This is the outline of a course in game-making delivered to 11 and 12 year olds in Melbourne, Australia. It uses Disney Infinity as a tool to support students in their game making pursuits. The sessions were only one-hour long over six weeks.
Week 2 – Characters & Storyworlds
In the second week it is time to get started thinking about games we’d like to make in small groups.
This requires some thinking about characters and stories.
Have as many Disney Infinity Characters out as possible. In small groups allow the students to choose one, play with them and talk about which are their favourites and why. This is an excellent activity as it brings students pop culture understandings into the classroom. They know these characters, they can relate to their stories and this helps in creating new ones.
Talk about what a Mash-Up is? And, talk about how the ToyBox lets us play in the way we play with toys. Get the small groups to undertake an activity – take a character and put it in a different storyworld. What would it be like if Dash was in the Lone Ranger world for example. Get the students to draw or write or create a new story out of this mash up.
The Goal! Now, make sure students come up with a goal for their character. What is it they want to achieve in the storyworld and allow that to guide the story.
Think about a new game. Ask students to imagine a game they would like to create. Challenge them to think through the questions below and allow this to begin to shape their game.
- Who is my character? What is my character like? What is their goal?
- What is my storyworld? Where does my character live? What is that world like? What is safe? What is dangerous?
- What is my story? How does it begin? What happens in the middle? How does it end?
At the end of this session, explain to students that they have actually begun making their game. It might not feel like they have touched a computer, but the story and the characters and the world are all very important.