Teaching Construct 2 in my class

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  • A few months ago, I was asked to create a after-school program to teach Photoshop for 11 to 13 year olds once a week for 10 classes. (The wayback machine, here's the first post I made.) I decided to have the first 5 classes be about the basics of Photoshop, and the last 5 about making video game artwork for Construct 2.

    As I promised, I wanted to update the Construct community about what I'm doing. We are now on Week 5, the kids sorta understand Photoshop now, and without further adieu -

    <img src="smileys/smiley32.gif" border="0" align="middle"> <font size="5"> Starting Wednesday, Feb 15th, the students will be using Construct 2! </font><img src="smileys/smiley32.gif" border="0" align="middle">

    I'm NOT teaching how to be a game designer in Construct 2 (that's out of my proficiency), I'm teaching them how bring artwork made in photoshop into Construct 2. I play a lot of video games and used to dabble in flash animation - so video game stuff (like programming and logic and formulas and ) are way over my head.

    Week 5, they'll be looking at some basic Construct 2 elements. We'll be playing with my Pac-man game. (HTML version, capx file) What we will be doing is replacing the pacman with their own animation, replacing the ghosts, and creating a graphical overlay on top of the maze to make it look more interesting.

    (I'm still trying to figure out how to make ghosts work, and items, and powerups. I still have a week to figure it out. Any help would be useful! Pacman game post )

    Week 6 - 9, they'll dig a little deeper. They'll be playing with my platform game. OLD VERSION (This game is still a work in progress too. I plan to use the platform tutorials to make a better version, which I'll update) We'll be doing the same thing with the pacman game, but much more intense. They'll sit down and think about a theme before they start working. (Such as setting and plot) Then, we'll be working on the game. Things that we'll be doing :

         * Create a foreground, midground, background

         * A title screen

         * A game over Screen

         * A character

         * Some new monsters

         * Items and power ups to pick up

         * And they'll learn to make their own level.

    I'm excited to use Construct 2 in the classroom! And the kids are really excited to get into making video games!

  • Great news! Keep us updated on how it goes!

  • Looks awesome! :) Let us know how it works out.

  • Cpryd001,

    absolute awesome sauce sir.

    where were you when i was in school?

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  • Exactly i would have loved this at school instead of BBC Micros

  • Oh man. This is Day 1 of 3. I lost a day of teaching because Construct 2 had some issues with loading games. Something with the local server.

    The focus today was to change monsters around. I gave them a monster template, and they were to draw monsters inside the box and REPLACE the sprites in the construct 2 space game.

    Since the play button didn?t work, I found a work around. It worked like this.

    Export the file to the student?s personal dropbox public folder.

    Create a shortcut link to their game, and put it in the Shared Dropbox folder.

    So to test their game, they would export it first, and then play it off of dropbox hosting.

    Unfortunately, a bunch of bugs popped up. Every time I exit Construct 2, it crashed. Some of the in-game sprites weren?t showing. And if you replaced them, the program would crash. Dropbox didn?t seem to want to update the public files fast enough. Also, I had to manually help each student export their project to the public folder. (I thought the file would remember where I last exported it. Nope.)

    I was unable to get the students to see their own in-game artwork.

    Here is a link to the modified Space Blaster game.


    Here's some of the artwork they made.


    I?m going to find solutions to fixing this, and hope Day 2 works out way better.

  • That sounds so disappointing Cpryd001.

    I guess I don't understand why they couldn't just play there games from there personal dropbox public folder's? All they would have had to do is open there exported html5 game file inside of there personal dropbox public folder's and double click on there index.html pages, and there games should have opened. Or just make a link to that file, and past it in the browsers address window.

    The server bug you will have to talk to Ashley about.

    I usually export my html5 games to my desktop first then I upload it to dropbox. Your right exporting it to dropbox directly from C2 might be why it crashed. Uploading to dropbox is just to slow for C2's exporter I think.

    There artwork looks real good. I especially like the angry birds ones but maybe that's just because I like that game.

    I'm not getting any sprite loading bug's. So if you need some help fixing there games just let me know what you need done, and I would be happy to help out.

  • Sorry for the late updates - I always destress after teaching.

    I wrote a summary blog post about my class here. http://rockykev.com/2011vgames/

    I wanted to write about my experiences with Construct 2 in the classroom. I had a few issues with the computer lab - but that's not Scirra's fault. I want to thank them for their help in troubleshooting the issues. :) I will warn anybody who is attempting this in their classroom to make sure their techlab is up to spec. Because we could use Photoshop CS3 on our computers, I *assumed* Construct 2 would work right away. Never assume anything!

    Because I wanted the students to be working with photoshop templates (http://goo.gl/3emrn), I modified the Construct 2 Space Shooter game. (http://goo.gl/9xhz) Modifying the Space Shooter game taught me some bits of programming in Construct 2. I created a Mothership monster that appears near the end! :)

    The first week in Construct 2, I just let the students play the game. Telling a student to just play was a joy. I told them to think about what kind of genre they wanted to have. They should think about the enemies, the main character, and the background. And then they just went at it.

    The second week in Construct 2, a few students were already tinkering in the code. One student messed with the numbers to give himself unlimited health. Another student repositioned the enemies. Some students asked about animation. All of which was out of the scope of the class, so I didn't teach it to every student - just the ones who wanted to know.

    The final week of Construct 2, we had to rush to finalize everything. Students were still picky about their monsters. Some just wanted to continue playing and push back their work. I forced them to get a background in, and create a title screen.

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/gh96l.jpg" border="0">

    After every semester, we have a student showcase. It's where all the classes at Fleisher come together to showcase to their parents and their fellow students what they made. The previous day, I uploaded all of their games to dropbox, and had to have offline support for all of them onto my laptop. (since the space didn't have wifi) Everything went off with a hitch! Laptop to projector, a keyboard, and suddenly we had a gaming station! Students shared their experiences with the class, and we attracted a LOT of attention.

    A week ago, the Program Manager came up to me to propose a game design class. My original fear with the Winter 2011 class was that there wasn't enough ART. Since this is a ART-based non-profit, I was really afraid to teach any sort of game design. And now, she brings it right up! Unfortunately, my Spring 2012 class won't come to fruition because of low attendance. But she's already setting me up for a Summer course. I still want them to make that side-scrolling platform game. Because if the games they made using the Space Shooter as a template, I want to see what these kids would do with a platform game.

    I want to thank the whole community for providing me with ideas on how to approach it. And I really plan to master Construct 2 in the near future and make my own dreams come true.

  • Awesome Cpryd001, thanks for the wrap up.

    I smiled at the "hackers". You can always expect one or two "smartasses" to go a little faster/further than the rest of the group ^^

    Sorry about the spring course that did not work, it looks though you made quite an impression.

    Keep up the good work and keep us informed.

    Maybe Tom will want to have your testimony or promote this report.

  • LOL

    I intend to use the second construct, when you can teach at the college where I graduated. I think next year.

    Congratulations on your initiative

  • Thanks for the update, great to hear :)

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