I had such a great time this year in the Kickflip Program. I can definitely say that it was much different from last year. When we first started I didn’t know what to expect all I knew was that we were designing games and that we were all skateboarders. I didn’t expect to be using Arduino and Processing. Before the program I couldn’t even tell you what those were . During the first two weeks of the program we did some game designing exercises with Nick. Nick is a professor at Parson the New School who is the original designer for the game Diner Dash.
We learned a little on how to use Arduino. Arduino is an open source electronic prototyping platform that allows you to create interactive electronic objects. During the process of making our games we learned how to get an LED to light up on the Arduino. It was easy in the beginning, too easy. As weeks went by we learned more game building techniques with Nick. One techniques was ,to break up into teams and make games., there were rules that had to be set into place. Those rules made it challenging. Most of us struggled because we weren’t allowed to skate in that park so we had to be smart. Over time Nick started to teach his magical ways to us about game design , he was telling us to brainstorm about the types of game that we were going to be making with the Arduino. It was starting to get stressful and overwhelming for me because we were being taught on a college level of learning. Overtime Arduino wasn’t making sense to me. I started to loose focus. I needed something fun to do. I definitely enjoyed brainstorming about games but I struggled sitting at a desk in front of a computer learning how to put wires in a Arduino so something could happen. I knew that is was my job to focus and push through. As time went past we had created about 20 games we sat together and talked about what would work and what would fail, as a group we narrowed it down to two games Skate 2.0 and Zombie Tag. Skate 2.0 was more based on your ability to do tricks on your skateboard whereas Skate Tag was based on the game Tag with a twist that included skateboards. Now that we had two games made we needed a solid rule list so that the games would work. Both groups constantly had to switch rules around so that the games would flow properly. At this late point in the program everyone seemed burnt out and stressed because of the project, including myself.There were times where I thought that we wouldn’t be able to complete our project and be finished on time. Down to the last day we were still working on the final details of our games and were able finish. We all pushed through and eventually were able to test our games. Skate 2.0 had their Arduino hooked up to their boards and Zombie Tag developed bags wired up with the Arduino.I didn’t expect the outcome of the program to end like this two very different games that are actually fun to play. Overall, I had a great experience. Despite the low points in the program when some of us wanted to quit , we strove to the top and completed this wonderful project. I hope to do this again next year.
Thank you Joe and Nick for teaching me on a graduate school level, I learned a lot. Thank you Tal for giving me this wonderful opportunity again.