After years working in Flash I've finally launched my first HTML5 game. It's programmed in PuzzleScript and has been a blast to make. In keeping with my summer of mazes I went with a simple interactive maze where you guide a red marble through tunnels to find a golden ring. I designed the graphics using Edge Touch on my iPhone and translated it to PuzzleScript using Plain Text, also on my iPhone. I'm thrilled to be able to create an interactive game while sitting at the playground with my kids, working on a computer I can fit into my pocket.
Picaria is a two person game that originated from the Zuni or Pueblo Indians in the American Southwest. The play is similar to tic-tac-toe, but consists of two stages: laying down pieces, then moving them to try to form three in a row. It's a quick game and after the students finished creating and decorating their boards we all had an opportunity to play a few rounds. See more posts about this game design class →
This week our class laid out board games. Based on a Halloween theme of a pumpkin patch, each student created a meandering path across a poster board, divided it into sections and filled it with four colors. We then decorated the board with pumpkins, gravestones and haunted houses. One child even made a pumpkin lake, a huge oval filled with pumpkins, which he thought was hilarious. Next week we'll make four-sided dice to roll and create a set of playing pieces from Crayola model magic.
The Girl Scouts has created a really cool interactive video that walks viewers though the creation of a video game, including the different job roles at a game design studio and the creative process in a work environment. The video outlines the design decisions and engineering work that go into game creation, all while allowing the viewer to choose different elements for their own custom game. It's a great way for kids to get an idea of how creative studios function and how teams of people with different talents can work together to create a unique product. LINK: Be the Video Game Developer
The Keats Foundation recently launched a game I worked on, "Crazy Hats". It's a dress-up toy where you chose a character from one of Ezra Jack Keats books, add a hat, then decorate it with items selected from his books. It's inspired by his gorgeous children's book "Jennie's Hat", the story of a girl whose Sunday hat is decorated with flowers and lace by helpful birds. Decorate your own hat now!
The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation just launched the new Mancala game I designed. It's a simple, leisurely paced counting game with elements loosely based on the Keats book "Dreams". I had fun creating little bottle caps and bolts for the pieces and, after playing the game over and over again, have learned Mancala strategy. Play it now!
Awele/Oware- Mancala uses a photo-realistic background of a large wooden Mancala board. This iOS game allows one or two players to compete.
Mancala FS5 is an iOS game with different skins for the game board, including the jewelry box seen here.
Mancala Snails: This version includes instructional levels to help understand the mechanics of the game. Unfortunately the stones are rendered as yellow snails and the uniform color across the board makes it difficult to count how many pieces are in each cup.
Novel Games Mancala has a rainbow colored set of stones, making things a bit easier to count. But turn down the volume. The music loop will have you pulling your hair out.
UPDATE: Play the new Mancala game I designed for the Keats Foundation here.