Another marathon work session last night saw me putting the finishing touches on a one-week (40-hour) course on desktop and mobile game programming and level design in Unity I’ve created for Digital Media Academy, a summer program for middle & high school students. The course will be taught at 10 locations this summer, with me teaching at one or two of them. This is actually an update / upgrade to a curriculum I first wrote for them last year in which, in a nutshell, students use a library of modular level pieces to design whatever sort of interior/exterior level they want, and we script a very flexible Minecraft-redstone-inspired action sender and receiver framework to stitch together all the interactivity in the levels. I’m actually really fond of that action sender and receiver system and the method has begun to work its way into CosmoKnots and my other projects. Last year’s version of this curriculum had a first person walker character controller, and this year I’ve added a rolling ball character controller, and students can select which they want to use in the game (or per level). There’re still plenty of improvements that could be made (always, always), but for the time being, the project is done and I’m feeling plenty happy about it.
I’m still not sure where teaching fits into my life scheme, but I’ve enjoyed teaching programming and digital media skills to kids for at least 12 years now (I’ve totally lost count). I’ve always wanted to do online tutorials and such, and I’m looking forward to doing more of that on the Defective devblog and elsewhere. If I’m lucky maybe DMA will even feel like letting me publish some of my video demos and lectures from this course 🙂