The Wire

February MicroProject: SchoolCraft3D

What if you didn't have to go to school in your regular building, but you could go to school in any kind of building? Where would your school be? Would it be in a mountain? Would it be on stilts over the ocean? Maybe it would be shaped like a rocketship. Maybe it IS a rocketship?!

This month’s challenge is to design the school of your dreams in 3D!

Winter FUNderland Winners!

Congratulations to the Winter FUNderland Winners!

Greetings Squad members! Here it is, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: it’s time to announce the Winter FUNderland MicroProject Winners! The Winter FUNderland Challenge was to design and create your own video games, and share them with your squad! We had a huge number of awesome submissions this month! Some games were simple, some even our best gamers couldn't beat. Thank you so much for making so many fun games!

Our Grand Prize:

Earning the MicroProject Winner Badge and a $60 gift card to Best Buy, is Juan101 from The Blue Falcons squad in from Fremont Intermediate School in Oxnard, California. Juan101's game earned the MicroProject Winner Badge because it is actually five games rolled into one. Juan101 took a number of different classic games and remixed them with Gamestar Mechanic in a new and awesome way. Everyone in MOUSE Headquarters had a lot of fun playing your game. Way to go Juan101!

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Click here to play "5 Games!"

Our First Runner Up:

Our first runner up is Scott S 624 from Halsey's Mouse Squad from Queens, New York. He will receive a RadioShack DIY kit for his squad for his awesome game: "Super Guy."
This game was made by hand in Scratch, it involves flying, avoiding obstacles and monsters and you can make Super Guy shrink or get bigger with the press of a button. Making a game like this in Scratch is really difficult, and Scott S 624 did a great job programming it.


Click here to play Super Guy!

Our Second Runner Up

Also receiving a RadioShack DIY kit is Herobrine555 from Wagner Middle School in New York, New York whose game Brother's Bond is totally rad. In this platformer adventure you go on a quest to find your missing brother with the help of a magical fox. There are a number of puzzles and riddles along the way to make this 7 level game really worth your time. Way to go Herobrine555!

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Click here to play Brother's Bond!

Honorable Mentions

We had so many amazing submissions this month! It was incredibly difficult to choose a winner. We would like to give honorable mentions to tcecorral from Eli Whitney Elementary School for Dremedia: Story Game. This is a choose your own adventure style story game that is really fun to play!

Play Dremedia.

Our other Honorable mention goes to abrahamv from BSMS MOUSE Squad in Moreno Valley, CA. Abrahamv created a game called Parkour Awesomeness that is tons of fun. This game makes you jump from block to block in space. It's difficult but not impossible and makes you want to keep playing over and over until you get it right.

Play Parkour Awesomeness

Shout out for Wins!

It's not too late to give out Wins to your favorite MicroProject entries! Give wins for creativity, technical know-how or inspiration. Click here to check out all the games that were submitted!

When you see someone make a cool MicroProject submission, let them know what they did a great job by giving them a win!

Thank you to the Coordinators and students who participated and submitted such awesome projects! We are looking forward to seeing many more of them in the future.

Be sure to check out this month's competition: SchoolCraft3D.

BrainPOP Game Jam was a WIN!

What does it take to design games for a living? This month, one video design company's awesome staff generously gave up two Wednesday nights to answer that question. MOUSE Squads recently got two opportunities to check out what happens at the back end of BrainPOP, the curriculum based video and game design company!

Only by working with real-live students, they told us, could they make their design as fun, easy, and educational as BrainPOP is known to be. After some snacks and a quick icebreaker, we were invited into a conference room where students sat in swivel chairs around a long table. We felt like real game designers.

Youth from Global Kids led a workshop on serious games, using cards from Grow-a-Game. This helped us to break down game design into its different components. What are the parts of a game? How can a familiar game be redesigned to solve a real-world problem, such as poverty or racism?

Those who attended the first workshop got to work with BrainPOP's "User Experience" (or UX for short) department. They created personas of people who might use the BrainPOP on a smartphone or tablet. Suggestions that came from this included a glossary that defines hard words and a way to access the BrainPOP app while offline.

The second workshop focused on playtesting a new BrainPOP game that it still under development. After playing it for a few minutes we found a lot of bugs in the game! We even got the chance to design our own level, hashing it out on paper for the BrainPOP game design team.

Special thanks to BrainPOP for hosting and Global Kids for playing with us!