“While our old GameMaker tutorials were effective in providing some insight into basic game making concepts, and the drag and drop architecture of the GameMaker program, we felt they fell short in a few ways. We got a lot of feedback from our Video Game Design students, and we listened! Here is a brief overview of what’s different about our new tutorials, and why we feel they’re a vast improvement!
Similar to Other Popular “Youtube-style Tutorials”
We recently began phasing out our old, flash-based GameMaker tutorials and replacing them with homemade video tutorials formatted like the 4-7 minute videos typically found on Youtube. Students in our program who have used the new tutorials already prefer them. The ability to easily start, stop, and jump around to different sections of each tutorial, as well as being able to “cherry pick” only those tutorials which the student needs, streamlines the learning process and eliminates frustration.
Encourages Greater Customization
Each student that begins his or her game making journey using the new tutorials will have complete creative control over the look and playability of the game. Along with some general “Getting Started” videos, tutorials are available for several types of game-play, such as maze and platform. If the student wants to include an invincibility cloak in the game, for example, he or she would simply need to locate the necessary tutorial, watch it, and within minutes, learn how to include the programming as it relates to the game.
Enhancement of Interactive Learning
Included in each new tutorial is not only a step-by-step guide to programming, but a breakdown of why things work the way they do. The tutorials are designed so that all programming concepts are general enough to be applied to any game. Since the students are applying the principles learned in each tutorial to their game, they must think critically and creatively to determine how to best implement each step.
More Instant Gratification
One of the biggest complaints about the old tutorials is that it took students too long to feel like they were doing the “fun stuff.” Students now begin by customizing the look of their first character. It doesn’t take long for them to get that character moving, and that immediacy propels them through the awkward learning curve common with new software. They get a sense from the get-go that this is their game and their vision. It is this feeling of ownership that instills passion for the process, which in turn yields greater focus and learning potential.
The Big Picture
With each new tutorial we create, we’re able to increase the potential to learn and grow as a game maker in Empow Learning’s Video Game Desing classes, events, and workshops.”