Description

Learn to plan and design a variety of game types. Over the course of a week, you will design and build 2D platformers, top-down RPGs, side scrollers, and physics-based games. Students learn a foundation of programming basics and apply them as they build a different class of game each day. Use the level editor to create a physics game like Angry Birds and design platformer and top-down worlds. 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: Programming Basics
  • Day 2: Level Design
  • Day 3: Physics Games
  • Day 4: Top-Down Games
  • Day 5: Game Studio

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 solve fun coding puzzles as they combine sequencing, conditional logic, and loops. Puzzle modules 5-11 have students 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 12-13, 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 geometry knowledge to determine what angle to turn the Actor.

Equipment/Materials

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

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

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. Forward. Fly Up. (Puzzle)
  • This puzzle module introduces the "repeat" block, which will repeat the code blocks inside it for a specified number of times.
  • Campers can solve this puzzle using only "fly up" and "forward" blocks, but encourage them to use the "repeat" block.
  • Are campers struggling with the "repeat" block?
    • Tell them to write down the steps, work together, and identify the pattern before using any code blocks.
    • Point out that the "repeat" block will repeat code blocks for a specified number of times, which is shown in the number inside the "repeat" block.
    • Give a hint: Tell campers that the value of the "repeat" block is set to the incorrect value of "2." They need to change the "repeat" block to the correct value of "3."
8. 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.
9. Drop Down, Turn Around (Puzzle)
  • This puzzle introduces the “go down” and “turn around” code blocks.
  • Point out that the "go down" code block will make the dragon move down until it hits an obstacle. Also point out that the "turn around" code block will make the dragon face the opposite direction.
  • Are campers struggling? Ask them to break down their code into smaller steps. They can run their code then watch each code block get highlighted in green as the program runs. Make sure campers are checking each step their dragon is taking. Is their code running as expected? If not, suggest they identify where their code performs an unwanted or unexpected actions.
10. Defeat the Knight (Puzzle)
  • To defeat the knight, campers must program their dragon to eat a firefly then “blast” it at the fire knight.
  • Remind campers that they need to eat the bug four times. They can check the number next to the bug to see how many bugs are available to eat.
  • If campers are struggling, encourage them to help each other out and think out loud through their steps before adding code blocks.
11. Ziggurat (Puzzle)
  • This puzzle introduces the "repeat until" block, which tells the Actor to do everything inside the loop again and again until a condition is met. In this case, the condition is the dragon reaching the treasure.
  • Are campers struggling? Ask them to identify a repeating pattern before adding code blocks.
12. 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.
    • Actors- Campers view different examples of Actors. They will also learn that Actors can be programmed to move, make sounds, draw a line, and more.
    • When Actor Clicked- Campers will watch an example of code that uses the "when actor clicked" block.
13. 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.

Wrap Up

Unplugged Activity: Discussion
Review today’s coding adventure by leading a discussion. Ask campers:
  • 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 is one piece of advice you would give someone struggling with coding puzzles?

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
29 Slides
Lesson 2
Frame-based Animation
25 Slides
Lesson 3
Custom Characters
22 Slides
Lesson 4
Physics
23 Slides
Lesson 5
Impulse
22 Slides
Lesson 6
Level Design
20 Slides
Lesson 7
Multi-level Games
21 Slides
Lesson 8
Top-Down Game Design
17 Slides
Lesson 9
Create a Top-Down Game
13 Slides
Lesson 10
Make Games - Pong
20 Slides
Lesson 11
Make Games - Space Breaker
16 Slides
Lesson 12
Make Games - Medieval Soccer
17 Slides
Lesson 13
Make Games - Arcade Shooter
17 Slides
Lesson 14
Make Games - Platformer
13 Slides
Lesson 15
Make Games - Cannon Fight
17 Slides
Lesson 16
Make Games - Maze Game
14 Slides
Lesson 17
Make Games - Tower Offense
14 Slides