About this project
New Stretch Goal: We have a chance to have a booth at Comic-Con! Let's see if we can get another $2k to pay for a 2-table spot!
MORE STRETCH GOALS:
You may be wondering, "Why marshmallows?" and our answer would have to be, "Because they make it easy to be creative and learn how to program!" We provide the initial idea for the core group of characters and the game platforms - and then just let our scouts just take these and run with them. The idea of a bunch of marshmallows hanging out with chocolate, graham crackers and other friends makes it fun and easy for participants of any age to engage and come up with stories and scenarios for the characters, and in the process, learn the math and science of programming:
- How to make the characters jump convincingly? Physics programming, i.e. emulating inertia, friction.
- What would happen if a marshmallow grabbed onto a balloon? Gameplay scripting, vectors, and loops.
- How to generate new obstacles in the level? Procedural level design, coordinate geometry.
- How to create timers and scoring? Delta time, conditionals, collision detection.
- What do people like most about the game? Data analytics to determine player retention and drop-off rates to improve the game.
And much more!
We will also be teaching design:
- Graphic design
- Character design
- Sprite creation / sprite sheets
- Game level design
- Audio design and editing
- Video editing
We're super-excited about our rewards - the scouts will help design and create them! Now that we've reached our 160th backer, we are celebrating with a brand-new reward - Marshmallow Run DIY Starter Pack #1!
We want to share Marshmallow Run with coding students everywhere. This pack comes with a full set of PNG sprites, backgrounds, and obstacles, and lesson plans for your class, or if you want to just try coding a level at home:
Badges! Scouts who participate will also receive Design Code Build's special-edition STEAM badges.
Cool guest speakers We will also be inviting great guest speakers to come talk to the scouts - special friends of Design Code Build who are experts in the fields of game design, coding, and filmmaking.
And it would be so cool if... Our dream come true would be to bring a group of our Girl Scouts to Apple WWDC this June. We are going to apply! The first year we went to WWDC, in 2008, there were 2000+ developers in attendance, and only 12 of them were female. Things have definitely improved since then, but they could be better still.
Who are we?
Design Code Build is a STEAM academy founded in San Diego, by principals with extensive experience creating award-winning apps, websites, videos, and digital museum experiences. We are also parents and teachers, and enjoy teaching and making things with kids - our next generation of digital visionaries. We are an official community partner of San Diego Girl Scouts.
Everyone will learn to code in Scratch. Troops can also decide on a second focus - whether they would like to support the project further via design, project management, porting and more advanced coding, or marketing. Once troops have decided, we will set up our curricula for each troop and schedule group meetings. Each track will teach a set of software unique to each focus, such as Adobe Photoshop for the design track, Encore and Basecamp for project management, Flurry and Google Analytics for the marketing track, etc.
MARKETING With nearly 500,000 games in the iTunes App Store alone, there is a lot to know to successfully market a game. Scouts will help create and set up Girl Scouts San Diego's first Apple iTunesconnect and Google Play accounts, and learn how to write enticing game descriptions, create game screenshots and preview videos, and track metrics from these portals. In addition, some troop teams will help set up a website for the web version of the game, and learn about web hosting and server administration, as well as setting up browser-based metrics layers such as Google Analytics and Flurry. Still other troop teams will learn how to craft press releases to submit to gaming and tech blogs, and social media gaming sites for reviews. There will also be fun and enriching workshops built around fulfilling the Rewards. Troops can choose whether they want to help provide spin-off Scratch games built to supporters’ wishes; learn 3D-printing technology to print and distribute characters from the game; design and print t-shirts, postcards, stickers, or posters; design plush toys to be created by hand or submitted for production in a limited factory run, and more!
- A set of computers to bring to area troops.
- A meeting space
- Creating and maintaining Apple Developer and Google Play accounts for Girl Scouts San Diego and getting XCode and Android Studio onto enough computers to be able to host development classes.
- Web hosting for the web version of the game
- Stipend for enough teachers for the program so that participating girls will get hands-on instruction and be able to build and launch the game according to schedule.
- Providing as much instructional time as possible to any Girl Scout San Diego troops who would like to participate.
- Materials to support the Rewards program.
Risks and challenges
Everyone we've talked to about this idea is as excited about it as we are. We have, however, recognized that there are some important issues to address:
PARTICIPATION FOR ALL
One of the main reasons why we are excited about this project is that it offers the possibility of teaching girls the various roles involved in a collaborative project and the process of creating a game. Designers, coders, writers/game designers, project managers, marketers. All are critical to the process. Scouts can decide which role they want to take on, and will come away with the confidence that they have contributed meaningfully to this fun project.
How much lasting impact will our lessons have? To be sure our program has the greatest impact, reliable access to computers, and enough dedicated hours by teaching staff is essential. We have ready, willing and able volunteers, but we also want to have the principals be able to pour their time and hearts into this for the amount of time that it takes - we are anticipating anywhere from 9 to 12 months. Our team and pair-coding approach will help make this a memorable experience for all our participants, socially and pedagogically.
It may seem like computers are everywhere these days, but from our experience teaching, we realize that there are still many kids in the upper grades of elementary school and even middle school and high school who do not have regular access to a computer, or internet. We would like for this project to level the playing field - and for us to be able bring our programs to scouts and schools when and where they need support.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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