In January 2014 two Yr6 pupils listened to a piece of music from a local band and were inspired to create an imaginative project based around it.
“It sounds like a video game” one of them suggested.
“Yeah, like a Mario or something” the other added.
"We could make a video of someone making a computer game, but then they imagine they're in it, and we see them playing inside it”.
But just how could they achieve this?
They began to jot their ideas down;
- A scrolling animated background for the game could be made in Scratch (the code club pupils had done similar before Christmas)
- The background images could be created on the computer
- A target could be added across the screen that appeared whenever a key was pressed
- A greenscreen could be used to add the actor into the game
- iMovie could be used to put everything together
and then they created a flowchart of what needed to be done;
Of course, the music was critical to this idea and so the school emailed the band asking whether their music could be used in a school project. They replied almost instantly to the email with
"No problem at all! That sounds really great. We'd be extremely happy for you to use our music for something fun and educational like that.
Please send us the results when finished! We'd love to see them.
and so the project was possible.
The two lead pupils ‘recruited' a coder who worked on the images and background in Scratch, and then chose an actor to star in their video. They put messages up around the school asking for particular props to be brought into school to be used within the recordings, and when everything was in place they worked on their idea during morning breaks, lunchtimes, and afternoon breaks.
Along the way they discovered problems that they had to overcome;
- How do you turn a scratch animation into a video recording?
- How do you make the timing of a recorded greenscreen video match up to the timing of the background movie?
- How do you pixelate a video?
- How do you create an effect of ‘looking through’ a computer screen?
Sky | City | Rubbish pile | Rubbish pile | Hanging devices
Completed background | Powerplugs | Raspberry Pi
GreenScreen in action | Composite video image | Retro tape
After they had spent many days editing all the separate clips recorded together they completed their creation, but then went a step further, called their coder back to do more work and turned the Scratch background animation into a fully playable game linked to the video.
They developed a back story for the game and recruited an artist who created a poster for it (looking very much like those 1980’s tape box covers for ZXSpectrum / C64 games)
Finally, with everything completed, checked and working they released their creativity.
Enjoy Reality?Virtually by clicking on the links at the top of this page.
Special thanks go to the children involved in this projecT
Cavan - Josh - Emma - SamT - SamB
and also to Cantaloupe