Video Games: Design and Code Your Own Adventure with 17 Projects

Video Games: Design and Code Your Own Adventure with 17 Projects

What does the 13,000-year-old mancala game have in common with today’s Minecraft? They both require logic, critical thinking skills, and creativity! In Video Games: Design and Code Your Own Adventure, readers discover that the video games they play today have their roots in the games kids played in the deserts of Ancient Egypt, and they’ll learn how to design their own games from the initial idea to the final blips on the screen.

Activities in Video Games include creating text-based adventure quests, designing board games, and programming using free, kid-friendly software such as MIT’s Scratch. For kids who just can’t get enough of video games, here’s a chance to visit behind the scenes at a game company to explore the entire design process, from idea to market. They’ll have so much fun they won’t realize they’re learning about geometry, statistics, probability, physics, logic, psychology, and neuroscience.

Price (suggested retail)

  • Softcover, $17.95
  • Hardcover, $22.95
  • eBook, $12.95

Grade Level 4–6

Ages 9–12

GRL W

Subjects

  • Engineering & Technology
  • STEM - STEAM

Author
 

Illustrator
Mike Crosier 

Specs

  • 8 x 10
  • 4-color interior
  • 128 pages

Includes

  • Table of Contents
  • Timeline
  • Charts
  • Glossary
  • Resources
  • Index

ISBN 13

  • Softcover, 9781619303003
  • Hardcover, 9781619302914

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What does the 13,000-year-old mancala game have in common with today’s Minecraft? They both require logic, critical thinking skills, and creativity! In Video Games: Design and Code Your Own Adventure, readers discover that the video games they play today have their roots in the games kids played in the deserts of Ancient Egypt, and they’ll learn how to design their own games from the initial idea to the final blips on the screen.

Activities in Video Games include creating text-based adventure quests, designing board games, and programming using free, kid-friendly software such as MIT’s Scratch. For kids who just can’t get enough of video games, here’s a chance to visit behind the scenes at a game company to explore the entire design process, from idea to market. They’ll have so much fun they won’t realize they’re learning about geometry, statistics, probability, physics, logic, psychology, and neuroscience.


Reviews

Children’s Literature
“. . . Part of the Build It Yourself series, Ceceri’s book proposes to inspire interest in STEAM and would be a useful addition to a middle school library’s resource section on careers in computers and video game design.”

A Best of the Best selection – 2016 Kansas State Reading Circle

Ithaca’s Child
“Video games can be found just about everywhere, from computers to smartphones to Wi-Fi, and it’s not just kids who play them . . . There’s a great section on the power of story in video games and, for your next party, a recipe for Tetris treats. Sprinkled through the book are “words to know” and “bonus points” – fun facts about coding and games- and lots of resources for kids who want to go further.”

Booklist
“. . .This appealing offering should prove to be a popular addition to STEAM collections.”

National Science Teachers Association Recommends (NSTA.org)
“. . .This book is sure to be a hit! . . .Parents and teachers alike who are interested in STEM or STEAM should pick up a copy. I can’t wait to see what my Biology class produces. . .” Read more online.

Publishers Weekly
“Digital natives with a serious interest in gaming should find Ceceri’s handbook an excellent resource” Read the entire review online.

Dave Culyba, Assistant Teaching Professor, Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center
“A nice, gentle introduction to video games. This book does a great job of explaining everything you need to know to get started making games, all the way from the history of video games up to simple tutorials kids can do themselves.”

Cathe Post, Senior Editor, GeekMom.com
“This is an enjoyable journey through the history of video games. It would be great for kids and even grandparents who want to know more about what their kids (and grandkids) are playing!”

Amy Kraft, Game Designer, Cofounder of Monkey Bar Collective, and parent of two young gamers
“The book has everything a burgeoning video game creator needs: a historical context for games, exciting projects to try at home, a peek into the many different roles that go into making games, and an easy-to-follow introduction to coding. Beyond being fun, it’s great at sharpening 21st-century skills. As human beings, it’s in our nature to make and play games, yet making video games can be a daunting proposition. With the fascinating information and exciting hands-on projects in this book, Kathy Ceceri has made video game design accessible and achievable.”

Praise for Other Titles by Kathy Ceceri:

Robotics: Discover the Science and Technology of the Future with 20 Projects
Chicago Public Library selects Robotics as one of their best of the best books for Kids for 2013!
Featured title in School Library Journal December 2013 Focus on Inventions
Publisher’s Weekly
“Ceceri’s cartoon-illustrated activity book, an addition to the Build It Yourself series, introduces readers to robotics, with information on its history, different robot technologies, and the evolution of the field . . . Light in tone but dense with information, this guide should appeal to those who already have a strong interest in the topic and are ready for a hands-on challenge.”

Micronations: Invent Your Own Country and Culture
Charlotte’s Library
“Ceceri walks kids through all the things that go into making a modern country—the physical features of the land, the basics of government and economy, the symbolic elements of nation building, and more . . . It’s very much worth using in an educational setting, and even worth giving in a more casual way to your kid at home who has a penchant for social studies trivia!”


