Welcome to another guest blog entry! Today, we have the pleasure of welcoming André and Willian Holtz, long-time GDevelop game creators. You can check out their games, including André's very popular Ball Challenge 2, on gd.games. Today, however, André Holtz and Willian Holtz will talk to us about a workshop they held in Brazil, teaching kids how to create games using GDevelop. Guys, take it away!
We presented a workshop about game development on GDevelop for SESC & regional students in the city of União da Vitória – Paraná – Brazil, at the invitation of the institution. The workshop was free and open to everyone.
Quality of life and well-being are the focus of SESC's work. Through a wide range of activities, it provides the public with opportunities to develop their full potential. The institution's diversity, national presence and training activities are important aspects of the institution, the basis of all projects and services offered in the areas of health, leisure, culture, education, sports, tourism and sustainability.
The idea for the workshop arose from the great interest of the students, who were already practicing robotics and block and writing programming in SESC classes with Professor Diego Leal de Barros.
In the workshop, there was a theoretical and practical stage, because there were students who already knew block programming and others had no experience. The workshop lasted 4 hours and it was possible to build great content for the students.
In the theoretical stage, subjects such as introduction to indie games development, presentation of games created by the GDevelop community (also including our games: Ball Challenge 1 & Ball Challenge 2 (André H.), Hyddan's Quest (André H.), Ecolândia: Environmental Education (André H.), Pop It Bomb! (André H.), Block the Opponent (André H.), The Last of Cats (André & Willian H.), Jigger and Duff (André & Willian), Aya's Souls: The Skeleton Revange (Willian H. ).
Throughout the presentation we had a conversation with the students about entrepreneurship in the world of games. We present several ways to undertake game development using GDevelop. Still on this topic, we showed the major platforms and game stores that could be used to promote your games, ways to generate revenue such as ads, direct sales, sale of items in games and how GDevelop has an integration with these tools.
There was also a moment where we talked about Game Jams and how they work. We mention the Game Jam that GDevelop promotes and explain how the development process was for Jigger and Duff, second place at GDevelop's Game Jam.
In the practical stage, students learned step-by-step how to create their first project in GDevelop, importing game assets from the integrated store and as well as their computers, programming events, setting up their scene and creating a goal and putting it into practice.
We started by explaining how the entire structure of the engine works and going step by step through the main tools such as events, object creation, behaviors and scene creation and editing. At the same time that we were teaching, they followed the steps on their computers to learn in practice.
There was a moment when we challenged ourselves with the possibility of making something playable in 5 minutes, in order to show the speed and capacity of the engine. At that time, we created a simple platform scene with graphics imported from the store in which the objective was just to dodge the monsters and collect the coins to then finish the game.
In the example made in 5 minutes, in addition to the graphics, it also had behaviors and events such as changing animation, collecting coins, being knocked out by the monster that walked from one side to the other, pressing a button to restart the scene, turning horizontally when walking and turning, layer background, a complete level, and text indicating that the level has ended.
Everyone was surprised to be able to do it so quickly. We then remade the example very slowly, showing it step by step, explaining what each thing was for and how to do it, together with the students at their computers. We then had a break, so students could clear their minds and absorb the concepts shown to them.
After the break, we went to the more practical stage where it was proposed to create a simple game with the knowledge they obtained in the previous stage. Each student created a scene with a game objective such as:
- Crossing a street with passing cars;
- Pick up several coins through the stage;
- Platform games with the mechanic of the player jumping on top of the monster to knock him out;
- Make enemies follow the player;
- And others still working on the example we showed, creating a continuation for the level.
The students then began to put their game idea into practice while we individually helped each one in their development while giving ideas and tips.
The students showed no difficulty in learning the tool, and the interaction and enthusiasm with the class was really rewarding.
GDevelop is a great tool for developing students' logical reasoning, who can access and learn the game engine from an early age. The concept people always have is that to create games you need a big team, a lot of money and you need to know some programming language. However, GDevelop presents an ease and intuitiveness to create games of the most varied types.
It is very important to stimulate logical reasoning (among others) since childhood so that kids can develop skills to solve their problems, find solutions, reflect and make good decisions more easily.
We are very happy with the result that the students achieved in such a short time and we can't wait to participate in other workshops showing the great tool that is GDevelop.