Description

Learn what it takes to build your own video game worlds. Design and build your own games from start to finish by connecting Lego-like code blocks. Build 2D game worlds, design animated heroes and villains, program game controls and motion, add music, and program game logic. At the end of the week, show off your own original games and play them with friends and family. No prior programming experience required.

What Students Learn

  • Day 1: Lights... Music... Action!
  • Day 2: Animation and 2D Motion
  • Day 3: Computer Generated Art
  • Day 4: Game Design
  • Day 5: Level Creation

Technical Requirements

* Online courses require a modern desktop computer, laptop computer, Chromebook, or Netbook with Internet access and a Chrome (29+), Firefox (30+), Safari (7+), or Edge (20+) browser. No downloads required.

Lesson Plan

Lesson: Introduction
Time: 45+ mins

Introduction

In this lesson, campers will learn the basics of Tynker as they solve fun coding puzzles, complete tutorials, and create their own Knight's Quest game! Puzzle modules 5-7 have campers helping a friendly dragon reach treasure by flying, moving, blasting, and eating its way through obstacles. Additionally, campers will create and customize a dragon avatar! In puzzle modules 8-9, campers will navigate a spaceship Actor on a grid. They'll need to use the grid to determine how far to move the Actor and apply knowledge of angles to determine what angle to turn the Actor.

Modules 10-11 are knight-themed activities that guide campers on how to program a knight to move in four different directions and collect items. In Module 12, campers will apply what they've learned in this lesson to create their own Knights Quest game with enemies, treasure, and more!

Equipment/Materials

  • Computer, laptop, or tablets (1 per camper)

New Code Blocks

  • : Move the Actor forward.
  • : Make the Actor move up.
  • : Repeat blocks inside this loop a specified number of times.
  • : Make the Actor repeat this loop until a true or false (boolean value) determines when the block should stop repeating the code inside it.
  • : Make the Actor eat objects.
  • : Make the Actor destroy objects.
  • : Make the Actor move down.
  • : Make the Actor face the opposite direction.
  • : Move the Actor the specified number of units forward.
  • : If the condition is true, then run the code inside the block.
  • : Rotate the Actor to the right (clockwise) a specified degree.
  • : Rotate the Actor to the left (counter-clockwise) a specified degree.

Vocabulary

  • Coding: Using a computer language to tell the computer what to do
  • Sequence: The order in which steps or events happen
  • Actors: Tynker characters and objects that can talk and interact with each other
  • Command: A specific action or instruction that tells the computer to do something
  • Loop: An action that repeats one or more commands over and over
  • Counting loop: A loop that repeats one or more commands a specific number of times
  • Condition: A logical expression that evaluates to true or false
  • Conditional statement: A type of statement that executes different parts of the code based on whether a logical expression evaluates to true or false

Objectives

Campers will...
  • Apply conditional logic and sequencing to solve puzzles
  • Use code blocks to solve puzzles
  • Apply coding concepts to program Actors to move
  • Create a Knight's Quest game

Getting Started (5 minutes)

Tell campers that today's coding activities involve navigating through obstacles. Practice this concept by completing the activity below:
  • Pair up campers. Next, ask one partner to navigate their other partner to a specified location (for example, to the door, across the room, etc.). Make sure to avoid obstacles and use the following directions: forward, backward, turn right, turn left. After teams successfully navigated their partner to the destination, ask them to switch roles and choose a new destination to navigate to.

Coding Activities (40+ minutes)

