I had the fantastic opportunity to visit a local elementary school over the summer to visit their Strategic Games classes. In the summer class, kiddos ages 7-10 gather to play a variety of titles such as Stratego, Blokus, Mastermind, Risk, Chess, and more. The lead teacher was kind enough to invite me in to share with the students how I got into designing games, what went into designing Gamestormers, and answer any questions they had.
I was very impressed with the various questions the students asked me. Some inquired about where I get ideas for my games. Others asked about the game art and how it was made. My favorite question was about what it takes to get something made and shared with the world – it definitely made me reflect on my own process (see my answer below)!
Another impressive quality the students possessed was their ability to quickly pick up the rules for Gamestormers. I taught them the party version, where one player serves as judge for the round, and the rest of the players creates their own 5-card game idea from the cards they are dealt. Within minutes, the students launched into their game rounds, and I marveled at the creativity and innovation they displayed as they described their ideas to the judges around the room.
I heard so many incredible game ideas. There were trolls taking over far-away planets, a group of parrot pirates joining forces with narwhals to find lost treasure, and even some plucky mummies putting on a festival meant to impress the local time travelers who bounced around looking for the best time in history. Suffice it to say, these elementary students blew me away with their creativity and storytelling! In addition to all of the stories, I also heard plenty of laughter, clapping, and “that was awesome” happening in the classroom.
What makes the experience sharing the game with elementary students so fantastic is that we just released our brand new Game Design Course – a FREE curriculum for 4th grade through 12th grade students with everything an educator, school, or organization would need to teach game design. The course is designed for 15 one-hour lessons, or three weeks of content for a summer school course, makerspace project, or more! The best news? ANYONE can teach the course … no game design experience necessary! We are hoping this course brings the same joy that I experienced watching Gamestormers being played in the elementary school classroom this past summer.