VGD1

ABOUT THE CLASS – Video Game Design I

Video Game Design I is a single semester introduction to web-based game design, exposing students to the basic elements of the design process, character development, storyboarding, and basic programming. Students in Video Game Design I will learn to work through several different gaming platforms including Gamestar Mechanic and Flowlab, to evaluate the pros and cons of these programs, to teach one another the skills that they learn about each program, and to build useful tutorials for future classes. Toward the end of the semester, students will break away from each of the gaming platforms in order to begin their introduction to complex web programming with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Video Game Design I has been broken into four sections:

Learning Goal #1 – Developing a Story (3-4 Weeks)
This learning goal is all about trying to think like video game designers. By the end, students will be able to write a clear narrative story that combines a real setting with imaginary characters, imaginary experiences, and imaginary challenges while using descriptive details and a sequence of events, as if the story were being written as the levels of a video game.

Learning Goal #2 – Gamestar Mechanic (6 Weeks)
The overall purpose of this learning goal is to get every student comfortable with a simple, two-dimensional gaming platform known as Gamestar Mechanic. All students will learn how to develop characters, how to create stories, and how to build multi-level games. Students will also learn to teach one another each of the skills they develop throughout the process. Students will be evaluated by the number and quality of the levels and sprites they design in a single game.

Learning Goal #3 – Flowlab (4 Weeks)
The overall purpose of this learning goal is to challenge students to compare and contrast a second game development platform, known as Flowlab, with the experience of working through Gamestar Mechanic. All students will create a clear and effective tutorial on how to use Flowlab as a tool for building video games. Students will be evaluated by their peers.

Learning Goal #4 – Introduction to Web Programming (5 Weeks)
The purpose of this learning goal is to expose video game design students to the more complicated and time consuming process of web programming through HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. All students will be able to design a simple game page with interactive buttons and pop ups, preparing them for the aggressive programming lessons they would face if they continue on to Video Game Design II.

About the Instructor

Mr. Lucas has been designing creative and dynamic web content since 2002. He manages a small proprietary business called Keyword Seminole, where he builds websites and optimizes them for better search engine visibility. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History & Political Science from Palm Beach Atlantic University as well as a Master of Science in Library & Information Studies from Florida State University.

His experience as an educator includes three years of teaching Math & Science to Fourth Graders at a Title I Elementary School in Palm Beach County, two years on various teaching assignments in Martin County, five years of training and facilitating instruction for new service employees at The Cheesecake Factory, and two years of presenting at leadership seminars hosted by Longwood University.

At Milwee Middle School, not only does Mr. Lucas teach Video Game Design, but he is also responsible for teaching Milwee Web Design, managing the school’s website, mentoring new teachers, and helping to advise the Yearbook Club. He joined Milwee in 2013.

In addition to the time he spends working for all the pre-engineering students at Milwee, Mr. Lucas is a Research Librarian at the University of Central Florida and a local author of historical non-fiction currently working on a second book. When he isn’t keeping himself busy with projects, he enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with his wife of 15 years who works as a CPA/Analyst with Verizon Wireless.

Email: Jeremy_Lucas (at) scps.k12.fl.us