Welcome to the St. Catherine's / St. Christopher's Game Design, Animation, and Robotics Page!

This site will be a repository of links and information about game design, robotics, and computer science.

  • This is a public site, but editing is limited to X-Term Students at St. Catherine's and St. Christophers's Schools, and invited educators.
  • We can change this wiki as necessary.
  • Suggestions are welcome, and content is invited!

Please feel free to use the discussion page for comments.

STEM Fuse contest

Students are invited to compete in the 2012 Spring GOT GAME? competition. Competition involves imaginative game design using Game Maker. Details may be found at STEM Fuse Contest.

Educational Game Usage

National Compendium of Games Usage, Compiled by edWeb:
St. Catherine's/St. Christopher's Usage (note, the St. Catherine's Survey has not been sent as of 2/12/2012):

Creating Apps

There are several sites for writing apps. Start with http://edudemic.com/2010/06/the-ultimate-guide-to-creating-educational-apps/
MIT has a great program with their appinventor initiative: http://explore.appinventor.mit.edu/

Using Apps

50 Best iPad Apps for STEM Education: Best Apps


A bit of animation silliness: T-shirt Wars - http://ow.ly/9o3D7 (Thank you Carey Pohanka and Hiram Cuevas!)...

Designing Games

  1. Read the MDA document.
  2. Go to the following link, game design, read over the page, and work out the details of a game using the outline.
    1. Construct a storyline for a game. Start a storyboard.
    2. Develop the game/animation mechanics, and work out the dynamics you want for the player/viewer.
    3. Analyze the mechanics and the dynamics, and then work on the aesthetics of the game/animation.
  3. Write the game
  4. Playtest
  5. Tweak the game
  6. Final game!

Note: Tower Defense Video Tutorials for Game Maker: http://gamemakertutorials.com/tag/tower-defense-games/
A Primer on Game Design: http://bottomlineperformance.com/learningcenter/learningbriefs/

Game Engines

"What is a Game Engine?", an article by Jeff Ward: http://www.gamecareerguide.com/features/529/what_is_a_game.php
Wikipedia Compilation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_game_engines


Great initial reading, with links: http://accad.osu.edu/womenandtech/Storyboard%20Resource/
Second Reading, Karen Lloyd's Blog: http://karenjlloyd.com/blog/2007/11/13/so-what-is-a-storyboard-anyway/
Sample Storyboards: http://www.storyboards-east.com/storybrd.htm
Producing a Storyboard in Microsoft Word:


Playtesting 101 (from http://classes.cec.wustl.edu/~cse450/playtesting101.pdf):
Playtesting: http://www.bottomlineperformance.com/lolblog/index.php/play-testing-games-an-essential-step/


Wikipeida's Tweleve Basics Principles of Animation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12_basic_principles_of_animation
Basics of Traditional & Computer Animation in About.com: http://animation.about.com/od/otherusefultutorials/u/animationbasics.htm
Animation and Game Design Materials: http://www.animationbrain.com/
YouTube of Sketchup Animation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgAgzis0bN4

New Links:

An external link to make a real slingshot for "Angry Birds": http://mbed.org/cookbook/Slingshot

Got Game: How to Keep Girls Interested in Computer Science: an article in Edutopia by Suzie Boss: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/computer-science-education-girls-increase-interest-suzie-boss

Siemen's STEM Academy - great resources: http://siemensstemacademy.com/index.cfm?event=showBlog&c=35

Computer Science Resources for Students and Teachers: http://educationaltechnologyguy.blogspot.com/2012/02/free-computer-science-resources-for.html

and, from the site listed above: http://www.jacknilan.com/csmenu.html

What Computer Programming Can Teach Us About Expertise: http://expertenough.com/1351/computer-programming

Hackasaurus - changing websites: http://www.hackasaurus.org/en-US/

Video Game History

The 25 Greatest Breakthroughs in Video Game History - IGN: http://m.ign.com/articles/1217404

The End of Programming?

An article in the computer science magazine Dr. Dobb's Journal explores the rise in mobile programming and the decreased use of such languages as C++ and Java, as well as C# overreaching Visual Basic and the Visual Studio suite - good geek programmer material! Dr. Dobbs

Needed: Women in Engineering

This is an article from US News and World Report by Joanne McGrath Cohoon, who is an associate professor in the department of Science, Technology and Society at the University of Virginia. She researches, publishes, and speaks on women's under-representation in IT and gender segregation in higher education.

Computer Science Education Week

CSEdWeek 2011, December 4 through December 10, 2011, is a highly distributed celebration of the impact of computing and the need for computer science education.

Website: http://www.csedweek.org/about

By the Numbers PDF: http://www.ncwit.org/pdf/BytheNumbers09.pdf, a poster describing Women and Information Technology.

Lots of resources: http://www.csedweek.org/resources (Check out the Dot Diva material!)

