Thinking of working with computer games in your class? Here are some tips to help you get started with Adventure Author.
It works best for 10 year olds and upwards. Those working with younger children may prefer to try using Scratch instead, which was developed at MIT. You could still use the Adventure Author tools Comments Cards and the Ideas Fridge Magnets as stand alone applications to help your pupils plan and evaluate their games. You can get them from the downloads page.
You'll need quite high spec PCs for this. It requires a specialist graphics card, and quite a lot of memory. The technical spec information you need is here. If you're not sure whether your school computers are good enough, ask your technician and try it out one one computer before committing to the project! You will also need a mouse with a wheel. For those of you with Macs - the mac version of the game does not support the toolset. It's not possible to do this project with a mac.
You need to buy a copy of Neverwinter Nights 2. You can get it from high street game shops, or online from places like Amazon. At the time of writing, it is ~£7 in the UK. This software includes the original game, and the toolset which the developers used to make the game. Adventure Author is a free educational plug-in for the toolset. You can download the plugins on our downloads page.
Cathrin has been working on a Teachers' Guide and some example games. You can get these on the Teaching Materials page, along with some tutorial videos which we made.
If you are not a confident IT user, we recommend that you work with a specialist IT teacher, or at least have the support of someone who is an experienced gamer or technician. Go into the project expecting to have a few computer problems - Neverwinter Nights 2 sometimes crashes. Adventure Author is a research project, which means that we give out our software for free, but we can't support it.