+ Post New Thread
Results 1 to 9 of 9
Educational Software Thread, Gamemaker or Scratch - and for what age? in Technical; We're looking to do some simple/basic game making with our year 7 classes (and get that familiar with using simple ...
  1. #1
    dgsmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Merseyside, England
    Posts
    1,105
    Thank Post
    118
    Thanked 90 Times in 78 Posts
    Rep Power
    36

    Gamemaker or Scratch - and for what age?

    We're looking to do some simple/basic game making with our year 7 classes (and get that familiar with using simple programming) and just wanted to gather some input on this. Does anyone use either gamemaker (yoyo games) or scratch (or both?) and could say whether these are suitable for year 7 students?

    Scratch does seem to be alot easier to get familar with and use, whereas with gamemaker, it appears to be a steeper learning curve and the interface doesn't come across as being as "user friendly" as scratch. What are the thoughts on this? Do some schools use gamemaker with their year 7 classes without any problem, or is it just a little bit too difficult for students of that age?

  2. Thanks to dgsmith from:

    Richard_Finnigan (27th February 2009)

  3. #2
    adhutton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Northeast England
    Posts
    404
    Thank Post
    164
    Thanked 86 Times in 64 Posts
    Rep Power
    54
    In our school we use:

    • Dasher
    • Duck Game
    • Hot Potatoes
    • Pivot
    • Game Maker
    • Scratch
    • Wink


    All can be Googled for download links and information.

    As far as I know, all of these are freeware (for educational use) and are used to teach basic animation, game making etc..

    If you need to know more details I will ask our head of ICT and he can maybe make a more specific recommendation for Y7.

    Andrew

  4. Thanks to adhutton from:

    tech_guy (27th February 2009)

  5. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    13
    Thank Post
    5
    Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts
    Rep Power
    12

    Thumbs up

    We use Scratch and find it very accessible for pupils. I tend to teach them the basics, and begin with an animated story, once they have mastered that I show them the useful stuff (collision detection, timers, variables etc) I then use the tutorials at learnscratch.org - Home to show them the basics of making a simple game. These tutorials have the scripts attached so for differentiation I get lower abilities to modify a game.

    Our Year 7s love it!

  6. #4
    skunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    North West
    Posts
    311
    Thank Post
    88
    Thanked 40 Times in 33 Posts
    Rep Power
    30
    The ICT department have just ditched game maker in favour of scratch. As to the reasons, I am not sure.

  7. #5

    bossman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    3,942
    Thank Post
    1,199
    Thanked 1,069 Times in 760 Posts
    Rep Power
    330
    Hi All,
    We have been looking to implement Gamemaker but have found out that it is not free to use on the network. The costs involved to allow 2 IT suites access at the same time is £300 pounds.
    Excerpt from received e-mail:
    Pricing is based on 10 seat license packs. UK pricing is under review as we work internally in Euros, but haven't adjusted for recent sterling devaluation. Current Price is £50 for 10 licenses.

    So beware it is free only for an individual to use at home.

    @skunk: maybe this is the reason ;-)

  8. #6
    Richard_Finnigan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Northolt
    Posts
    55
    Thank Post
    35
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0
    Gamemaker is excellent I use it with Year 8s and an afterschool club, its one of the few educational/child friendly applications that I know of that has a decent text book. "The Game Makers Handbook", its a welcome relief to be able to avoid the usual teacher's demos and to let the children figure it out from the book. Its good for them to learn how to deal with technical English.

    Mediator by Matchware is another excellent drag and drop development tool.

    I disagree with the educational reason d'etre for all of these drag and drop programming tools, as soon as you try to go beyond the basics the visual programming structures become overly complex and difficult to read, its far easier to do it in code and there is no substitute for teaching the children how to cope with code. As with any difficult learning objective the only place to begin is at the beginning so with Year 6 I use Excel and VBA to create simple puzzles and games and with Year 5 we do some Logo work.

  9. #7
    dgsmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Merseyside, England
    Posts
    1,105
    Thank Post
    118
    Thanked 90 Times in 78 Posts
    Rep Power
    36
    Richard,
    You obviously have clear views about the complexity of programming languages which should be taught in schools. I noticed you mentioned you do this with your year 8 classes - is this because you feel yr7 would find the complexities of gamemaker (compared tp say scratch) hard to grasp (maybe from experience or assumption)? Is it the whole of year 8 or just the upper classes?

  10. #8
    Face-Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    577
    Thank Post
    11
    Thanked 58 Times in 40 Posts
    Rep Power
    70
    We use Scratch it is very good. If you want to be a bit more adventurous why not take a look at Platinum Arts Sandbox - Open Source Free 3D Video Game Maker & Game Design Creation Software/Tool 3d gaming for free.

  11. #9
    Richard_Finnigan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Northolt
    Posts
    55
    Thank Post
    35
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0
    Hi DgSmith, I use gamemaker with all of Year 8 and not Year 7 just because of the scheme of work that I have in place rather than any actual decision about its level of dfficulty.

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Does anyone know an alternative to Scratch?
    By noser in forum Educational Software
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 23rd May 2012, 10:09 AM
  2. ICT4Life and GameMaker Licensing
    By mrforgetful in forum Educational Software
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 13th September 2010, 12:12 PM
  3. GameMaker on Citrix
    By doctor in forum Thin Client and Virtual Machines
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 16th December 2009, 01:38 PM
  4. Installing Gamemaker and Flowol on TS
    By jdibsdale in forum Thin Client and Virtual Machines
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 14th February 2009, 01:37 AM
  5. Scratch
    By Espada in forum Downloads
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 18th May 2007, 09:19 AM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •