With the SATs over, Year6 pupils can finally do something fun and exciting, and I've set about planning a short (3 week) unit using 2DIY to create a platform style game.
The children I am working with have used 2DIY previously, and so I do not need to run through the lessons I have taught on past occasions, as they already know the main features of the program. Instead, the children are going to be challenged to plan, design, create, test, complete, distribute and promote their game.
That sounds like a lot of work in just three weeks, but it is possible within the time, and each aspect will work as follows;
Plan: (1st lesson). The children will be expected to plan out the look of their platform game. I will give them a Planning sheet with a grid that corresponds to the 2DIY gamescreen, and onto this the children will add letters to indicate aspects of their game. P=Platform, CH=Main Character, C=Collectable Item, M=Monster, S=Sun. The animation for each element will also need to be mentioned on their plan. During this lesson they also need to decide whether their game will be a 'simple' platform game in which the whole screen is visible, or a 'scrolling' game where only part of the screen is visible as they move their character around. If the pupils intend to use any examples of advanced code, (flying character, invisible elements, orbiting elements, etc) they also need to mention that in their plan.
Design: (1st lesson). The children need to draw and colour designs for their main character, collectables, monsters, sun and platform elements of the game.
Create: (2nd lesson). The children create the designs for their elements, and place the platform blocks on screen in the position from their initial plan. They also add their character, collectables, monsters and suns in the positions from their plan and animate them as written.
Test: (2nd lesson). Once the game has been built, it can be tested. If it is too easy, there is a chance for them to make it harder. Pupils can assess each others games at this point, and peer review them.
Complete: (3rd lesson). Final changes can be made to their games, and the title screen giving instructions on how to play and complete it created. It is important to make sure that the instructions contain information on what needs to be collected, what needs to be avoided, and how to move the character around the screen.
Distribute & Promote: (3rd lesson) Publish the completed game online on the school website (in the case of my groups of pupils, this will be in their own blogs - their learning spaces). There is also the possibility to create a CD box cover for their game using the free PurpleMash 'Game Box Designer' apptivity. If time runs out, this is an additional activity that can be set for pupils to complete at home. For pupils who log into PurpleMash, there is the option to save their work to continue in another location.
Once the pupils have completed this project, I hope to place some of their planning sheets, platform games and box designs on here to show as examples.