Powder Toy

October 20, 2009 § Leave a comment

We have been fully booked every lunchtime this week. Year 7 boys hurtling across the playground, storming the stairway, one hand clutching the handle of a barely used rucksack, the other hand, a half eaten sandwich.

But I just don’t get the attraction of ‘Powder Toy,’ an online physics simulation engine with different elements and materials that interact with each other. Yes, thats it.

I love this little game. I could spend hours experimenting with wind effects and large explosions.

I have sent the link / interest to Science but as yet, we have not heard anything in response. Despite our misgivings, Powder mania is growing, played by almost all students, high and low ability alike, in the lower school year groups. So much so, I have asked Andy to add it to our directory online, step aside Phun / Fantastic Contraption – here comes the Powder house.

Atmosphir is Out of this World

May 20, 2009 § Leave a comment

Atmosphir is a 3D third-person game designer and game playing tool that is simply fantastic and with a number of developments since I last highlight it, its just even better. With our ability to now share it over the network, we are now seeing its true potential. Currenly its been released in private beta – you sign up and you are sent a link, but Dave Werner, Creative Director at Minor Studios has let me share it will students and colleagues via our VLE, (shout and I will send you the link, if you want the MSI, again, drop me a note).

So, potential…. Year 8s on Monday designed, built and tested a level very respectable level with minimal input from me in a one lesson hour, the quietest lesson I have taught in a long time, well maybe until the end with students wanted to share their levels. 6 students stayed during break and those boys have been regular returned at lunchtime all this week. 4 students have downloaded the zip file from the VLE (including one young lady who asked for help installing it) and thats all from just one group. Let me assure you, creativing 3D levels is not childs play with the best levels requiring some really complex and abstract thinking and with more and more pieces / characters the variations are endless.

The ‘adventure themes’ (4) of the game allows players to set the scene.  So our thoughts is to write an Indiana style script, based losely on one of the themes and then to design the game to go with it or vice versa. Look, this is just the tip of the iceberg, so much lies beneath the surface deep in the students imaginations. I would like to know how other students get on with the concept and I would like some help designing the cross curricular idea I have had so far…. Our thanks to Dave Werner.

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