Playing 4 Keeps

[p4k/teen] whats new 

Let's see......well today we went to a college it was really else....what else.....oh! right we went to a gaming company that made some pretty cool games it was also the best part of my day so far.....
so...thats it for now.sleepy.gifohmy.gifoh yeah the name of the school was Hunter College!

[p4k/teen] So much different 

Today has been a good trip, but this experience totally changed my ideas of how games are made. I know we only have a few months of making this game of ours but i feel that instead we should make a game design syllabus of what our game would be like. does not have to be long because apparently our game is not that long. I think that if take tips from the game company that we went to today, we can make a better game.

[p4k/teen] Gameplay 

Today was a very interesting day, the Global Kids and I went to the Hunter College where we met Mary. Mary explained to us how Tiltfactor was a game lab where they created games about issues going on around the world. After that we went to the Gamelab located on 24th and Madison in Manhattan. i learned how each person involved in creating a game must work as a team. They each contribute different ideas to the game. I also learned that each game requires hundreds of pages of documents describing how the game operates. Our trip today was really fun.

[p4k/teen] gamelab 

Today in Playing 4 Keeps we went to a collage. Then we went to a place where they make games. In Hunter college they showed us some of the games they had made. Then we went to Gamelab where I saw the most interesting thing there.

there was lots of books on anime and manga. There was also lots of video games hat were on book shelfs and there were all the new systems that were there like the wii the xbox 360 and there was a game cube and other types of game systems there.

[p4k/teen] Todays trip 

Todays trip was alright because we got to go to game places and eat pizza. We learned some new things and got to meet some people with important jobs and careers. We met new people went to a college and found some interesting information. We went to Tiltfactor at Hunter College and Gamelab.

By Armando Porte

[p4k/teen) Gameplay 

Today was a very interesting day. P4K and I went on a trip. We went to Hunter College and learned about Tiltfactor and talked to Mary. She showed us a lot of different games and we talked about all of them the one game I want more Information about is Hush. Then we went to Gamelab and we met with games designer and artist to talk about different games.

[p4k/teen] Trip To Hunter College/Game Lab 

The date is Monday, March 17, of the year 2008....St. Patrick's Day and I refuse to wear green....instead I wear all black for this occasion as i do everyday. As for today's miscallenious festivities, the inventive minds of Global Kids' Playing 4 Kids went on a little journey that would set the course for any ideas and/or changes that we might have concerning our upcoming game that is set to be available for the Microsoft Xbox....Did i mention that it was a double trip, (quadruple if you count lunch at the park and the trip to the Global Kids office located near Baruch College)? It was a very interesting experience and it honestly got me thinking that although my dream profession is to be a game designer,

I learned that it would take a heck of a lot of work if I plan to successfully achieve that goal and accomplish that mission. We also got a little sneak peek at some of the games that were already developed by the students at Tiltfactor studios in Hunter College. The other half of the trip, we went to GameLab and received a discussion on all the step-by-step transactions required to make a game.

[p4k] More Scratch 

Last week was a Scratch week at P4K. We continued the exercise we began the previous Thursday, modding the Archknight’s Adventure platformer. The exercise progressed to greater specificity and detail over the course of the week. As the class grew more comfortable with Scratch’s interface, we could alter more aspects of the game with more skill.

The sound team went from adding sound effects, to adding background music, to making their own music using multiple samples and loops. The animation team began by simply altering the costumes of the characters, but by the end of Thursday, one student had created a new main character with all the necessary poses to animate him. Background designers created designs for every level, mixing photographs with drawings, and a level designer imported sprites from a website and made a new level that looked like Sonic the Hedgehog. Meanwhile, the programmer altered the main character’s abilities and implemented some of the other students’ changes.

The point of the exercise wasn’t to produce a finished product, but rather to give everyone a chance to explore the different roles in greater detail. Overall, I was really pleased with the results, and the week reinforced a lesson I’ve learned this year. Designers need constraints. People are easily overwhelmed if not given any rules for an assignment.

[Press] A virtual dose of reality, a different kind of video game 

Michael Humphrey in a recent online article in the National Catholic Reporter online talks about innovative uses of video games and spotlights the game ICED.

The sit-in, the boycott, the prayer vigil and the video game -- no, it’s not a Sesame Street exercise about which of the four doesn’t belong. This is a wake-up call to activists about what is going to create social change in the digital age.

“Games are a young medium and they are evolving, they are growing up and becoming more able to sustain a different kind of content,” says Suzanne Seggerman, president and cofounder of Games for Change (G4C) (

The New York City-based nonprofit has been called the “Sundance” of digital games for social change. It educates organizations and foundations interested in entering the field.

“Our biggest goal is to activate the nonprofit sector,” Seggerman says, “to let them know that games are really good in engaging young people, especially, in social issues.”

[p4k] Level Design and a Break in the Action 

We had a great week of game design at Playing 4 Keeps. Monday, we spent some time looking at a couple different examples of platformers and discussing how their level design affected playability. When creating a game, it’s important that the levels increase in difficulty at a predictable rate. The player’s ability should increase with the game and they should learn new skills as they go. We need to keep this in mind as we design our game.

We’re starting to get pretty far into development at this point, and the class is beginning to break up into design teams to specialize. For the majority of Monday, we split into an art team, research team, and level design team. The art team made concept art, thinking about what different characters would be in the game, what the main character might look like, and different environments. Our game will take place in New Orleans, so the art team is looking at a lot of images from the disaster. These can be painful to look at, but it’s important that our game accurately depicts what happened.