Tag Archives: games

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Playing at Computational Thinking with The Tessera

Earlier this month, a team of researchers from Brigham Young University and University of Maryland, led by Derek Hansen and Kari Kraus, launched a new free educational game The Tessera: Ghostly Tracks. Funded in part by the NSF, the game is a beautiful way to explore principles of computational thinking in a multiplayer, narrative-driven setting while unraveling a ghost story.

The web-based game works well on any fairly up-to-date browser, and doesn’t require any downloads. To play, just make a

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Simple Visual Novel Design with CloudNovel

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In this ongoing series of making games on the classroom, I’ve been taking a look at a number of user-friendly tools for making interactive content, including:

And most recently, Ren’Py, a great flexible tool for making visual novels that is also a bit code-focused. Visual novels have a lot of potential for assignments across disciplines, as the genre is a form of playable narrati…

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6 More Games for After the Election


Earlier this month, I shared six games for facilitating conversations in the wake of the US presidential election. Several designers and educators reached out to share other suggestions, particularly for related political discourse that may be relevant over the coming months. All of these games are free unless otherwise noted, but many of the designers accept donations to support their practice.

  • Jana Reinhardt’s strangely escapist game Solitude (2 dollars to play) is a beautiful metaphorical …

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6 Games for Talking About the Election

In the wake of the US presidential election, many of us are deciding what comes next in our classrooms and scholarship. There are no easy answers to this question, and the national divisions are echoed on campus with consequences we are only beginning to understand. However, if you do plan to address these topics in your classroom, games can provide a potentially less threatening opening for sharing experiences. Here are a few games with topics and commentary relevant to the election and curre…

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Making Visual Novels with Ren’Py

In this ongoing series of making games on the classroom, I’ve been taking a look at a number of user-friendly tools for making interactive content, including:

Every tool I’ve examined has different strengths, and ultimately choosing the right tool for your own project or a class assignment can determine its success. I’ve been looking for ways to change up my digital narrative & c…

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Making Games with Browser-Based Flowlab.io

Last semester was the first time I encountered a new challenge for my online class: some of my students were using Chromebooks as a primary computer. Several ProfHackers have tried Chromebooks out with mixed results, but I find the biggest challenge they present is the limitation on development software options. Picking the right game-making tool to assign for students requires careful consideration: many platforms are limited to either Mac or PC, making picking a tool that all students can use…

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International Games Day Comes to Cairo @AUC

Students at International Games Day at AUC

Last week, I was involved in the organization of International Games Day @ Your Library. Basically, a group of people from our AUC (American University in Cairo) library found out about this international event and invited a several of us from different departments who were interested in participating in it. We could do whatever we wanted, as long as it involved games.

We had several meetings and divided up the open spaces in the library for different purposes. Our University Academic Computing…

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The Games Art Historians Play: Online Game-based Learning in Art History and Museum Contexts

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[Anne McClanan is a Professor of Art History at Portland State University. Her work in the digital space engages with both online pedagogy and several digital humanities projects, overviewed here.--JBJ]

I recently posted a query on the CAAH listserv (Consortium of Art and Architectural Historians) to research online game-based and gamified learning in art history and museums. Alongside leads on some of the projects I’ll share here, the post garnered some rather animated comments hinting that it…

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Making Games for Web and iOS with Stencyl


In this series, I’ve looked at a lot of newcomer-friendly tools for making games in the classroom or as projects with and for students, including Twine, Scratch, Construct 2, inklewriter, Inform 7, and Adventure Game Studio. While some of these tools are successfully cross-platform, many of the best tools for making graphical games are PC-only. This year, I’m teaching an online course that includes game development as part of exploring digital narrative. As students aren’t meeting in a universi…

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Making Accessible Games with Twine Audio

I’ve written about both Twine and Twine 2 as platforms that are very friendly to completely new developers and those who haven’t previously programmed, but Twine is also a platform that can offer accessibility from the user end. All text-based games build with well-structured HTML have a strong potential to be fairly easily manipulated through adaptive technologies, including screen readers. Whenever we’re thinking about integrating a new technology into teaching and learning, it’s important to…