Learn CS1/2 by Playing and Building Commercial Grade Casual Games: No Background Required


Designed specifically for instructors of university or high school Introductory Java Programming Classes (CS1/2) with no background in videogames or computer graphics, and based on our original casual game designs, this workshop will:

  1.  lead participants through structured gameplay sessions;
  2. analyze how game mechanics contribute to player engagement;
  3. map core game logic and mechanics to programming constructs taught in CS1/2 classes (e.g., conditionals, loops);
  4.  guide participants to develop simplified versions of these games based on our custom APIs [1] and using CS1/2 programming constructs;
  5. present sample teaching materials based on the games that are being used in our own classrooms, including: lecture materials, hands-on worksheets, and programming assignments;
  6.  discuss our experiences using the materials, including what

worked and what to avoid.
Participants of this workshop will gain the confidence to build similar games, examine approaches to developing teaching materials based on the games and APIs, and understand the challenges inherent to this approach. Students will have the unique opportunity to play with commercial-quality game demos while using CS1/2 concepts to build games that are fun and appropriate for all ages.

Intended audience

Educators of introductory programming classes (university and high school) with a limited or no background in graphics or games.

Agenda and Slides

Topics Presenter
   0. Introduction and overview Sung
  1. Play with existing games and think about CS
  1. Context and Tools: API Explained
  1. Context and Tools: Procedural API details + Demos
  1. Assignment: brainstorm during break
  1. Building a Lab for students
  1. Discuss pitfalls: What worked, what to avoid
  1. Question and Answer