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Coding & Tech

How to Code a Video Game (Intro to Game Design): Projects 5 & 6 [Ages 11-16]

Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(1)
Completed by 13 learners
In this 4-Lesson course, students will learn how to create video game design projects using a real game engine.
Alex Chacon
Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(15)
  There are no upcoming classes.
year old learners
learners per class


Charged upfront
$38 per class
Meets 1x per week
Over 4 weeks
60 minutes per class

Class Experience

We start off with an overview of the GameMaker: Studio main interface and vocabulary including sprites, objects, alarms, events and variables. Also we will learn about the GameMaker: Studio 2 main interface toolbars, icons and menus.

Major computer science concepts covered during this class:
 Basic sprite actions, player actions, controls, and animations with specific methods and tools.
 Learn the basic concepts and logical thinking skills of object-oriented programming.
 GameMaker: Studio's custom special effects engine overview and demonstration.
 Designing for smooth, fun and bug-free gameplay.
 Learn to use game resources: Rooms, Sprites, Objects, Sounds, Paths
 Learn about the variable properties of game objects.
 Create custom variables to track values. Learn about variable interactions and the power of random numbers. 
I have over a decade of programming and independent game development experience and I have put together several published and unreleased games and mini-games, animated videos and other projects for fun and for personal education purposes.

For the past 5 years I've been teaching professionally using my own lessons as well as lessons from the online curriculum provided by and Khan Academy. I've taught hundreds of students, both in-person and online, and my students range from mixed groups at libraries and online to full-year students in charter and public schools. 

In the past I've worked with students who have special needs and / or behavioral issues, and those students were able to feel successful with these same lessons. I have many reference letters available upon request, but I am new to Outschool and would like your help to build a strong reputation here! Thank you for taking the time to read about my experience. 
The only homework would be to put finishing touches on your game projects and make them your own (after saving a working version, of course). At the end of the class, students also receive the completed project files, so each student leaves with a fully complete version of each of the 2 games that is working and ready to customize. 
Students will need a computer with a Windows or Mac operating system and they will need to download / install GameMaker Studio 2.  A temporary license is included for your use during the class. Here are the official GameMaker Studio 2 Desktop System Requirements (Minimum)

All GMS2 installs require at least 3GB free disk space and an internet connection at least once a month (we would recommend always-on broadband). GMS2 also requires a 64-bit OS to install and run.

Windows 7 with SP1* or macOS Mojave
Dual Core CPU
OpenGL 4-compliant onboard graphics
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
Criteria for Success Lessons 1 & 2:
0. Intro, Interface, and Menus
1. Program the snow storm
2. Customize the particle properties to make the storm as intense or wacky as you like
3. Use GameMaker Language in a put the ID for each background piece into a variable
4. Use background IDs to change the speed of each background in response to user interaction
5. Use particles that have their own sprite to emphasize the movement of the player ship

Criteria for Success Lessons 3 & 4:
0. Intro, Interface, and Menus
1. Draw the score using the score object
2. Program the ninja's movement / gravity
3. Program the ninja's alarm and collision
4. Program the platforms to re-set and randomize their position
5. Program the cloud and star objects to make the background more active
1 hour per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.

Meet the teacher

Alex Chacon
Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(15)

Thanks for taking the time to look into my Computer Science classes! My name is Mr. Chacon and I am an experienced AP Computer Science teacher and game design instructor. I've been programming my own video games since high school, and I... 
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