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Games-making and simulation software

Introduction

With sweeping new changes to the curriculum at both primary and secondary level, there has never been a better time to embed ICT across the curriculum. Enabling students to work collaboratively on games/simulation design and creation is a great way to integrate skills from across the curriculum. When embroiled in such activities pupils/students may use a range of approaches and tools:

  • collaborative approaches to speaking and listening
  • mindmapping tools
  • art/drawing - physically or via software tools
  • writing strong narratives
  • storyboarding
  • programming techniques
  • creation of 2D/3D environments
  • developing soundtracks
  • marketing techniques - podcasting/vodcasting

There's a huge range of software available for schools, both free and comercial. Here are 6 packages that come highly recommended:

2DIY (Commercial)

http://www.2simple.com/2diy/ 

Create your own interactive Flash resources, activities, games, puzzles, quizzes. With this software teachers and primary school children can create cross-curricular, personalised resources and use them on whiteboards, websites and even on Learning Platforms. There are plenty of opportunities for meaningful learning as children plan, design, create, publish and play.

Useful resource area  -  http://www.2diyarchive.co.uk/

Kahootz 3   (Commercial)

http://www.kahootz.com/kz/

 Kahootz 3.0 provides pupils/students with ways to create amazing stories, inventions, habitats, games, movies and soundtracks. Drag and drop programming, using worlds, objects, actions etc

Tag Learning  - http://taglearning.com/productdetails/Kahootz+3.html

Missionmaker   (Commercial)

http://www.immersiveeducation.com/missionmaker/

MissionMaker lets students rapidly create visually 3D rich worlds for first-person 'Missions' - complete with sets, animated characters, dialogue and music.

  • Object oriented
  • 3D realistic
  • programmable

Scratch   (Free)

http://scratch.mit.edu/

Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art -- and share your creations on the web. As young people create and share Scratch projects, they learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. Scratch can also interface with sensor boards.

Scratch Picoboards   - ttp://www.picocricket.com/picoboard.html

Kodu (Free)

http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/kodu/

Kodu is a new visual programming language made specifically for creating games. It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone. The programming environment runs on the Xbox and PC.

The core of the Kodu project is the programming user interface. The language is simple and entirely icon-based. Programs are composed of pages, which are broken down into rules, which are further divided into conditions and actions. Conditions are evaluated simultaneously.

Alice   (Free)

http://www.alice.org/

Alice is an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a teaching tool for introductory computing. It uses 3D graphics and a drag-and-drop interface to facilitate a more engaging, less frustrating first programming experience.

Links