Your experiences with C2 in education?

  • prezi.com/3tp2irzp02v4/construct-2-intro

    I teach in South Korea and will be moving back to LA this December to Join the LA Game Space. My Middle School students here like the program so far, but we haven't really started any development lessons.

    I teach at an all boys school and a all girls school, but I am going to push both girls and boys to develop unique games from our classes to share.

    The Tizen has been a huge plus because this is the Home of Sam Sung, so we will see where this goes when we start developing. <img src="smileys/smiley1.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • BurningWood

    Nice Prezi! Really really good!

  • Cjbruce, thank you for sharing your thought!

    I'm also a HS teacher, teaching computing and mathematics. I work in Australia and we are currently moving to a national curriculum. Computing will become digital technologies with a much greater focus on computer science topics and away with boring ICT (how to use Word, Excel).

    I didn't go with Construct 2 right away, initially I used Game Maker in one of my teaching practicals. When I started teaching I wanted to use it more but it simply wouldn't work with our network. I also found the support very unhelpful and I gave after after playing email ping-pong without a resolution.

    Looking for alternatives I came across construct classic at first, having looked at game salad and other products. I believe Construct 2 was still beta, but what made me switch was the ability to upload products online and the possibility (I haven't done this yet) of exporting to portable devices.

    Construct 2 has a lot of potential, but I recommend that students have previous exposure with Scratch or Microsoft Windows LOGO. I have taught a few classes and it does get better each time.

    I highly recommend you spend some time on teaching students setting up Construct 2, arranging the tools, turning them on and off. The concept of first selecting an object in the project bar to access the properties in the properties bar takes a while for young students to grasp.

    Students find the concept of behaviours very easy to learn. The properties of each behaviour are great for doing investigations and experimentation activities. There are plenty of technical aspects you can link to Construct 2 like talking about pixel, resolution, layers, objects that have properties. So Construct can be used to deliver Computer Science topics in a more engaging way.

    I am still tweaking my delivery methods. For a while I made video tutorials using bandicam. This works extremely well, especially if you have a highly mixed ability group. It allows students to work at their own pace and mostly independently, giving you more time to support weaker students.

    My first assessments consisted of a game they had to build based on a video tutorial. The main outcome was that students could follow clear instructions and documentation and ensure that sprites are names, resolutions are correct and all of that. One point for each little detail.

    Then there was a theory part with questions about topics such as pixel, resolution, layer, event, action...

    And finally they had to modify the project to probe for understanding rather than just being able to follow the video.

    Myself I am the top down learner and like to know all the features, options and settings before I build something. My students are the opposite and they find it much more engaging to start straight off with a simple project (square sprite and making it move via the 8-direction behaviour). THEN I teach them the "boring, but important stuff" because they see what it is for.

    The event sheet is not the easiest concept for students to understand and does require plenty of activities to grasp. I create activities around bloom's taxonomy. For example show them an event and action and they need to identify what is the event and what the action. Could you substitute the event? E.g. a mouse click could be a keyboard press or something getting shot. Slowly making it harder with little challenges (you can pre-build a scenario) that students need to complete. The list of events and actions can be overwhelming, so begin with giving students a limited option to choose from and then slowly adding more.

    I must admit though that the event sheet is not easy to use. Creating a loop for example that repeats itself 50 times to create 50 randomly placed objects isn?t very intuitive to create. Not saying that C2 event sheet doesn?t make sense, but in the context of a school it is very different to a repeat loop in Scratch or Python. I remember in Game Maker for example you would create an enemy and then program the behaviour of that enemy inside that object. In C2 you do the behaviours for all your enemies in the event sheet and this can also become quite complex. And at that development level students rely a lot on patters, shapes and similarities between things they have learned and are learning.

    So all in all I believe C2 is a fantastic resource and the pricing is very good as well. You can likely get away with using the free version just fine as well. Complex projects however quickly become a little confusing for students as the event sheet has its challenges and isn?t that intuitive to read as compared to Scratch.

