Are you a gamer or a creative person interested in telling stories visually? The video game business is now the major industry in entertainment! It’s larger than both the movie and music industries combined.
In this workshop, attendees created their own digital game for social change, education, or entertainment, with Momo Pixel, a multidisciplinary artist, video game designer, freelance art director, musician, and the creator of Hair Nah. Following the videos and brief workshop outline below, you will come up with ideas for a game, start the blueprint for what it will look like, consider your user, and create pixel art using Piskelapp.com.
You can use this special playlist made just for Momo Pixel’s workshop while you create with us.
In this workshop we’ll focus on the first three phases of game development:
- Ideation: The stage you establish what you’re building. You define the parameters of the game. Why you are making it. Who it’s intended for. Plan a budget. You really dig into your game idea.
- Pre-production: This is where you get into storyboarding, mockups, prototypes, UX, timeline scheduling. If you are working with a producer this is where they would come in and shine!
- Production: Production is where things like game design, programming, sound effects, the mechanics, all the components make the game come to life.
Part 1: Introduction & Game Ideation
WORKSHOP TIME: It’s time for you to embark on ideating a game! In the ideation stage, you’ll want to answer all of these questions:
- What is the game?
- Will it be 2D or 3D?
- What is the art style?
- What do you do in the game?
- What’s the point of the game?
- What are some of the key features it must have?
- Who are its characters?
- When and where does it take place?
- Who is the target audience?
- Which platform are we building this on?
- Is there a takeaway? (optional)
Part 2: Pre-production
Now that we have the game idea. We are going to start making a rough sketch of the idea. It’s okay if you don’t have drawing abilities or aren’t the best. This is purely to understand the basic components of your idea. It helps to create a visual because as you’re creating it sometimes you realize an idea may need to change or adapt.
WORKSHOP TIME: Use paper to create a rough sketch of your idea. Answer the questions:
- What is the first page?
- What will they click on to enter the game?
- What happens once they enter the game?
- Are there settings?
- How many buttons will it require?
- Are there instructions?
- What’s next?
- What’s the first page?
- How do they continue?
- How do they know if they’ve won?
- How do they know they’ve lost?
Part 3: Production & Pixel Art
Production is where the components like game design, programming, sound effects, the mechanics, all the components that digitally make the game come to life. In this phase, you begin to digitally create the game. Every aspect of production makes the game come to life.
We’ll focus on pixel art. Another way to view a pixel is like a cell in a living organism. Pixels are:
- the most basic structural unit of a digital image (hence the name: picture + element = pixel)
- essentially creating a big picture out of small details
WORKSHOP TIME: Open the Piskel app and begin exploring. Click “Create Sprite.” Try to make a cat.
Part 4: Pixel Art & Animation
Video coming soon.
Related Resources to Check Out
- What Exactly Is Pixel Art and How Did It Come Back to Life?
- Pixel-Gameart Appreciation Thread
- How to Start Making Pixel Art #7. Working with lines by Pedro Medeiros | Pixel Grimoire
Attendee Testimonials & Survey Stats
These results include data from Part 1 and 2 of the workshop.
More than 81% of respondents said
- I would recommend Girls Write Now workshops to a friend
More than 91% of respondents said
- I would attend another Girls Write Now Writing Works event
Attendee Before & After
- Understanding the Game Development Process: 450% increase
- Understanding the steps of the pre-production phase of a Game: 450% increase
- Knowing how to plan the beginning process of my own game: 450% increase
- Having created a rough mock-up of my game idea with a UX understanding: 450% increase
- Knowing how to make an object hover: 200% increase
- Knowing how to use pixel art to create my own digital game for social change, education, or entertainment: 450% increase
- All of the workshop was my favorite. I loved being able to turn what I was learning into something I could do – that was very fun and cool.
My favorite part was how easily the presenter explained the game development process. I loved learning the way to make a game and the steps.
I enjoyed asking Momo questions about her life and career.
It was fun trying something new.
This workshop is brought to you by Writing Works, Girls Write Now’s workforce development program, matching young women and gender nonconforming youth with professionals across a broad range of industries, including behind-the-scenes experiences with our Agents of Change partners HBO/Warner Media, Comcast/NBCUniversal, Penguin Random House, the Royal Bank of Canada, Fresh, and many more.