IT 10: Scratch Project

For this project, you will be planning, creating, and publishing a Scratch game of your choice. This game should push the limits of your programming abilities and reflect what you could do with minimal teacher assistance. The game will be evaluated by random peers in your class.

You will undergo the three stages of game development: pre-production, production, and post-production.

I. The pre-production stage is the planning stage in which you will determine the game’s genre, purpose and storyline, gameplay, controls, etc. This is similar to an outline for an essay. There is no coding in this stage. Video game developers spend time in this stage, carefully thinking about potential problems that they may encounter when coding. For example, if you are making a platform game similar to the original Super Mario Bros., you will need to implement jumping and falling with gravity. It is much easier to find out how to do it in this stage, rather than finding out when you have code everywhere else.

You will have one or two classes to carefully plan your game. You will informally propose your game concept to the teacher no later than January 18/19, 2016. The proposal will be graded out of 4, by the teacher. A good place to start may be looking at Scratch games that others have made: S:\Handout\Info Tech 10\Scratch Games and http://scratch.mit.edu/galleries/view/26995.

» Go to Game Proposal

II. The production stage includes the programming, debugging and testing stages. The programming and debugging stages refer to coding and fixing unexpected behaviors; these two stages occur simultaneously. You must show the teacher a working draft by February 10/11.

In total, you will be given two weeks to work on the game, followed by an additional class on February 25/26. It is recommended that you let your peers play your game and get their feedback; this is similar to alpha- and/or beta-testing in the gaming industry. Since the final game will be evaluated by your peers, it is important to receive feedback and address the issues before the final evaluation.

III. The post-production stage includes publication and final evaluation. You will be shown how to upload and publish the game onto WordPress via Google Drive on February 25/26, 2016. You need to upload your final copy by February 29 / March 1 before class. Peer evaluations will take place on the same day.

Evaluation

The game proposal will be teacher evaluated using a 4-point scale based on the student’s written response to the the game’s genre, purpose/goal, gameplay, and controls. Student may need to orally answer a few supplemental questions.

The game will be peer evaluated using a 4-point scale based on five criteria (20 marks):

  • Purpose / Story: Most video games have some kind of story. Good games often rely on a good story to keep the player interested. A story provides purpose and motivation. At the very least, the game objective and the controls must be very clear.
  • Gameplay: How is the game played? Is the game any fun? Many games within the same genre have unique playing styles that differentiate them from the competition. For example, both Borderlands and Call of Duty are first person shooters, but their gameplay is completely different. This is likely the most important aspect of the game.
  • Controls: Should the player use a mouse and keyboard or the microphone? Did the game have a learning curve? Are the controls smooth? Do the sprites glitch?
  • Graphics and Sound: Does the game look nice for its genre? Does it have background music or sound effects?
  • Overall: Based on the four criteria above, how do you rate the overall game?

There will be 5 evaluators for a possible total of 100 marks.

Reference

Phungus (2006). How to write a video game review. Retrieved on December 14, 2012, from http://www.epinions.com/content_4626817156.