This free downloadable game creator let’s you make your very own flash games.
If you’ve ever fancied turning your hand to making a simple flash game or perhaps you’re looking for a summer course project to run with learners then Stencyl could be just the program for you. It’s free, online, simple to download and use and it’s available for either a PC or a Mac. The program comes with a few examples to try out and customize. They are pictured here on the left.
After a quick look I settled on the RPG (role playing game) option. Why? Well . . .
- the vocabulary looked a bit richer and there’s potential to exploit a narrative within the game.
- It also looked quite easy to understand and explain just by looking at the opening shot (see below)
- Learners could be away from computers and draw, design and discuss the game.
The game itself consists of a male or female game character (avatar) who can explore the game world (outdoors, which is pictured above, and indoors) collecting treasure, avoiding obstacles and fighting foes.
Your question may be ‘how do I take this and use it on a summer course?’ Well there are schools out there who are already doing it that may provide you with some ideas:
Summer camp at Cal State Dominguez Hill sets out a three week programme and lists what you will learn and the topics covered.
Emagination runs video game design workshops as well as others with a strong technology slant.
ID Gaming Academy has a more ambitious three week programme that you can watch here:
Different ways to get language production from this could be:
- A learner game design journal where they reflect on things they have learnt and directions they wish to move in.
- Discussing game maps and content with partner or team.
- Writing the game instructions.
- Recording audio descriptions for their game.
- Producing a gaming dictionary for game content.
- Any story lines and narrative giving background to the story.
- Giving a presentation of the game using a presentation tool.
- Writing a walkthrough for other learners to use.
- Writing a review of a learner created game or the creator platform itself.
- Opening a wiki on which to save game images.
I’ve yet to try this as a syllabus elective course for language learners but I can see some great potential here. Any pioneers out there who can give it a go then get in touch with us because we’ll offer you a guest blog post here.