Coral Springs High School students with a strong interest in designing video games are learning how to develop and create exciting games involving the latest technology. They are learning about the digital technology necessary create the games they love to play. They are part of the Foundations of Game Design program.
“The gaming class helps students learn about digital technology and lays the groundwork for them to enter the gaming industry,” said Jason Freedman, who teaches gaming at Coral Springs High School. “They are learning to make classic video games using a program called Game Maker.”
The students are making classic video games such as Brick Breaker, Tetris and Asteroids. They are learning all the skills needed to make such a game. For example to create a version of Asteroids, one of the more popular games, they have to interpret all the concepts employed in the game of Asteroids and make their own version of that style of the game. It will feel similar but will be a totally different game. The young people are learning what is involved in taking the game from the basic idea through its development and to the point where it can be pitched to a company. They are learning how to test the game and to make sure it works properly. They develop a storyboard, come up with a proposal, program the game and then test it in an open classroom environment with their fellow students.
Freedman is proud of the students. They earned first and second place in 3D animation, first, second and third place in 3D modeling and first place in web design. The gaming students were part of the Business Professionals of America District competition. They are looking forward to competing in the state competition in Orlando in February and if successful there a national competition in Orlando in May.
“To be successful, a game designer needs to be able to understand what makes a game fun and interesting,” said Freedman.
Max Saurez, a senior, is a top game designer at Coral Springs High School. “I am learning to write code and how to create fun computer games,” he said. “Right now I am working on a 2D role playing game. We are learning to make the games we love to play.”
Shaqueille Griffin, a senior, also enjoys working in gaming. “I have learned about 3D modeling,” he said. “I have gained some valuable experience here.”
The gaming students are part of the overall Linking Education and Employment Outcomes (LEEO), which encourages students to develop business leadership skills. Many of the students compete in Business Professionals of American events.
The students are all working on individual projects that interest them that they would not have an opportunity to pursue in a traditional classroom setting.. For example students worked on a video project and produced a public service announcement for tire safety. They earned first, second and third place honors that project. A student won first place in digital media project she made and advertisements for the upcoming national competition in Orlando. Made a video to publicize what kind of exciting things will see in Orlando. A student took first place in entrepreneurship. He had to write and pitch a concept for a mobile recording studio to door to door mobile recording studio. These are projects where the students work with mentors where the mentors give them guidance worked with a mentor worked on facts and figures. Worked with a local business owner who is involved with academia. Create projects and compete in the Business Professionals of American contest.
Recently students took first and second place in a news broadcasting team competition at the district competition. They will go to state competition.
Waseef Rahman a junior enjoyed playing the role of reporter in the competition. “I enjoyed learning how to produce a news show,” he said.
Orane Wright, a junior, played the role of editor. “I liked doing the editing work and putting the show together,” he said.