The Time Machine game will have players traveling back in time to discover innovations in the study and application of math, physics and computer. The game provides mechanisms for exploring these concepts through game play and game creation. Players will actually create much of the game content as they complete missions and submit their own games to fill in the timeline in their attempts to help Maddy “fix” the time machine and bring her mother home. The Time Machine has three primary educational goals:
- Provide an online learning platform for STEM-related activities that especially invites girls into the story through female virtual characters and an intriguing plot.
- Demonstrate how game design and computer science concepts can be incorporated into other subjects, such as history and science. Several of the game challenges require that players create and submit their own games where they share their own knowledge about a specific time and/or scientific discovery in history.
- Encourage online engagement with others, as players (individually or collaboratively) share their games with the community, learning from each other and providing feedback to each other.
Tech-Girls Project @ StartupWeekend EDU
Kim pitched the idea for a video game designed to help expand the STEM job preparedness pipeline by sparking girls interest in computing at the April 2013 Charlottesville's StartupWeekendEDU event. She was joined by Ke Cheng, 2nd year CS student at UVa, Lynne Crotts, school principal of 12 years and Nate Szejniukis, gaming expert who worked for the next 54 hours to create a prototype, research educational impact, validate with customers and build a business model. On Sunday night, the judges - Jim Cheng, VA Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Nick Schiavi, Blackboard, Inc. and Otavio Freire, CTO, OpenQ awarded the Tech Girl project 2nd place!
Video games can be created on any open platform, although Scratch and Gamestar Mechanic are ideal as they are easy to get started with and provide a mechanism for sharing. Don't worry if you've never designed a game before. Your students have undoubtedly played video games, so they already have a pretty good idea of what makes a game fun and engaging. There are also lots of resources linked here to help you point your students in the right direction. However, don't be surprised if they "get" this game creation faster than you and quickly surpass your knowledge. In fact, take advantage of this situation as you observe them teaching each other, experimenting, collaborating, making mistakes and figuring out alternate solutions.
- Time Machine Design Documentation
- Games for Change - great games to play to get inspiration
- Gamestar Mechanic - beginner video game designer platform online
- Let the games begin - a toolkit 4 making social issue games
- Scratch 1..4 - video game design platform on Windows, Mac & Linux
- Scratch 2.0 - video game design platform online
- Stencyl - more advanced game design platform supported on Windows, Mac & Linux
- Tech-Girls - connect with other girls creating video games
- Video Game Design - tutorials and much more for designing and creating video games