Game Designer Workshop - Ages 7+

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Workshop Description: Game Design is a very creative and artistic art form which is generally made up of players, rules, and fun. In this fun hands-on two day workshop, students will learn the basic rules for game design and game testing. We will also explore lessons in how to continue practicing game design skills and look at other great tools for game creation.

Day 1: In order to become a great game designer one must play many games. At the start of our workshop, we will play a few different types of games ranging from board games, card games, playground games, and video games. After learning the rules of these games and discovering what makes a game fun; we will review the Nintendo Wii U game, Super Mario Maker. It is with this tool that we will bring our game ideas to life. Students will then create an outline of their game idea and finally sketch out their ideas on graphing paper.

Day 2: Our focus will be in game testing. All of our game ideas will have been converted into Super Mario Maker game levels. Each student will have a chance to present their game idea and everyone will take turns play testing each created game level. After each play test we will answer three questions: Is the game fun or difficult? What was your favorite part? How can you make the game more fun? We will vote on one game to edit based on the ideas found during the play tests.
Finally we will review the concepts that we have learned, ways to practice what we have learned and tools to help us become better game designers.

**Single Day Workshop: A condensed version of our two day workshop is also offered on select days. Students will learn the fundamental principles of game design, create a paper prototype level and receive a code for their Super Mario Maker created level.

 Benefits and Goals: Games bring ideas to life in a way like no other. It brings people together to solve a problem, take on challenges and all while having fun. Students will come out of this workshop knowing how to transform a game idea into something more – something that can see, play with and share with others.
All participants will receive a code to download and share their designed Super Mario Maker game levels and a certificate of completion.


Minecraft Modding Workshop - Ages 12+

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Workshop Description: A key ingredient in the recipe for game development is programming! In this fun two day workshop, students will learn basic coding/scripting to modify and create their own unique Minecraft items.

Day 1: We will explore the world of Minecraft and gain a better understanding about how it actually works and why we are able to build in this world so freely. Students will then be introduced to the Minecraft Forge Modding Tool and learn how to properly setup an environment to enable a re-usable template for future mod projects. An intro lesson Java programming and scripting will also be covered. 

Day 2: With out mod template created, students will focus on creating their own custom item and block to be used within the world of Minecraft. Along the way we will learn how to create our own crafting recipes which can be shared to other players within Minecraft. We will go over a second lesson of Java programming and learn how games like Minecraft manage art assets.
Lastly, students will walk out of the workshop with their own custom Minecraft item and block to be used within their own game.

Benefits and Goals: Programming is not the simplest skill in the world. Students will gain practical knowledge and confidence as a coder and will have the skills necessary to enhance and enjoy their Minecraft game at an advance level.