Studio K: A Game Design Curriculum for Computational Thinking


The Goal of the Studio K curriculum is to teach students how to make their own video games with Microsoft Kodu, a visually based, 3D game design tool. We break down the game design process into 7 constructs: Goals, Rules, Assets, Spaces, Play Mechanics, Scoring Systems, and Narrative (GRASPS+N). By thinking of games in terms of these constructs, students can more easily think about how to design fun, engaging games. The Studio K curriculum is also designed to support the development of computational thinking skills and problem solving skills. Educational leaders have identified computational thinking as a critical set of skills that students must be equipped with in order to be successful in any STEM careers. The core structure of Studio K is Play-Fix-Create. Within each mission, students begin by playing a level that highlights the specific learning Goal of a lesson (e.g., Goals, Rules, etc.). Then they play a similar, but broken game, in which they must identify the broken part (which is related to the learning Goal of the lesson), and fix the game. After this, the students can then create their own game using and building on the knowledge gained from each lesson.