We once again speak with an educator so they can share their experience using GDevelop in the classroom. It is the turn of Eduardo J. Reyes Pérez, the developer who has made games for Prime Video. He is also a university professor, and has implemented GDevelop in an art class. Today, we touch base with Eduardo, his program coordinator Gloria, and the students responsible for creating the winning games in Eduardo's in-course development competition.
Eduardo (teacher): The main reason is that GDevelop is fun and super easy to learn. There are two great things I really like about GDevelop: the community and the constant improvements to the engine. There is always an official tutorial for anything you want to do, and the team is always updating with great features that make the process even easier.
Also, the university degree of Digital Arts it's 100% focused on art, and since Gdevelop works with events instead of coding, the students can focus on the design and art of the game itself, which was my objective.
Gloria (Program Coordinator): My main worry was whether the students would be able to develop a video game during time we had for this class, which was only four weeks. He convinced it'd be possible by showing me the platform and giving me a demonstration of how to work with it.
Eduardo: The best thing GDevelop does is its impeccable usability. Most students can find the things they want to do in the first class, and after a few classes, they already know most of the events. One thing I would like to see in the future is the ability to use GDevelop on two screens, one for events and the other for the scene. It would also be super interesting to have an alternative to events, perhaps something node-based, but I'm probably asking for too much on this.
Gloria: From what the students have told me, it has been a tool that has taught them step by step the development of the project and has been easy for them.
From left to right: Students Georgia Harrison Jones Andres, Elio Suarez Alvarez, Duna Agustí Soldevila, Adriana Ezcurra Villalba, Martina Pou i Teixidor, and Eduardo J. Reyes.
It was a fun learning experience. It was very rewarding to get immediate changes when playing around with the program and its interface is really intuitive so that made it easy to learn.
We will definitely be using it more! It feels like there is still so much to learn about it, learning the program and its possibilities will for sure influence the type of games we will make in the future.
I like the interface a lot. I also really like how the developers are so active with the community and put out so many tutorials for absolute beginners like us. I guess I wish it came with more add-ons and tutorials for those as well, since every game has its particular needs, sometimes it’s hard finding the feature you want to find that does a very specific thing.
The idea of Kpop Trainee Simulator emerged from the game-jam prompts themselves! The prompts were “stuck in a loop” and “destroying yourself”, which immediately made us think of Kpop culture because of the many YouTube videos documenting what hell it is to be a Kpop Trainee (strict diets, stricter training schedules, and much more).
Adriana and Elio showing Kpop Trainee Simulator to their teacher Eduardo.
At first we wanted the game to be a satiric approach and poke at this toxic culture, but we ended up with a cute, fun game which had so many routes to take it. We had so much fun developing and making Kpop Trainee Simulator that we want to keep adding features in the future.
When we were told we were going to create a video game from zero, I thought there was a catch. So when presented with the opportunity and tools, I thought, “Wait, what’s stopping me from making all the games I want?” The learning curve was intimidating at the beginning, but once we had the basics down it was a matter of staying creative and driven. I have to say we couldn’t learn that much in class and had to put in the hours at home via YouTube tutorials, feedback from classmates and experimentation. It would’ve been nice to have more time to learn during class hours, but the challenge of problem-solving on our own was fruitful.
From the moment I saw how accessible and intuitive this could be, I had already decided I’d be exploring this tool much further. It’s like a whole world has just opened before my eyes and I can’t wait to have fun working on new ideas.
As an artist I’m very fond of everything to do with the creation of sprites and their animations. As to what I would like to see improve; while working, I would’ve appreciated being able to have different Gdevelop windows open on different monitors (One for the scene and another for the Events).
Georgia working on Flee.
The idea for my game came to me out of the blue when a friend asked me to give him an idea. I just blurted out, “a flea that jumps from dog to dog”, quickly followed by, “actually, don’t do that, I want to do it myself.” I love dogs more than people, so it was a very positive experience for me. The advantage of having such a simple yet solid idea meant I could make the most of the concept and take it to its limits.
We think that learning a new program such as GDevelop was a great opportunity, it is always useful to learn new things. We also discovered a part of us that we didn’t know before and it was such a rewarding experience.
We’d like to keep using it during summer, especially to improve our game (Neon Tunes) and to develop more playable levels, since we’ve been receiving lots of requests from players.
One of our favourite aspects about this program is that it’s easily accessible and intuitive. Even though we had never programmed anything close to a game code, it was pretty easy to find the right commands and the right tutorials to get to the final results.
Martina working on Neon Tunes.
As for the improvements, we’d just point out the necessity to download a bunch of extras that are not included in Gdevelop.
Our main motivation was to create an addictive game inspired by game plays that we find gripping, such as Geometry Dash’s. This game was our main inspiration, especially in terms of art and the simple commands. We wanted to create something that we would like to play while keeping it simple.