Game Development 101
Time 4.7 hrs

Difficulty Intermediate
Prerequisites Eighties Game Review
Departments Human Technologies
Authors Ross Parker
Groupings Individual
Minimum Year Group None


Most likely, you love to play computer games. If so, why not try and build your own. Make it fun, and see if you can get your friends into it.


This work is shared under the following license: Creative Commons BY-SA-NC


The Pitch
Why should I bother learning this?
  • Love games?
  • Why not try and build your own.
  • Make it fun, make it playable.
  • See if you can get your friends into your game.
What is needed to run this unit?
  • Laptop
  • Internet access
  • Stencyl or Flowlab (free game development system)
Interdisciplinary Links
Do not try and force this. What areas of other subjects might this reflect and/discuss language. For IB, links with ToK.
  • ...
Teacher Reflection
What was successful? What needs changing? Alternative Assessments and Lesson Ideas? What other Differentiation Ideas/Plans could be used?

Any CC attribution, thanks, credit, etc.

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5 mins
Love Games?
The Pitch
  • Love games?
  • Why not try and build your own.
  • Make it fun, make it playable.
  • See if you can get your friends into your game.

60 mins
Play Time
  • In this unit, you have two choices for an app to make your game with: Stencyl and Flowlab
  • Use the flow chart below to decide which one is best for you!


  • Go to the Stencyl website and download the application
  • On a Chromebook, you will need to follow the instructions on this document to install Stencyl


  • Give Flowlab a go! It works within your browser.

  • Spend this time playing around with your chosen tool to see what options are available, and how they work.
  • Do not start seriously building a game for now, just try some different options.
5 mins
Media & Game Theory
  • Whilst designing your game, try and remember that:
    • Purpose + Audience = Form.
    • This means that the aim (purpose) of your media (e.g. game in this case) and the people you hope will play it (audience) need to match with the style of game you are making (form).
    • For example, there is little point making a horror game for toddlers, or a childish game for adults.
  • Also, keep in mind the idea of playability or gameplay.
    • If you want people to enjoy your game and recommend it, you have to make it playable.
    • This means making the story clear but not too obvious.
    • The means making it challenging, but not impossibly hard.
    • This can mean many other things!
  • Here are some great videos from Game Maker's Toolkit on YouTube to get you thinking about game design

190 mins
Building It
Hands On
  • Spend this time working on a single game in Stencyl or Flowlab
  • Hopefully from the previous sections you have a rough idea of how to use Stencyl or FlowLab, and can use the tools and resources at your disposal to make something really cool
  • As you go, you might want to consult your peers to see what they think of your game, so that you can keep improving it.

How to design your own characters:

  • To design your own sprites and characters, you can download Pixelitor from Stencyl (it’s free) then draw each frame in Pixelitor. It’s hard, but definitely worth it, if you can draw.

    To download and install Pixelitor, click the Edit Image button on any sprite or tileset, then click OK to install.

  • Flowlab has its own inbuilt pixel sprite editor, complete with several premade sprites!
Testing It
Hands On

As you begin building your game, you'll also want to test it to see how it runs.

How to run a Stencyl game in HTML5:

  • Click into a game that you’ve made, then click run at the very top, and select HTML5.
  • If the HTML5 option appears greyed, you may have to convert your sounds, if any, to the OGG format. This can be done through most file converters.

How to share your Flowlab game

  • Go to your My Games page, accessible from the top menu
  • Click the "Copy Share URL" button. This will copy a shareable link to your game to your clipboard

How to improve your game:

  • If you want to improve your game, you could try getting your family and friends to play it, then rate the game and try to add what they suggested. Try making multiple copies of your game, and applying different changes to each one!
20 mins
Finishing Up
  • When your game is ready, submit a link to it here as evidence of your learning.
Records 1-2 of 2
Unit Students

Shared on 26/04/2024

Shared on 03/10/2023
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