LevelUp Time™ Studio
The aim of LevelUp Time™ is to gamify education through a comprehensive science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics program designed for children with neurodevelopmental delays, including autism, by using the DIR® Floortime™ teaching method. But it doesn't stop there! LevelUp Time™ is also about instructional design, because how else would you be able to integrate gamification and other technologies into the classroom?
An incredibly hard task for most typical children/adults would be developing a video game. I mean, how does one even go about it? So why teach children with Autism how to go about this difficult task?
Well, for one, learning to design and code is a great skill to have nowadays. I mean, I’m practically helping my students secure possible job opportunities in their future. However, I’m not truly trying to teach design and coding. What I’m trying to teach is both top-down problem solving and sequencing.
Top-Down Problem Solving
A top-down approach is the understanding of one system as a whole and then the breaking down of that larger system into the subsystems that make it up. For example, the finished product of a video game is the larger system. But the question is: what is it that makes up that large system? That’s when we realize we need concepts such as a story, artwork, events (if this, then), character sprites, etc.. Then, to make these necessary subsystems we need supplies such as art boards, drawing paper, pencils, computers, special computer software, etc.
Now through all this, we come to the conclusion that video games do not just simply appear. This problem solving then flows over into sequencing.
The sequence or rather the order in which things happen. Do we start with using the computer? How about loading up our game development software? Should we start testing our game? Wait there isn’t even a game yet! So what do we do!?
Video game creation follows a sequence:
The concept/idea—>The Story—>The Artwork (characters/levels)—> The character and level design —> The digital design —> Putting everything together with development software —> The Game.