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Handheld Arcade Coding Afterschool Class

Handheld Arcade Games

$165 – Virtual Instruction + GameGo Controller to keep!

Learn to code your own arcade-style games on the computer, and then bring them with you anywhere! In the Handheld Arcade Coding afterschool class, students will code and design games using a combination of JavaScript and block-based coding. Projects are easily downloaded to the pocket-sided GameGo controller, so students can take their creations out into the world.

Age Range: Ages 10-14

Prerequisites: Participation is a coding class before (of any type).

Learning Objectives:

  • Know how to create a program, download to the GameGo controller, and run the program
  • Become familiar with coding using both Blocks and JavaScript on the MakeCode Arcade website
  • Design and code scenes and animated game characters
  • Use variables and logic to make game rules and increase difficulty
  • Become more comfortable asking questions and troubleshooting code
  • Practice good coding habits; naming programs and using comments, saving and backing up code

Need: Computer or Chromebook with internet connection which can support video.

Helpful: 3-button mouse. Headset with microphone.

Optional from BadgerBOTS: Borrow a laptop from BadgerBOTS.

Class Overview: We plan our classes with student needs in mind and adjust to progress made each day. A typical schedule looks like:

Day 1 – Learn about the GameGo console and MakeCode Arcade website. Write and run a program using a background and Sprite as a character. Design a new Sprite with the Image Editor.

Day 2 – Use variables to keep track of and calculate coins in a game. Build a clicker-style game and learn to code button-trigger events, add scores, and use a countdown timer.

Day 3 – Understand coordinates and the GameGo screen by building a battleship game. Learn to switch between Blocks and JavaScript languages while creating dialogue between two game characters.

Day 4 – Experiment with the GameGo buttons by adjusting how sensitive a spaceship Sprite is to button presses in a game. Learn to build a Pac-Man style game with both goals and antagonists (enemies).

Day 5 – Add randomness to games to generate unpredictability in games – where an item appears, what color something is, or what number is chosen. Use randomness to improve the Pac-Man style game from the class before. Learn about the video game development process, from game prototype to continued game maintenance and debugging.