Handheld Arcade I Class

Handheld Arcade I

$150 for 5 weeks – In-Person Instruction

Learn to code your own arcade-style games! In the Handheld Arcade Coding class, students will code and design games using a combination of block-based coding and JavaScript. Projects are easily tested in the online simulator, or downloaded to the pocket-sided GameGo controller to play in your hands.

Age Range: Ages 8-12

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, game maps, and 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

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. Build a clicker-style game and learn to code button-trigger events, keep track of and calculate scores, and use a countdown timer.

Day 2 – Try to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible with a one-player, pong-style game. Use arrow keys to move the paddle along the bottom of the screen. Code a ball projectile to bounce around the screen. Keep track of points, and end the game when the ball falls to the ground. Add obstacles or power-ups to make your game more interesting.

Day 3 – Build an asteroid shooter style game. Create a never-ending field of obstacles that fly towards your player. Dodge the obstacles with key controls, or destroy them with a laser beam. Learn to use randomness to change the look of the obstacles, where they will appear on the screen, and how fast they will move.

Day 4 – Create a collection game where players navigate to collect items while avoiding dangerous, moving obstacles. Use arrow keys to move a character around the screen. Add “food” to collect for points, and “enemies” to dodge. Create a variable to keep track of the player’s lives, and end the game when the number of lives gets down to zero.

Day 5 – Add to and develop your favorite game from the class. Test out games made by other students and share your own with the class.