll send those to the parents. I found classroom management the trickiest part — I’m clearly not up on the skills one needs for this age group. But we muddled through, for the most part. 

They have a pretty good sense of some of the major elements of game design, I think, though they may not realize how much more they know now. Most of them are much more interested in playing an evenly balanced game at this point than at the beginning, when they often just wanted to stomp the other player as fast as possible. We’ve spent a lot of time talking about what actually makes games fun.

Anand really wants me to teach it again; we’ll see. We did RPGs and card games this time. If I do it next semester, I’m thinking maybe strategy games (chess / go) & board games.

I can’t really play go, so I’ll need Kev to refresh me on the rules, at least, although if he can come teach with me for a class or two, even better. We’re on the same teaching schedule next semester (MWF), so it may be possible, depending on what meetings he has on off days. We’ll see!

(Yes, my board handwriting is terrible. I know. Sigh.)


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