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Game Design for Kids and a Question for Game Makers

Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
edited February 2013 in Games and Technology
Does anyone know if there are good "Build a Game" style things for kids out there? I have an 8 year old that wants to make some form of basic game - are there any kid of construction kits out there for that type of thing that folks are familiar with? Obviously I'll be helping and I do have some programming background (C++ in college, very limited Java, and I use VB at work) but I'd like something he can feel like it was his work in creating.

Thanks!

Lindsay Lohan on

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    BroncbusterBroncbuster Registered User regular
    I used World Builder when I was a kid. It's a point and click adventure type maker, not really much if any animation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Builder

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    TheKoolEagleTheKoolEagle Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    might be above an 8 year old by themself, but Game Maker has always been a fairly easy system for making games, although it would definitely require you doing a bit of coding and other things. Its worth checking out and absolutely free http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker/studio

    if you own a ps3 it might be worth trying to do something with little big planet, I haven't played the game myself much, but I understand that they have an extensive level design tool and I believe a bit of scripting

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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    If you feel it's a bit too soon to start them out on programming (like in visual basic), level editors are always a good way to get things going, especially if they have some form of logic based scripting component.

    The Portal 2 level editor is actually pretty good since it allows you to do quite a large variety of things, and it'll teach the logical application of things like triggers and having a level respond to a player's inputs. For more advanced stuff they may then be able to take the level into Hammer (although it's quite a jump).

    Level generators for logic games in general can be pretty interesting to play around with. I remember mucking around quite a bit with Jetpack ( http://www.adeptsoftware.com/jetpack/ ) and Kye ( http://games.moria.org.uk/kye/ ) when I was a kid.

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    Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    Wow...a friend and I dropped hours into the jetpack designer. good suggestions all, thanks!

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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    The funny thing about Jetpack is that even though it's decades old now, the pixel-art style is back in fashion as "retro". :P

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    RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    My 11-year old has been having a lot of fun with RPGMaker.

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    TheKoolEagleTheKoolEagle Registered User regular
    I've actually been eyeing the most recent version of rpg maker, I remember messing around with it as a kid but I never actually got any story parts or scripting parts in. All I did was make maps that you could run around on.

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    TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    I got started with Hypercard on my old elementary school macs. As I understand it, there is a modern equivalent called HyperNext. Hypercard was ridiculously easy to work with - it was a simple scripting software that let you draw buttons and define actions. Very simple stuff that can make an adventure or RPG game with. I can't personally recommend HyperNext, but if it's like hyper card, it should be easy to use.

    Game Maker is also easy to use, but it's a bit more advanced.

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    TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    http://www.tigabyte.com/index.html

    there you go, the HyperNext website. The thing about Hypercard was that it was like one half a paint program, and one half a scripting engine. So, as a kid, I could spend some time drawing a really neat picture and then go in and add levels of interactivity to it. The scripting language was more robust than it seemed at first, too, allowing me to define global variables and such. I remember I made a phantasy star RPG with it similar to the original game's first person dungeons, where you clicked through a 3D maze (drawn by hand) and random dice rolls would determine battle starts and various stats.

    EDIT: Oh, I was 8 years old at the time, too. Great time to get a kid interested in learning how to program. Dead serious. Be sure to expose him to Basic, too. I picked up Q-Basic around the same time I used Hypercard.

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    ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    My 11-year old has been having a lot of fun with RPGMaker.

    Bonus content for OTRSPD4?

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    Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    I think we're going to download the lite version of rpgmaker tonight and I'll read up on it over the next few days. He's a pokemon fan so a turn based rpg is right up his alley.

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    IncindiumIncindium Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Report back on how rpgmaker lite goes with your kid. My boy is a bit too young yet...

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    GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    If you have a ps3, LittleBigPlanet 2 is freaking AWESOME. Also I think Inform7 is really neat (and powerful) for making text adventures.

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    SirUltimosSirUltimos Don't talk, Rusty. Just paint. Registered User regular
    Keep in mind that the Lite version of RPGMaker is really limited, even in terms of numbers of maps and characters you can have. If you found an older version it may not look as fancy but it may be a little easier to get into if he has some grand ideas in his head.

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    Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    Wow, it is pretty limited. Maybe in a few weeks I can swing buying Ace or I see the older xp version on their site is cheaper and probably sufficient. I'm thinking a weekly or biweekly update video might be fun to share as we make our first game together. Even just to put up on Facebook for family and here if there's interest.

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    Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    I hope no one minds, I'm going to bump this one up. We've been working a bit with the RPG Maker. Mostly me, I've been going through tutorials/youtube videos to get ready to help him create, I figured getting me a baseline of knowledge would let me support him better in this process.

    However, I have a related question. He has become increasingly interested in game making in all its forms as a job/goal. He's only 8, but he would like to know more about partially what is involved in the jobs as they exist today, but more the personal side of things. We're having issues where he just wants to play games all the time, and we've been telling him that people who make games for a living still have other interests and hobbies so I'd love to show him examples of this if possible. Is there anyone out there in Penny Arcade land who makes games for a source of income either primary or supplementary that would be willing to let me bounce some questions their way for him? We could do email/PM/Steamchat/whatever, just looking for a person or two to push a kid into understanding math/school/etc are as important to his goals and that it's not just playing games all the time.

    Thanks in advance!

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