Creating a themed Christmas game in Kodu

For this activity, I asked pupils to work in pairs to plan a Christmas-themed game. I demonstrated my own planning using the planning sheets that I was providing them with as well as providing the game I had created based on the planning:

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The game is available here

I was building on some of the skills that they had already developed, e.g. they had recently learnt how to change the colour of the sky at random points and so I was including actions at random points here but instead of the environment changing, it would be the Father Christmas character who would say things at random points.

I chose for my world to be in the shape of a Christmas tree with a white sky to serve as a reminder that the sky colour can be changed in the world settings and also to introduce them to the idea of using the world to create pixel art, which I have seen other classes successfully attempt in the past. This led to lots of present-shaped or tree-shaped worlds appearing around the classroom.

Another feature in Kodu that you can program characters to do is that you can make objects carry objects and then give them. I hadn’t demonstrated this possibility to my classes so I felt this was a good opportunity. I created elves (red and green Kodu characters) that moved randomly around the world, picking up ‘presents’ (different-coloured footballs) and then moving on a path towards Father Christmas’ grotto (a hut) where they would then vanish to give them the effect of disappearing into the hut.

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Some great ideas that different groups had:

One pair decided to take this idea further. They wanted to take the presents to the grotto where they would vanish but they later wanted to access those presents again. There were some different ways to achieve this but if I were to do this myself, I would probably use the ‘creatable’ feature and the scoreboards. Every time an elf bumped a present, it would add one point to the score (the variable tracking the presents). Once it reached 10, obviously the presents would all have been programmed to vanish but on going to a different area, if  the score was 10, I would then use the creatable feature to create 10 presents. Another pair were inspired by the ‘give’ and ‘held’ programming options and decided to have two teams of warring elves who would each wrap the presents in their own colour (when bump [present object] change its colour). At the end of an allotted time period, using the scoreboards to track the variables of the two teams of elves’ presents, you could then use the relational operators to declare the winning elf team.

Resources to download:

Here are copies that you can use yourself if you wish:

Christmas game planning world

Christmas game planning code

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