Keiron, Katy and I are getting ready for a Gamemaker workshop at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh next week. It's always fun doing community education work because you you don't have school bells ringing in your ears. It's a four day workshop so the kids will have loads of time to get their teeth into their games. They have 18 hours in total. What a luxury!
Even at our last primary school study where the teacher generously spent as much class time as possible, the kids didn't have such long interrupted periods. From the log files, it looks like they had 17 sessions using the software, ranging from a few minutes long to 50 minutes long. That translates to about 6 hours of actual game making work on average, removing the time spent watching demos and waiting for software to load etc.
We're going to try out My Tasks for the first time. I don't think Keiron has unveiled this on the blog yet, as he has been flat out getting it ready for the workshop. It's designed to help the children manage all the complex activities involved in making a game. It's kind of like an online to-do list, but it also gives the option of adding automatic suggestions to the list. Adventure Author can search for common mistakes in your game and alert you to them. If you agree with AA's diagnosis of the problem, you can add it to My Tasks to work on later. All this is in aid of supporting metacognition, if you're wondering. It will be a great way for us to track the strategies the kids are using to solve their problems, and when they switch strategy.