Weekly classes go from September 8th to December 8th. IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO SIGN UP, since the classes are recorded and available for you to learn from at your own convenience. Register now!
I have been a homeschool dad for the past 16 years. For the most part this has meant that I support my wife as well as I can as she homeschools the kids. Two things have caused me to get more involved: (1) my kids have gotten older (so I get to do more, especially as a math mentor), and (2) we’ve been involved in commonwealths and other organized groups where they have had a need for volunteers. My personal journey has led me to the point where I’m ready to offer a really cool class on video game design with an emphasis on making money (aka, entrepreneur).
What is this class about?
This class is about math, science and money. Oh wait, only one of those three is going to get the attention of most kids (kids will be the bulk of students). This class has two purposes:
To introduce video game design, and learn how to create our own games that can be put on the market. This is not a conceptual, learn a piece of the puzzle, class. The goal is to get games done and put them on the market. We will use the GameSalad development platform. GameSalad provides a robust and functional development environment. You are not going to do hard-core programming with GameSalad but you will definitely learn programming concepts and logic. It’s amazing to see what people have create with GameSalad (more on that below).
To help you make money with your video games. I can’t promise any results, but I want students to get their games to market and have people buy them. I talked to someone earlier this year who said he has about 100 games published (aka, on the market), and he makes $2k – $3k per month in royalties. This is a non-programmer who has a day job. The games are just his hobby! I LOVE THIS because I want to empower people to make money! I want everyone to think about ways to earn financial freedom, or a few bucks in monthly recurring revenue. For some people, the goal is to make thousands of dollars each month. For some kids, earning $20 a month in recurring revenue is beyond their dreams. I want to show that this can happen. Can you imagine pushing out a bunch of games that pay for college? A car? Insurance? Gas? That’s pretty cool!
There should be byproducts of participating in this class. Students will see math and science at work. Let’s go from conceptual “when am I ever going to need to know this stuff!?” to appreciating, wanting to learn more, and maybe even loving math and science!
Did you know Angry Birds is a game of physics? Consider shooting a birdie from a slingshot… it has direction, speed and gravitational pull considerations. How far does the bird go (and what variables could change the length, speed, direction)? When does it start to go towards the ground? How money blocks, bricks, and sticks blown away, and in what direction do they go, and with what force? This can be overwhelmingly confusing in a high school physics class (for me it was), but it is is awesome stuff! If YOU are creating the game, you have to think about this stuff. We’re going to sneak math and science into our brains the way you can sneak black beans into brownies. See what we’re doing here?
Who is this class for?
This class if for anyone who is interested in (a) video game design or (b) being an entrepreneur. It is also for anyone who is looking for independent math, science, entrepreneur, or elective classes at the high school or college level. Registrants include:
- Homeschool kids
- Public school kids
- Parents / adults
As I mention below, I’m not putting a must-be-at-least age limit for registrants. I’m designing this class so the younger students learn enough tools to create their own games. Whether they finish a game is up to them and the environment at home (do they have enough time to work on it, are they driven and focused on the project, etc.). Why would adults take this class? Maybe they want to learn a new skill. Maybe they want to brush up on technical skills. Maybe they want to be the coolest adult on their block. Or maybe they *just* want to create another revenue stream (you know, for holidays, vacations, etc.).
Will this fit my schedule?
Yes! The live webinar will be Monday morning at 9am MST, for about one hour. It will be recorded, and each student will have access to archived recording throughout the semester. Classes start on Monday, September 8, and end on Monday, December 8. This allows you to take this class as a self-directed student. Note: if I have problems on a live webinar, or have scheduling issues, I will record the class and put it in the library as soon as possible.
What about location?
Every class will be virtual, so location really doesn’t matter. Within a week of opening registration we have students from Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and Utah. I hope to have students from every state in the U.S., and outside of the U.S. Even my kids will listen to the classes remotely (one floor above me).
I am looking at doing at least one hackathon each semester. This will be in the Salt Lake area, and is 100% optional.
What about video games and addiction?
Good question. First, this class is about creating, not consumption. We’re not learning how to play video games. I’m really using video game design as a vehicle to teach other stuff (math, science, logic, project management, creative design, computer skills, marketing, etc.). Recently I was asked to reconcile the idea of teaching people to create video games with not supporting addiction to video games. This is like asking anyone who loves photography, or teaches photography, to reconcile their photography skills with those other addiction problems.
I don’t really care for video games. If I have free time, I’m likely not going to be found playing games. Ironic, isn’t it? But I am passionate about self-empowerment, and learning. Interestingly, I’m noodling on the idea of an extra optional assignment to research what makes certain popular games so addicting. As I studied this out in some articles (search for “Candy Crush addiction,” for example), I found some great stuff. I’m not interested in training people to think “how can I get people addicted, and then pay me more money?,” but I am interested in personal empowerment. Video game design, for me, is just a vehicle to get there.
What is the cost?
Currently the price is $50/semester. Yes, this is ridiculously low. You can’t get piano for $50 for a semester, nor much of anything. There is a local big-name university that has a week-long boot camp for about $300. The risk of pricing this at $50 is that it makes it look cheap, and “you get what you pay for,” right? As a dad who has paid for stuff for my kids, I wanted to make this affordable for families. It’s hard for homeschool families to pay for so much out-of-pocket. I would rather have a lot of students, and siblings from the same family, sign up, and have it be really affordable, than to have just a handful do it for $100+. So, sorry it’s priced so low… I don’t mean to give you the feeling that this is a cheap class. Hopefully this pricing will help a lot of families (or the students themselves) be able to afford it.
Family pricing, per semester, is $50 each for the first two people, then $25 for each person after that. For example, from one family, price per person:
- $50 (first person) pay for one person here
- add $50 (second person) pay for two here
- add $25 (third person) pay for three
- add $25 (fourth person) pay for four
- add $25 (fifth person, etc.) pay for five, six, seven, eight… (for more, you can change the link to the right amount, just add $25 for each new person)
I hope there aren’t refunds, but life happens… you can get a refund through the second class (before the third class starts).