I've been exploring inexpensive ways to make games. A recent contribution to Hoboken Pudding outlines options to make role-playing games. - Jay
For the past couple years I've been teaching game design to kids. As part of TEDx Jersey City I presented my work and some of the games my students created, explaining how the curriculum helps students develop higher order creative skills. Game design is an alternative form of teaching math, story telling and art and in the end, it's a lot of fun. Read transcript → See posts about individual classes →
Susan Newman has a weekly online radio show of entrepreneurs in northern NJ and I was interviewed last week. We had a good conversation about game design, technology, teaching and exhibiting artwork. You can hear the half hour interview on iTunes here (dated January 20th, 2014) or download the MP3 file here.
I'm looking forward to playing some games with my daughters this Christmas. I just bought Mastermind a couple weeks ago and we can't stop playing. They're fascinated at how I can deduce which colors they've chosen based on the clues they gave me and they've gradually gotten better at figuring out the codes themselves. Playing games can be a great way to bring people together, challenge each other and learn a little in the process. Here's hoping everyone has a fun holiday! UPDATE: We got games for Christmas! We now have The Settlers of Catan and Ticket To Ride in our game library.
In anticipation of creating more complex board games we constructed paper dice. Everyone is used to 6 sided cubic dice so I brought in templates for 8 sided and 20 sided. We had enough time to make the octahedra but the students had to take the icosahedra templates home. Hopefully they were able to employ a parent to help because constructing a 20 sided dice is quite a challenge! See more posts about this game design class →
I found this project on the Bloesem Kids blog and it's a wonderful way to recycle old CD jewel cases. Before class I emptied out some old cases from boxes of CDs I had stored in the attic. I had to reject a few that had parental advisory stickers attached (doesn't Prince's Purple Rain seem kind of quaint these days?), as well as a few that were cracked. The Bloesem blog advises using Fimo dough to create small balls to navigate the maze but I used ball bearings instead. Luckily our local hardware store has a drawer with loose steel ball bearings for $.20 each. A diameter of 5/16" was perfect; bigger than that and the ball would get stuck in the case, smaller and it would jump the sides of the maze. More
For our second class of "Let's Make Games" we created a set of memory match cards. Each student received a set of 16 cards on which to make 8 pairs of images. I had printed a drawing of a pear with the words "Pick Pairs" onto one side of the cards, making them a little harder to see through. Using fruit as the theme I walked everyone through the steps of drawing graphical fruits, from apples and oranges through strawberries and lemons slices. The children then duplicated their images and everyone had a fun set of cards to play with. One child bragged about how well he could remember and proceeded to demonstrate with a quick game of pair picking. See more posts about this game design class →
I'll be auditioning this weekend for the upcoming TEDx conference in Jersey City. Saturday, June 29th from 2:30-5PM the Jersey City Art School will be hosting 2 minute presentations by artists, creative thinkers and educators. I plan to explain the game design curriculum I developed last year and the results of my classes. If accepted I'll be creating a longer presentation for the TEDx Jersey City conference coming up in October. More
The Heist is a beautifully designed collection of different puzzles for iOS . It contains four puzzle types, most consisting of sliding pieces. The structure of the puzzles will be familiar to many users because they borrow elements from other games, such as ThinkFun's Rush Hour and square sliding tile toys. But the game is rendered so beautifully that it brings it all to a higher visual level, making it satisfying both to the mind and the eye. As you proceed in the game the puzzles get more challenging, but you may jump from different types whenever you'd like. Ultimately you need to solve a full set of puzzles to unlock the "vault", opening up yet another set of exercises for your brain. Available for iPhone and iPad.