13 Mar 2021

Understanding Game Development For Kids

Hritika Singh

Game development is one of the most interesting ways of introducing coding to kids. There are many visual programming languages that can help kids create simple games. Visual Languages like Scratch, MIT App Inventor are great platforms for getting started with game development for beginners. While visual languages eliminate the pain points of debugging errors, text-based languages like Python will help them create complex games.

Games have always been a favorite recreational activity for children. But what if they could use the same for educational purposes? Creating games will help kids in understanding the know-how of the games they play. In the process of learning and building, kids learn to ideate and execute the plan. This recharges their creative juices and helps them develop a structured thought process promoting logical reasoning. This will also develop their imagination and persistence along with physical, cognitive, and emotional strength.

Understanding the Art of Game Development

To create games that will get people hooked, it is crucial to understand the fundamentals of game development. The developer needs to understand the purpose of creating a character and incorporate hurdles and levels keeping in mind the attention span of users.

To get to the basics, let us start with understanding the building blocks of any game. A medium of entertainment, games are created with the purpose of recreation and sometimes, education.

Every game will have these two things -

  1. A goal to reach or a task to finish
  2. The player has control over something

Even the simplest game will have to tick boxes of having these two requirements fulfilled. The creator can then add layers and levels to it later.

How can kids get started with Game Development?

The best way to start when developing any game is to plan things out well in advance. Chalk out all the basics -

  • Who would be the main character?
  • What would they do?
  • What would be the ultimate goal for the player?
  • What theme would the game be based on?

This is the first and the most important step to create your very own game. Use your creativity and imagination to define these questions. Starting with this step will help you stay focused on your task rather than losing the plot in the middle.

To start off with picking brains for getting the basics right, follow these steps -

  1. The theme of the game - Do you want the game to set in a certain era, underwater, into the clouds? Pick out the theme that interests you the most when creating your first game.
  2. The physical appearance of the characters - What kind of clothes do the characters wear? Do they have accessories or weapons with them? What would it look like? Make sure that every detail complements the overall theme of the game.
  3. Figure out the layout of the game - Do you want the characters to solve puzzles, carry out a task, collect something? Figure out this part to sort the core mechanics of your new game.
  4. Create - Put this plan together and you are ready to create a new game!

Why should kids learn Game Development?

Kids are known for their curiosity and coming up with new ideas. Game development courses and design will help them channelize this skill while also building basic science and math concepts. To come up with a unique idea is a fun process. From deciding the theme to the characters - it gives them the opportunity to challenge themselves while thinking in creative ways.

There are various tools and kid's programming languages that can let students learn this skill at their own pace. Let us look at one of such languages.

Game Development using Scratch

Scratch is a visual programming language that can help kids create fun games easily. Developed by MIT, Scratch also has a wide online community of creators that share their ideas. This community has both mentors and students. Kids getting started with the platform can learn a lot from this community.

Scratch lets learners create animations and games while reducing the pain points for them. Learners need to design the game using visual blocks. This eliminates the need for debugging multiple errors. Scratch is optimal for children between 8 to 16 years of age.

Here’s a video of one of our student’s project made using Scratch: Games built on Scratch by Codeyoung students

Also, check out our Master Class where you can learn to build Google's famous T-rex runner game using Scratch Programming. T-Rex Runner Game in Scratch

Hritika Singh

An edtech enthusiast, avid reader who is found exploring new places and writing about them.