From Jane McGonigal's Keynote at VAIS on November 14, 2011:

1. Gaming solves a protein problem: this is a podcast from the NSF...http://nsfgov.http.internapcdn.net/nsfgov_vitalstream_com/podcast/game_changer.mp3Very cool! This is the link to the actual project -http://fold.it/portal/ These are protein-folding puzzles -- and the project reminds me of John Conway, known in CS education circles for the oft-assigned Game of Life, but also known for his research into knot geometry and topology, which eventually became a crucial part of the study of DNA. I attended a lecture by him at UR a decade ago!

2. Quest to Learn Site: http://q2l.org/ This is an elementary school that utilizes games in its underlying pedagogical strategy.

3. EVOKE: A crash course in changing the world: http://www.urgentevoke.com/

4. http://game.nypl.org/#/ Find the future at the New York Public Library
5. The PowerPoint Jane McGonigal discussed, complete with links:

Articles/Sites on Women and/or K-12 related to Computer Science/STEM/ Education: A Compendium of Information Specific to Women and STEM

http://www.cs.duke.edu/~rodger/women.html This site is courtesy of Susan Rodger of Duke University, a colleague who has also been instrumental in providing resources for the 3D programming environment Alice, and who has a passionate interest in promoting a balanced gender approach to STEM education in general and computer science in particular!

There is a brand new set of links relative to the History of Games, as well as the All-Time Top 50 Video Games and the Top Fifteen iPhone Games as of August, 2011

Rubicon's latest iPhone/Android game (through John Zuur Platten) - this involves solving math puzzles - The Math Mage: http://www.rghgames.com/games/the-math-mage/ (Look for the app soon!)

Rise of the Video Game Series:

This was a series on Discovery in November and December of 2007. This is a great history of the video game. There are five levels, and none of this is available on a DVD. The link to the Discovery Channel page that goes with the video is
http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/video-game/about/about.html. There is a great timeline within the page.

First Level (of Five):

Level One, Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ras4E4N1S5E
Level One, Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKR0f87ibkI&feature=related
Level One, Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40LXudWLCbk&feature=related
Level One: Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9v8BBwFmfyg
Level One, Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIXri06ivZQ&feature=related

Special Article: This is What a Computer Scientist Looks Like By Anna Louie Sussman (Hint: The Scientist is a Woman!)

Ladies, you might want to think about a career in Computer Science! http://womenintheworld.org/preview/stories/this-is-what-a-computer-scientist-looks-like Computer Science is underrepresented by females, and could be the ticket to success!

A Neurologist Makes the Case for the Video Game Model as a Learning Tool

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/video-games-learning-student-engagement-judy-willis Dr. Judy Willis, a neurologist, talks about the video game model and education.

Uploaded Games

Due to the size of executables and software chosen to produce the games, many games were too large to upload, or were not cross-platform. I'll try to correct for this as soon as I can! The students have produced some really good material!

Interesting Blog on Failed Game Designs that Came Back as Big Winners

http://thegameprodigy.com/game-designs-that-failed-then-hit-the-big-time/ : Brice Morrison's blog about game design...

Northern HS Game Design Class featured in the Durham Herald Sun!

Students from Northern HS, Coach Payne's former school, discussed their role in class game production in an article in the Durham Herald Sun. Click here for the article.

Additions to Links

Check out the first part of the links, which include games for positive change as suggested by Jane McGonigal (see below). These are really important games!

VPython Intro Lab

A general tutorial is being developed for VPython, and should be listed by the end of Spring, 2012. Some of the higher-level tutorial/lessons are designed around those developed by Bruce Sherwood and Ruth Chabay for physics.

Student Project

The student-developed game project materials may be found on the Game Development and Simulation page. This is meant to be a joint project among several schools. Materials are updated regularly.

Jane McGonigal on Gaming

Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to learn the habits of heroes. What if we could harness this gamer power to solve real-world problems? Jane McGonigal says we can, and explains how. See the clip from TED (Ideas Worth Spreading) here.

Jane McGonigal on the Colbert Report

Jane McGonigal, author of Reality is Broken, Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, was featured on the Colbert Report on February 3, 2011. Listen to her talk about the value of games, the number of female gamers, and the future of games at Colbert Nation. NOTE: this segment begins with an advertisement -- please be patient!

NC State’s Video Game Design Program One of The Princeton Review’s Top 15

Photo of Super Hero.
Photo of Super Hero.
NC State University has been recognized as one of the top undergraduate programs to teach video game design and development on The Princeton Review’s second annual list saluting the best schools in the U.S. and Canada. The list, “Top Schools for Video Game Design Study for 2011,” salutes 30 institutions in all (15 undergraduate and 15 graduate) for their outstanding game design education programs. //more//

Although the week has gone by, the material is still good!

A PDF describing the week may be found at Comp Sci Ed Week
More materials and resources may be found at the main website: http://www.csedweek.org/
Support this celebration and education event that celebrates the birthday of Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992), a pioneer of computer programming.

Please tell the group about yourself when you can. Use the discussion page from the top menu to do this.

Contact: cpayne at st dot catherines dot org
Wish to join? Contact Coach Payne at the address above.