GameSpark helps you teach teens and young adults how to design their own computer games in a simple and empowering way.
The courses are based on successful game design classes which we have taught to students, ages 9-18, over the past 10 years in classrooms, summer camps, and GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) programs.
How does the program work?
GameSpark offers online video instruction to design a variety of age-appropriate, non-violent games. Students log-in online and create their games as they watch the instruction. There are currently six video games to build, ranging from beginner to advanced level, and each game has approximately 20 lessons. Students learn about computer science, logical thinking, graphic design, mathematical concepts, and physics!
How do I teach game design?
GameSpark provides downloadable materials for teachers to use to introduce and teach game design topics, as well as a guide to the lessons, software, and solutions to the most common problems encountered by students.
A teacher can introduce a topic at each meeting time. Students can work at their own pace, since the video instructions are fully narrated and take students through the process step-by-step. A student can pause the lesson at any time, as well as review or forward to a desired step. At the conclusion of all the lessons, the student will have a complete working game!
How do I know that the students are learning?
Students will need to build a working game to successfully complete the course. Once they complete the game, they can move on to the Customize Your Game section. Here they are given a number of challenges to add new features to their game. To accomplish these challenges, the students must use the skills which they recently learned while building their video game.
An Extended Learning section teaches students even more. Here they are given lines of code to write into their game, thus, introducing students to the process of using a programming language. The section also contains some research projects built around the topic of game design.
Lastly, a multiple-choice quiz is available for each course. This quiz can be taken online, or it can be printed from a PDF document.
Once a student completes all sections for a course, they can move on to the next level course. The intermediate level introduces 3D video game creation and use of scripts (code-based instructions). The advanced level includes lessons in creating 3D models and incorporating these into the games.
What is included in a course?
Each course contains seven sections which teach game design and computer science skills. Look through each section for more details. There is a sample video lesson under the first section, Build Your Game.
Downloadable materials include a classroom use guide, and manuals for each course which contain key concepts, terms, and steps for each lesson.
Build Your Game
Step-by-step video instructions to guide students as they make a working video game. The instructions teach game design and computer science skills.
Students receive a set of professionally created graphics, music, backgrounds, and sound effects to incorporate into each video game.
Customize Your Game
Students are given ideas to customize and add new features to their games. In the process, students solidify the skills that they have learned.
Extend Your Learning
Students learn programming by writing simple code that adds to their game. Plus, questions & research topics to stimulate thinking about game design.
Assess Your Game Design Skills
Students can review what they've learned and test their game design knowledge with an optional quiz – either online or in print form!
Students can use our online help area to receive answers to common questions relating to the lessons. Plus, our game team is available through e-mail support.
Share Your Game
Students can upload their video game for a worldwide audience to play. Who knows, maybe their game will become a big hit!
How much does a course cost?
Educators can purchase a GameSpark course at the regular price of $19.95 for a year's subscription, or take advantage of our educator's program:
- Full digital curriculum (6 game tutorials, all of our resources and 100+ page teacher handbook): $79.95/year for a single-machine. The user has access to all of the materials for one full year!
- $299.95/year - 30-machine license for the full curriculum (6 games) (Savings of over $2,000 over individual course prices!)
- $449.95/year - Site license for the full curriculum (6 games). Site is one physical school location.
Note that you can use the free version of Game Maker software for the beginning level courses. If you wish to teach the intermediate and advanced level courses, you will need the Standard Edition of Game Maker software for the advanced features, such as 3D generation. The Standard Edition individual upgrade costs $39.99/machine, and is a one-time charge. However, the software publisher, YoYo Games, usually provides substantial educator discounts.
Please contact us at (650) 638-0505 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on purchasing as an educator.
For pricing for use of GameSpark at fee-based programs such as camps, virtual school classes and enrichment programs, please use the same contact as above for affordable partnership information.