s DSA in Focus

Journey to Game Design

By Ashley Han

"Yea, I love them. Although sometimes, I treat them too much like my peers." It was an incredible honor to be able to work with Mr. B and all the students in his game design pathway. Every time I go to his class, I get amazed by his enthusiasm and love for game design. Bob actually re-designed the entire curriculum so that his students could learn techniques and skills that they could really use and apply. Even to me, he was so willing to use up his planning period to talk more about the project and even let me try the virtual reality project that his students made last year.

After four years in Mr. Bob's game design class, you can go from sketching and jotting down ideas on paper to making actual 3D games. As a 9th grader, students begin learning about the basic game design principles through board games. As a 10th grader, students start to model simple games through game maker and unity. Because DSA does not offer any computer science classes, students learn how to code C++ and JavaScript through tutorials. A lot of the students are self-taught! On top of this, students learn the history and ethics behind game design. By junior year, students are asked to plan and make their own games from scratch. Students have to come up with everything from their own game idea, plot, character, scene, to even sound. Along with this project, students even learn about product management and marketing. As a senior, the entire year is up to the student. Final senior projects ranged from amazing 3D unity games to virtual reality projects. By the time students graduate, students all have their own website that showcases all their works and projects. To me, what makes this pathway so amazing is the energy and collaboration happening among the students. It's so amazing to see students with different interests (ranging from 2D, 3D, audio, to writing) sharing their thoughts and ideas to create games together. Because Bob has such incredible connections with his students, I was fortunate enough to really get to know a lot of the students in the pathway. If I knew about this pathway earlier, I would have definitely done it myself!