Using GDevelop at the Museum of Design Atlanta - An Interview With Blaire Bosley

Marcos Codas

Marcos Codas

It's an exciting day here at GDevelop, as we interview Museum of Design Atlanta Educator Blaire Bosley. Blaire and the MODA have been giving GDevelop courses for a while, and we wanted to hear about their experience using GDevelop as an educational tool. Let's hear from Blaire!

CAMPMODA Campers. Photo courtesy of MODA.

CAMPMODA Campers. Photo by Liv Donaldson.

Why have you chosen to have a course on game design using GDevelop?

When I first joined MODA, we would primarily teach game design courses using drag and drop software. While our students really loved the software, as they got older and continued to join my class, I noticed that some of them were interested in publishing their own games outside of the platform we were using.

After some research and trial runs with several different softwares, I found GDevelop, which lets our students easily design a working game that they could then publish and share with friends.

Furthermore, we found that while the classes were offered mainly for middle to high school students, some of our younger students were also able to build their own simple platform games very easily.

At MODA, we celebrate design as a creative process so giving folks the tools to experience the power of design easily is important to us.

In your opinion, what problems does GDevelop offer solutions for?

GDevelop allows for users to create games with their own unique styles and worlds.

One of the features I really love is the integration of Piskel, which has allowed students to design their own characters and easily add them into the game.

I also like the resources that students have access to, which allows users to feel confident continuing to design their game even if the class has finished.

CAMPMODA Campers. Photo courtesy of MODA.

CAMPMODA Campers. Photo by Liv Donaldson.

From an educational perspective, what do you believe the advantages of no-code software are?

While coding is a skillset that all students should have some familiarity with, I believe that a no-code software can still allow students to gain the skills needed to design a worthwhile game.

GDevelop also offers students the opportunity to think about the steps they need to make to design their game in a linear process. It gives students a sense of confidence to design their games and continue on their own.

While in contrast, when they have to program but can not readily ask a teacher, it can keep them from continuing a project.

For a museum, what are the benefits of using open source software?

At MODA, we like to offer young designers resources and tools that do not have a financial barrier. With softwares like GDevelop, our students can continue designing without having to worry about whether they can afford to use a software for another month, or if they are going to be removed from a subscription.

What has the reception been like for this program?

Students have really enjoyed having the opportunity to design their own games and share them with family and friends. We have received a lot of positive feedback from students and their parents.

Also, the accessibility offered by GDevelop allows for students to stay engaged and feel as though they have the opportunity to continue designing their own games and projects!

Level Up: Pixels, Play & Progress (photo credit: Gene Phillips)

Level Up: Pixels, Play & Progress (photo credit: Gene Phillips)

What can open source initiatives like GDevelop do to facilitate their usage by institutions like museums?

I think many institutions might feel as though they do not have anyone with the "right" credentials to teach a specific class. However, I think by making tools accessible to these institutions and giving them resources, they are able to easily see how this software can be integrated into the curriculum. 

It would also be nice to have lesson plans and example projects catering towards younger students where they are able to add the correct assets and code to build and design their own simple games.

Level Up: Pixels, Play & Progress (photo credit: Gene Phillips

Level Up: Pixels, Play & Progress (photo credit: Gene Phillips)

The simplicity of the software allows anyone to feel confident in using the software on their own, which is really important to our mission at MODA to empower people to design a better world.

Currently at MODA we have an exhibit, Level Up! Pixels,Play, and Progress, which focuses on how video games can be a driving force in promoting change. Through open source tools like GDevelop, we are able to share with our visitors how they can also create their own games.