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  • I am looking to make a sequence of guide video clips for Build 2 (as a registration service), so you could say I want to educate others... not actually grownups, but children as well. Need some help on this.

  • I'm using Construct 2 to make a educational game for teaching History, it's part of my master' degree project. As Im not a programmer I'd try several gamemaker engines, including RPGMaker (My first goal was to make a RPG) but the lack of platforms supported made me look for another tool. I found Construct 2 almost a year ago and feld in love with it. Even decided to change the genre to a Tower Defense so I can work with this tool.

    I still like to make a RPG in the future, so one of the improvements that could be made in Construct 2 would be adding more functionality for creating RPG.

    But that is just a plus.

    If you want to try the game that Im making is that one on my signature.

  • Ashley, please check out the game I made with students, tell me what you think if you can. It's the only game I have in the arcade.

    I have three blog posts about three days of the camp we did but have three more blogs to do about the six day camp we had making assets for C2. I post the here when I get all six days blogged. We are also taking about 10-15 minutes to play the current version of the game each class at my middle school in nonsan S.Korea. They love it, I'm trying to use it as a starting point to talk about html5 and JavaScript.

  • I have intended to use Construct2 for a complete mini-games suite to teach children how to take care of the environment on remote locations with limited access to technology. It's pretty much like equipping a guy with an iPad, a mini-projector, a bicycle and improvise a gaming room by projecting the mini-games on a wall and using the iPad as a touch-pad, actually. I'm just learning more about Construct 2 capabilities and understanding it a little better to keep moving forward with this project (I'm designing sprites and writing game ideas in the meantime)while it gets funded so I'll come back with further news and findings as I get more substantial results. Construct 2 looks like a way solid platform to make these ideas happen.

  • MicroRun - This game teach about some microscopic life forms, like viruses and bacterias. Basicaly the player controls a Bacteria and must survive in one previously chosen environment(Petri dish, human organs, cheese etc). Every 30 seconds he survives he unlock a achievment, which have the name of the desease and some informations about it. So if you stay on the lung for more than 60 seconds you achieve pneumonia. The game also won the first place of Ludic Science on a scientific iniciation "show" (I don't know which word use for the translation of "Mostra").

  • We have been using C2 for almost a year now in school. As physics teachers, we love its ability to rapidly prototype simulations and activities for our students. Check out our Construct 2 page at:

    conantphysics.com/construct2

    We have made several attempts to integrate Construct 2 into the curriculum, but have found that it is very difficult for students to shift gears toward the creative troubleshooting mentality necessary to create something in Construct 2. Not that it isn't a worthwhile effort, but it takes most students a lot of time to get to the point where they are comfortable with the tool, particularly event sheets. Because we also have a fairly tight physics curriculum to follow, it is difficult to find the time necessary for the kids to explore and create in Construct 2.

    One of our teachers teaches a second-year physics course where he is free to do pretty much whatever he wants. He spent two weeks with his students and found that most of them really struggled with breaking down simple tasks. A common question chain would be something like:

    Student - "I want the car to go. Where do I tell it to act like a car?"

    Teacher - "When do you want the car to go? You will need to be more specific."

    Student - "I want it to go when I tell it to go."

    Teacher - "The computer can't listen to your voice. You need to pick a condition."

    Student - "I want it to go right away."

    Teacher - "Let's try 'on start of layout'"

    ...observe that the car moves right away...

    Student - "That isn't what I want. I want it to go when I tell it to go."

    Teacher - "Do you mean that you want it to go when you touch it?"

    Student - "Yeah."

    ...rework so the car moves on a touch event...

    Student - "That isn't right."

    ...and so on for most of the students...

    Not a lot of physics thinking taking place here, but a whole lot of troubleshooting and systematic thinking. This is what the students really struggle with. As a teacher, the challenge is breaking everything down so students can learn to be self-sufficient.

