1/6/2021 Game Design with Kodu Virtual TechShop Recap

Written by volunteer writer Radhika Goyal

Screenshot of large Zoom call during the workshop

When it comes to combining creativity with technology, game design is an incredible outlet as it allows you to design a new world of your own. TechGirlz’s “Game Design with Kodu” workshop explores the ways in which Kodu Game Lab can be used to design completely personalized games.

In this workshop, we first went over the fundamentals of Kodu, which includes building your terrain as well as adding hills and valleys. We then went over additional features that can be used to enhance games. These customizations helped to add personal touches to make the games extra special! In general, when it comes to game design, there is never a right or wrong answer, so the best way to learn is to test out the various features and see which ones you like.

During the workshop, it was really important for my fellow volunteers and I to equip the girls with the tools they need, but also, to encourage them to explore Kodu for themselves as well. I had never volunteered for this topic before, but I still had a wonderful experience volunteering!

I most enjoyed the second half of the workshop, where we went into breakout rooms and started designing our games. That’s the part where we really saw all of the creativity come to life!

Though my volunteers and I were teaching the girls, there was definitely a lot that the girls taught us! Working with them truly reinforced the idea of out-of-the-box thinking. After all, creating a game consists of a series of choices, so it is up to the designer to decide what choices they make. I learned a lot from the creative choices the girls made while designing. Rather than creating games similar to games we play, they challenged themselves to create one-of-a-kind games, which I found very inspiring.

To someone else who is teaching this TechShop, I would advise them to ensure that they provide detailed instructions on how to download Kodu and demonstrate how to use the software. Doing so will make sure that during independent work time, the girls have the necessary skills for creating games of their own.

Do you want to lead a TechShop? Look through TechGirlz’s free curriculum and find one that interests you!