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Coding & Tech

Game Design Course in Minecraft: Learn to Design & Balance Games (8-Session)

Begin your journey in game design with this in-depth 8-session course that delves into the fundamental principles of game design through the creation of mini-games in Minecraft. (Minecraft Java Edition for PC / Mac Only. NO iPad or Tablet.)
Connected Camps - Technology
287 total reviews for this teacher
18 reviews for this class
Completed by 126 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
90 minutes
per class
Once per week
over 8 weeks
year olds
learners per class
per learner - per class

How does a "Multi-Day" course work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

How Outschool Works

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Class Experience

These are the students’ learning goals and activities over the course of eight sessions:

— Day 1 - Set Up and Ender Golf - Our primary goal for this day is to assist students in setting up Minecraft and to familiarize kids with our course’s objectives. At the beginning of the class, we’ll introduce kids to Ender Golf and how they can establish rules and controls for a game. Students will then create their own Ender Golf course and learn how to playtest with others.

— Day 2 - Structure - We’ll teach students how to structure their games with a start point and an endpoint. They will then create their own unique parkour courses to playtest and refine with others.

— Day 3 - Concentric Development - Development should start out simple and then expand with details. Students will build a completable dungeon devoid of areas in which playtesters can get stuck on. 

— Day 4 - Formulating Rules - In addition to the dungeons they’ve created last class, students will build out rules for their dungeons and ensure the rules are easy to follow.

— Day 5 - Balance - In this session, students will explore the concept of multiplayer games and discover how to set one up. Students will then create a boat racing track with at least five obstacles in it.

— Day 6 - Variety - The next step is to add variety by implementing shortcuts or alternative paths to the racing tracks that students have created. To avoid confusing playtesters, students should actively avoid overloading the track with shortcuts. 

— Day 7 - Polishing -  What does it mean to polish a game? We’ll show students all of the  different kinds of ways they can polish their favorite mini-games to make their courses unique and one-of-a-kind.

— Day 8 - Showcase Day - This is the day for showcasing and playtesting! Everyone will get to play each other’s courses and provide feedback to each other for future improvements.
Connected Camps is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2015 with the mission to build a global online community where kids build, code, play, and learn from one another. Our programs are designed based on the extensive research in the learning sciences. The founders and leaders of Connected Camps, Mimi Ito and Katie Salen, are professors at the University of California, Irvine who specialize in the design of online learning experiences that are fun, social, and tied to academic outcomes. Learn more about the research behind Connected Camps at the Connected Learning Alliance resource site: 

One thing that makes our programs unique is our near-peer mentorship model. Our programs are led by young adults and college students, often with the help of high school volunteers. We hire counselors and coaches from top universities in computer science, game development, economics, and sports performance, and design and train them on how to facilitate project-based learning with younger kids. Our young instructors have the same passion for technology, games, and digital making as our learners, and take on the role of instructors, as well as fellow enthusiasts and relatable role models.  

Learn more about our organization at: 
This class does not require any out-of-class work although if students wish to explore this subject any further, our instructors can provide guidance so they can continue to practice game design on their own time. 
A Minecraft Java Edition account must be purchased by the learner. Participants will receive access to the Connected Camps Minecraft Server where the program will be run. To access the server, each learner will need the Java edition of Minecraft version 1.13. The "Minecraft for Windows 10 version", console editions, and pocket editions for mobile devices will not work for this course. A pair of headphones and microphone are also needed for communication with the class.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
At Connected Camps, we assess each student’s progress by engaging them in reflection of their own work and the work of their classmates. By building in Minecraft and applying concepts taught in class, our students are able to solidify their learnings through hands-on application. Our counselors’ focus is to provide qualitative feedback to further each students’ individual goals and interests, and we do not use letter or number grades.

In addition to our in-class reflections, our counselors also provide post-session recaps that offer a summary of what is accomplished each day. Through these summary reflections, students are able to review the material and share with their parents what they did in class. We find this approach allows kids of different interests and abilities to engage with our teachings in a way that is particularly relevant to them.
1 hour 30 minutes per week in class, and maybe some time outside of class.
Internet safety is a top priority for us and our goal is to create a safe, connected community of learners that is moderated by our instructors. Throughout our programs we strive to educate our learners on internet safety and best practices for connecting online.

In our programs, our learners are often making friendships and connections with others in class and while we encourage positive online friendships we think it’s important to practice these principles of internet safety:

— Do NOT ask others to connect online outside of our programs without first confirming with your parents. Our programs are a safe, moderated space for learners to engage but we can’t moderate connections outside of our classes.
— Do NOT give away personal information which includes but is not limited to: your name, address, phone number, passwords, location, email address, and parental information.
— If an individual asks for personal information, you should inform a counselor or your parent for guidance.


Connected Camps - TechnologyLearning Together Online
287 total reviews
131 completed classes

About Me

Our mission is to build a global online community where kids build, code, play, and learn from one another. We tap the power of youth tech experts to teach and mentor, and have served thousands of kids through our online and community-based... 
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