The lessons are intended for self-directed learning. Your role will be to facilitate as campers complete the Introduction modules on their own:
1. Overview (Video)
  • A friendly archer demonstrates how to attach Tynker code blocks. Additionally, the archer mentions that campers can create animations, greeting cards, music videos, games, and more using Tynker.
2. What Can You Make? (Video)
  • Campers are introduced to Tynker by watching a short “What can you make?” video.
3. Coding Puzzles (Video)
  • Campers will watch a short animation of a friendly hunter introducing puzzle modules.
4. Dragon Dash (Activity)
  • Campers will have 60 seconds to build their own dragon using Tynker's Character Creator tool. They can customize the dragon's wings, legs, face, accessories, and more!
5. Forward (Puzzle)
  • To solve this puzzle module, campers will need to use one “forward” block to get the dragon to the treasure.
  • Make sure campers are attaching the code blocks correctly.
  • Tell campers to press the Play button to run their code.
  • Are campers using too many "forward" blocks? Explain that using one "forward" block will make the dragon move forward until it reaches an obstacle.
6. Fly Up (Puzzle)
  • This puzzle module introduces the "fly up" code block.
  • Similar to the "forward" block, the "fly up" block will make the dragon keep flying up until it runs into an obstacle.
  • To solve this puzzle module, campers will need to combine the "fly up" and "forward" code blocks to help the dragon reach the treasure.
7. Eat and Blast (Puzzle)
  • This puzzle module introduces the "eat," "blast," and "if-then" code blocks.
  • Point out that the "eat" block will make the dragon eat the fly in front of it and the "blast" block will make the dragon breathe fire (or ice) on the enemy.
  • Give a hint: Ask campers, "What needs to happen in order for the 'if-then' code block to run? In other words, what condition needs to be met?"
  • Emphasize to campers that the dragon must eat a firefly in order to blast a knight.
8. Star Runner (Puzzle)
  • To solve this puzzle module, campers will need to use code blocks to navigate the spaceship to trace the "L" shape.
  • Emphasize that the "turnRight" code block only changes the spaceship's direction--it does not move the spaceship forward.
9. House (Puzzle)
  • Tell campers that they can change the value inside the code blocks.
  • Give a hint: Ask campers…
    • How many degrees does the spaceship need to turn to outline the triangle? (Answer: 120 degrees.)
    • How many degrees does the spaceship need to turn to outline the square? (Answer: 90 degrees.)
  • Optional: Encourage campers to use two ​"repeat​" blocks: Use one "repeat" block to create a square, and use another "repeat" block to create a triangle.
10. Move the Knight (Tutorial)
  • In this tutorial, campers will learn how to add an Actor and make them move in four different directions using the arrow keys (for web)/tilt controls (for mobile).
  • Activities include adding a background and Actor; programming the knight to point in the direction it's walking; using key functions (for web)/tilt controls (for mobile); and programming the knight to switch costumes.
11. Loot Quest (Tutorial)
  • In this tutorial, campers will expand on their previous activity by adding an enemy that the knight must avoid. Additionally, campers will need to add items for the knight to collect.
  • Activities include adding Actors (i.e., shield and goblin); adding sound; programming Actors to appear and disappear; programming Actors to react when touched by other Actors; and using a "forever" loop to make the goblin continuously move towards the knight.
  • Make sure campers are reading the directions carefully. Can they navigate the knight to his sword and shield while avoiding the goblin?
12. Knight's Quest (DIY)
  • In this DIY (do-it-yourself) project, campers will apply what they've learned so far to create their own Knight's Quest game!
  • Note: The tutorial tab provides campers with step-by-step directions and code blocks to help them get started and develop their game.
  • Step 1 of the tutorial includes a completed sample project.
  • Tell campers that they can add Actors from Tynker’s Media Library and grab code blocks from the Blocks tab. Students can also use saved Actors and code by using the backpack tool:

    You can learn more about the backpack tool here:
    https://www.tynker.com/support/backpack

Wrap Up

Unplugged Activity: Discussion
Review today’s coding adventure by leading a discussion. Ask campers:
  • What code blocks can we use to make Actors move? (Example: "move.")
  • What is a sequence? (Answer: The order in which steps or events happen.)
  • What did you learn about sequencing when completing the coding puzzles?
  • What did you learn about loops?
  • How did you modify your Knight's Quest game? Did anyone complete the "Knight's Quest" bonus activities?

Class Presentations

These student-facing slide presentations help educators seamlessly run Tynker lessons in a virtual or physical classroom setting. Each lesson has its own set of slides that introduce the big ideas, suggest unplugged activities, and include a section for each activity module. While running lesson slides, you can switch back and forth between the activity, the slides, answer keys and other lesson materials.
A sample slide presentation is available for your review. Please log in to view all the class presentations available with your plan..
Lesson 1
Introduction
40 Slides
Lesson 2
Lights, Music, Action
23 Slides
Lesson 3
Frame-based Animation
26 Slides
Lesson 4
2D Motion
23 Slides
Lesson 5
Pen Drawing
23 Slides
Lesson 6
Alien Catcher
26 Slides
Lesson 7
Space Breaker
22 Slides
Lesson 8
Fish Tank
19 Slides
Lesson 9
Make Games - Animated Greeting Card
17 Slides
Lesson 10
Make Games - Music Video
15 Slides
Lesson 11
Make Games - Maze Game
18 Slides
Lesson 12
Make Games - 2-Player Battle Game
17 Slides
Lesson 13
Make Games - Animated Story
16 Slides
Lesson 14
Level Design
23 Slides