Look Inside

look inside book
look inside book spread

Projects

project image

Make a Cardboard Arcade Game

In 2011, nine­-year­-old Caine Monroy built working cardboard versions of his favorite arcade games in his dad’s auto parts shop, including a basketball toss and a tabletop soccer game with plastic army men. A customer named Nirvan Mullick liked Caine’s Arcade so much, he invited lots of people to come and play. Mullick also made a short documentary about Caine’s Arcade, and Caine became famous! You can watch the video here. www.cainesarcade.com

Click here to download a print-friendly PDF


Author-Illustrator

author image

Kathy Ceceri

Kathy Ceceri is About.com’s Homeschooling Expert and a fan of art mixed with science. Her books include Robotics: Discover the Science and Technology of the Future, named “Best of the Best” by the Chicago Public Library, and Geek Mom: Projects, Tips, and Adventures for Moms and Their 21st-Century Families. She lives in Upstate New York.



More Details

Grade Level: 4–6
Ages: 9–12
GRL: W
Subjects: Engineering & Technology, STEM - STEAM,
Specs: 8 x 10 , 4-color interior , 128 pages,
Includes: Table of Contents, Timeline, Charts, Glossary, Resources, Index,

Reviews

Children’s Literature
“. . . Part of the Build It Yourself series, Ceceri’s book proposes to inspire interest in STEAM and would be a useful addition to a middle school library’s resource section on careers in computers and video game design.”

A Best of the Best selection – 2016 Kansas State Reading Circle

Ithaca’s Child
“Video games can be found just about everywhere, from computers to smartphones to Wi-Fi, and it’s not just kids who play them . . . There’s a great section on the power of story in video games and, for your next party, a recipe for Tetris treats. Sprinkled through the book are “words to know” and “bonus points” – fun facts about coding and games- and lots of resources for kids who want to go further.”

Booklist
“. . .This appealing offering should prove to be a popular addition to STEAM collections.”

National Science Teachers Association Recommends (NSTA.org)
“. . .This book is sure to be a hit! . . .Parents and teachers alike who are interested in STEM or STEAM should pick up a copy. I can’t wait to see what my Biology class produces. . .” Read more online.

Publishers Weekly
“Digital natives with a serious interest in gaming should find Ceceri’s handbook an excellent resource” Read the entire review online.

Dave Culyba, Assistant Teaching Professor, Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center
“A nice, gentle introduction to video games. This book does a great job of explaining everything you need to know to get started making games, all the way from the history of video games up to simple tutorials kids can do themselves.”

Cathe Post, Senior Editor, GeekMom.com
“This is an enjoyable journey through the history of video games. It would be great for kids and even grandparents who want to know more about what their kids (and grandkids) are playing!”

Amy Kraft, Game Designer, Cofounder of Monkey Bar Collective, and parent of two young gamers
“The book has everything a burgeoning video game creator needs: a historical context for games, exciting projects to try at home, a peek into the many different roles that go into making games, and an easy-to-follow introduction to coding. Beyond being fun, it’s great at sharpening 21st-century skills. As human beings, it’s in our nature to make and play games, yet making video games can be a daunting proposition. With the fascinating information and exciting hands-on projects in this book, Kathy Ceceri has made video game design accessible and achievable.”

Praise for Other Titles by Kathy Ceceri:

Robotics: Discover the Science and Technology of the Future with 20 Projects
Chicago Public Library selects Robotics as one of their best of the best books for Kids for 2013!
Featured title in School Library Journal December 2013 Focus on Inventions
Publisher’s Weekly
“Ceceri’s cartoon-illustrated activity book, an addition to the Build It Yourself series, introduces readers to robotics, with information on its history, different robot technologies, and the evolution of the field . . . Light in tone but dense with information, this guide should appeal to those who already have a strong interest in the topic and are ready for a hands-on challenge.”

Micronations: Invent Your Own Country and Culture
Charlotte’s Library
“Ceceri walks kids through all the things that go into making a modern country—the physical features of the land, the basics of government and economy, the symbolic elements of nation building, and more . . . It’s very much worth using in an educational setting, and even worth giving in a more casual way to your kid at home who has a penchant for social studies trivia!”


Projects

project image

Make a Cardboard Arcade Game

In 2011, nine­-year­-old Caine Monroy built working cardboard versions of his favorite arcade games in his dad’s auto parts shop, including a basketball toss and a tabletop soccer game with plastic army men. A customer named Nirvan Mullick liked Caine’s Arcade so much, he invited lots of people to come and play. Mullick also made a short documentary about Caine’s Arcade, and Caine became famous! You can watch the video here. www.cainesarcade.com


Click here to download a print-friendly PDF

Author-Illustrator

author image

Kathy Ceceri

Kathy Ceceri is About.com’s Homeschooling Expert and a fan of art mixed with science. Her books include Robotics: Discover the Science and Technology of the Future, named “Best of the Best” by the Chicago Public Library, and Geek Mom: Projects, Tips, and Adventures for Moms and Their 21st-Century Families. She lives in Upstate New York.