Tektoma offers a series of online tutorials that teach children ages 7-17 how to build computer games using the free Game Maker software. There are extensive tutorials for making 5 different types of computer games.
- A racing game
- A memory game
- An arcade game
- A platform game
- A fantasy game
The tutorials run from just over an hour to two and a half hours and are thorough and easy to follow. It will take you longer than the tutorial time to build a game because there are some points that you will pause to work on setting things up. Tektoma offers step-by step video and audio directions and it often has you double check your work by actually playing the game. Alyssa (9) was able to work through the racing game tutorial with little help, although it took her much longer than the hour and half tutorial time.
There is no violence or blood in any of the games, but some of the higher level games deal with shooting, swords, life, health and magic.
Tektoma also offers several tutorials to enhance your children’s game making skills, such as “Using tiles to build a race track”, “Creating and using custom icons” and ” Creating a stand alone version of a game”.
Tektoma has an online forums for help or questions that may arise as you learn to create your own games. Access to all of the tutorials plus the forums is only $14.95 per month or $140 per year.
What we thought:
Our family does not generally play video or computer games, so this review has been a stretch for us. The tutorials are very well done and easy to follow. We were able to create both a memory game and a racing game without any difficulty. The process of creating the games is explained well, but is so complex that I don’t think any of us could do again it without following the tutorial.
Tektoma doesn’t teach you how to code a computer game, it is simply teaching you how to use the Game Maker software. I liken it to using a set of Legos, following the directions and building a preset vehicle or object. Yes, you are building it, but you’re not creating something completely new. Sure the track may have different obstacles and vehicles, but ultimately it’s the same racing game that someone else initially created.
The children enjoyed using Tektoma and creating their own games. They actually enjoyed the process of creating the games more than they enjoyed playing them.
If you have a child who is interested in creating computer games, this is probably a great starting point for him/her. It’s well done and easy to follow and it’s fun to be able to play a computer game that you created.
Tektoma offers a Free-14 day Membership so you can see if it will be a good fit for your kids and you don’t have to take this computer-game-illiterate’s word for it.
This post is included in the Homeschool Curriculum Review Roundup.