  • cjbruce, I am developing software for education, and would be interested in knowing what you think would work in helping keeps better understand Physics.

    If you could make C2 look and do anything you want, what would you do?

    Thanks,

    Steve

  • I had amazing experiences with a group of 16-18 year old students. They had never done any programming, but I they seemed to really love Construct! I'm looking forward to teaching this software to many more people in the future!

  • FWIW I've used several other education-oriented packages to teach myself, as a mature-age whatsit. These include Sanbox Gamemaker and Alice - both specifically designed for students, by teachers and I've found Construct2 to be superior in every way.

    The main issues I have with the interface is, while it's good and makes every effort...., well that's the thing - it shows that it was written by a programmer 'making the effort'. So the logic of the layout makes sense to a programmer like yourself, but I can't inherently understand why behaviours are over there and actions are over here.

    In effect, it slows down the learning. When I was a kid, and still now, I wanted to jump ahead - I'd grasp the concept and want to start applying it. It's how humans are built. While the manual and tooltips are good, the program and manual don't combine to 'mentor' people to jump ahead and use their initiative. This is very limiting to its education potential.

    I've just done a really easy (and dare I say, patronising) course in Design at Udacity and it was actually really great for ramming home these concepts of Good Design. The users need to shape the interface and even the manual. That's the message I got from that course. And, I'm tinkering with a way to make this happen in a manner that doesn't interfere - in fact streamlines your workflow.

    Think of it like a startup - again I got this from a good Udacity course - Steve Blank says: 'No business survives first contact with it's customers' - the message being, you keep adapting. Apply this to interface design and you'd maybe try to implement a modular layout.

    2 precedents: Foobar and Scrivener. Both let you interact and reshape the UI. Scrivener is especially nice because it allows you to work in fragments - this would be excellent if applied to Construct2. I guess you can have multiple layouts - so it's similar.

    If users could manipulate the workspace and then save and share those manipulations as templates it does 2 things:

    1. improves the app

    2. reduces your workload

    2b. increases goodwill... and so forth.

    A collaborative Sourceforge style workspace could be created where people could share these templates. You could also get people from art communities involved - where they specialise in UI design.

    I have a plan to monetise and make this self-supporting, so please get in touch to register your interest, because I think most of the work could be profitably outsourced in a responsible and community-oriented way. I'm having chats with Crowdtilt about it, and we'll see.

  • I can't action annihilation of amount to the discussion, I'm not an educator, but I did use C2 with a agglomeration of non-programming business acceptance to actualize a web-app; they admired the simplicity.

  • Hi there, just wanted to chime in with my 2pence

    Im more of an educatee than an educator (right now) but C2 is becoming more widely used on my course, a BA (Hons) Design for Games. The course leaders and lecturers are increasingly encouraging its use and are even now taking tutorials and using the software themselves to help those who do wish to use C2, which i think is great!

    C2 is available on the computers where i study but as far as im aware its just the free license, not to depreciate its value, but its available on every PC in the Design for Games classrooms. From a students perspective, i would think some kind of Education License would be extremely beneficial but im afraid i can only speak my opinion of my institutes perspective.

    Even as Mr E Bear suggested, i think promotion material around colleges and universities is a very good idea that would benefit the developers and those wanting to get into the game industry (such as myself). I feel C2 is a very good to bridge the gap between proffesional game studios and outright beginners

  • I use Construct 2 in my university basic game design class. This year I am having the students make the classic games from history. We are beginning with Spacewar!, Computer Space and Pong. Then moving to Donkey Kong, Pac Man and Space Invaders. They will remake their own versions of games as well. I have a Super Meat Boy prototype from one student in the works. It would be great to have example of those game mechanics on the site. I will be making tutorials of how we build these games but for instance I would love to be able to find a way to make the black hole from Spacewar! or the opening animations from Donkey Kong.

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