Benjamin Worrell

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Carson Middle School

Fort Carson, Colorado

Teacher of Visual Art

= How will I introduce Scalable Game Design in my school?

In an effort to integrate meaningful, high-level cross-curricular planning into my art classroom, I will be introducing Scalable Game Design as a full course offering at Carson Middle School. My desire is to give students a real-world application for computational math skills as well as how the visual arts work hand in hand with game design. Beyond my own classroom, I am hoping to share AgentSheets with core subject teachers in my building so that students in math, science, social studies, and language arts can experience the exciting possibilities offered in the program. Because of the strong bond between AgentSheets and STEM learning, I feel that this program can continue to grow throughout our building until it is featured in some capacity in every classroom. I am looking forward to the exciting opportunities and near-limitless potential for learning offered by AgentSheets!

What are your instructional goals?

Students will learn artistic processes in digital art (using photoshop, wacom tablets, etc.) and apply them in the creation of in-game sprites and animations.

Students will learn critical and computational thinking skills in the development of functional videogames with varying objectives, AI, and NPC routines.

Students will apply method commands and rules learned in videogame design to create functional simulations which reflect scientific, STEM-related processes.

Develop a unit sequence – Week 1-2 (frogger): - Introduction to AgentSheets, pre-assessment, media release forms, etc. (days 1-2) - Introduction to pixel art and design (days 3-5)

 + Students will be able to create a desktop folder, a cloud server folder, as well as transfer data to and from a thumb drive
 + Students will be able to utilize photoshop to create 32x32 and 64x64 pixel depictions for use with Agentsheets and save as JPEGS
 + Students will be able to import photoshop JPEGS for use as depictions in Agentsheets 

- Frogger game creation and debug session (days 6-9)

 + Students will be able to create a functional FROGGER GAME based on rules and commands reflected in example
 + Students will be able to demo game in front of class with functioning movement, gird, and NPC behavior 
 + Students will be able to reflect on learning by explaining how and why each Agent's behavior acts as such 

- Arcade2 submission and post-assessment (day 10)

 + Students will be able to submit FROGGER GAME to online arcade and save to thumb drive
 + Students will be able to share FROGGER GAME from arcade with a person not part of class
 + Students will complete a post-assessment and reflection relating to learning during FROGGER GAME

-Submission of data

Week 3-4 (funhouse): - Introduction to pixel art and animation

 + Students will be able to create multiple depictions of the same agent to create walking and dying animation of three frames 

- Diffusion elements/integration of “scent”

 + Students will be able to explain the concept of "scent" practically as well as within the realm of Agentsheets
 + Students will be able to produce a working demo using scent to cause at least 3 characters to seek a 4th within a worksheet
 + Students will be able to create a timer and counter and integrate into game
 + Students will be able to create a functional Funhouse with counter, timer, chasers

- Broadcasting elements/win conditions

 + Students will be able to integrate win conditions using broadcasting elements 

- Funhouse game creation - Timer integration - Counter integration

Week 5: - Push/Pull introduction - Revise funhouse game to include Push/pull objectives Week 6: - Build Sokobon game using Push/pull objectives

Week 7-8: - Build Pac Man game - Add multiple levels between worksheets, jump from one level to the next upon completion

Week 9-10: - Utilize “scent” to create simulation involving spread of information

Project Journal

Day 1, Monday: Today, we were introduced to the basics of AgentSheets by creating a functioning Frogger game. This involved creating basic behaviors for different objects onscreen including cars, trucks, logs, and killer sharks. Interactions between different objects, or "agents," were fairly basic during today's session, but it is very apparent that this is but the tip of the iceberg for what AgentSheets has to offer. After completing our Frogger game, we accessed the Scalable Game Design wiki and learned how to navigate the various tutorials and profile pages offered there. We also went to the AgentSheets arcade website which allowed us to upload our Frogger games for everyone to see and use. I awarded my Frogger game 5 out of a possible 5 golden stars. I am excited to see what else we will be getting into as we delve further into the incredible potential of the program.

PS: Lunch was great.

Day 2, Tuesday:Things got real on the programming front today as we dove into the Fun House project. From push/pull mechanics to counters to timers, participant mental stamina was put to the ultimate test. The simplistic nature of the Frogger game disappeared and was replaced with a series of math equations designed to "broadcast" various commands to different Agents on the worksheet. To describe the thinking skills required for this project as "high level" is an understatement. Agentsheets has much more adaptive possibilities than I ever thought possible. I spent a lot of time getting to know the art-making possibilities in the representation design tool. My characters can now animate and have more realistic-looking textures and shading effects. Again, I awarded my Funhouse game 5 out of a possible 5 golden stars. Unfortunately, the golden stars turn into red stars in the Arcade 2 display. This is a huge setback because I do not know the value of red stars versus golden stars.

PS: I spent 4 hours straight staring at the sun, trying to catch a glimpse of Venus, and I could not see anything. Ever again.

Day 3, Wednesday: Well, we kicked off today with a game of Jeopardy to help us review the various computational thinking skills we learned Monday and Tuesday. We then spent a while working through a debug lesson which gave us massive insight into the routines set up within the Agentsheets program for detecting inconsistencies in programming. After that, we went into a rather interesting bouncing ball simulation in which we were presented with three different teaching modalities which were met with varying degrees of success. From direct instruction to more student-led learning, we were able to see and understand the do's and don't's of teaching using the Agentsheet programming.

PS: I need to debug my life.

Day 4, Thursday: Today was the first day we spent entirely focused on STEM-related simulations. We began the day discussing the spread of information and before long we were running a simulation based on spreading a virus through a randomly-moving population. I enjoyed this simulation a great deal as it gave us the oppurtunity to take ourselves out of the "game-creation" mode of thinking and into a more cause-effect-behavior mode. I am once again astonished at the incredible level of detail we are able to achieve in the behaviors of the agents in the simulation. I think I would like to teach this simulation to my students based on the concept of "rumors," how they spread, and the general effect this would have on a population similar to our middle school. In fact, they could even use a smaller pixel-by-pixel agent representation and create a grid based on the floor plan of our entire school. This is definitely the information I intend to share with the science and math teachers at my school to see if they would want to run with this concept while utilizing their advanced brain power.

PS: I started a rumor about another teacher here at the conference and it was really interesting to see how quickly everyone believed it.

Project Journal 2013

Day 1: Day 2: Day 3: Day 4: Day 5: Day 6:

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