What a treat it was to present Carbon Cutters to Mr. Doyle’s 9th and 10th great grade class at the Dwight High School. I found 9th and 10th graders make excellent beta-testers, they really know how to break things!
At the Dwight School they have a Digital Media class where they get to learn all about game design, as well as other interactive media. I was brought in as a guest speaker to talk about Carbon Cutters and my experience as a game developer.
While the concept of carbon offsets may have been new to a lot of the kids, they grasped the overall concept of the game, and really seemed to enjoy themselves. It gave me a new appreciation for the my high school teachers, 45 minute classes seems so short, I am not sure how anybody gets through a lesson plan in that amount of time. I did my best to instill as much pertinent knowledge of game-design and what I thought might appeal to a 9th or 10th grader. I also wanted to make sure what I taught would be within their ability to grasp (even though the kids did seem quite sharp, programming and video game development is still an area they are just starting to explore). I mostly focused on describing the mechanics of the Carbon Cutters game, a broad overview of how the Unity Game Editor works and my game dev workflow with Blender/Photoshop/Audacity/Unity.
After imparting my synopsis of game dev knowledge we moved on to the play testing portion. I ran around the classroom scribbling notes in my pad, documenting the multitude of ways they had managed to make the game break (did I mention that high school kids make good game testers).
The feedback was really enthusiastic, which was great to hear, I was worried that the early beta bugs might cloud their opinion.
Thanks again everyone from the Dwight School! Now back to work, I have a bunch of bugs to attend to…