“The shortest relationship is between students and books… They commit one day before exams & after exams they break up.” – Mary Howard. I like this quote because for Propel we won’t be having exams. One of the things I love the most about Propel is the time we get for project work. I am looking forward to the summer as well as my final project.
For my first and final project, Nick, Shae and I have been creating a video game. The game we are making is going to be an RPG (Role play game). Making a video game is very difficult because you have to come up with the ideas of the game, you need the plot of the game and all of the different NPC’s (non-player characters). Most people think that video games are useless but, during this project I learned to be more creative while collaborating with my friends to make the videogame. This project has helped me with time management and teamwork. During this project, I have experienced many difficulties, mostly just losing progress and having to restart. The first time I had to restart it was because my computer is slightly broken and if you press on one part too hard it shuts off. The second time was when we had to change programs so we could implement the characters that Shae had created for the game. For the project, my task was to make all of the maps and some of the basic coding. In total I made around 70 maps, each map took from 10 minutes to about 3 hours or maybe more. Making the maps wasn’t the most difficult thing ever but on some parts I couldn’t find blocks that looked good so it was more difficult. I got Shae, Nick and Kaelyn to all make 1 map for me at points in time because I was tired. My goal at the end was to just touch up the maps that they did but they were pretty good overall. Making maps was extremely fun for me because I enjoyed receiving feedback about them if they were good or bad. In my opinion getting feedback helps me a ton with how the maps look in the end. For the basic coding I did, I just did the functioning of the doors and small jobs like those.
In this wonderful program I have learned many things. One of the things I learned is basic coding for our video game. The way I learned this was by fiddling around because we had a lot of time to work with the program we used which was called Rpg Maker vx ace. I also learned some of it from YouTube videos which were very helpful for clearing somethings up that I couldn’t figure out myself. I have also learned to make maps. I feel like making the maps for our videogame made me more creative. My main goal with the maps was aesthetics to begin with, then I went into the functionality so you couldn’t just walk through walls or anything. I feel as though I am better with time management as well because we had to plan our project and I had to have the maps finished by a certain day. Making maps was a great learning experience for me, I had to watch a large number of videos on mapmaking, I learned some different things with the blocks and how they work. My favourite kind of map to make were all of the caves. I watched a few videos on caves for inspiration and I just love how the caves look.
For gym we had to do a few inquiry questions that required a good amount of research. I learned what that tennis is actually an incredibly difficult, I also learned some of the different effects sports can have on kids. In my opinion I think that every child should play sports because it will help them be active and to communicate with others. We also had to write 8 blogs and the final reflection I am writing right now. I feel like the blogs have helped a lot with my writing because we had our peers edit it to improve our blogs. I feel like the blogs we have written are good for time management because we had a due date for when they had to be posted. The biggest thing I have become more comfortable with is oral presentations and public speaking because of a program we had to do called toastmasters. Toastmasters has helped me a lot even though I did not enjoy it. Toastmasters helped me a lot and I think it could benefit almost anyone. I learned a lot out of Toastmasters like, how to be more comfortable while presenting and receiving feedback on how to improve, I’m glad I had to do it.
The thing I’m most happy about my project is the fact that I am finished all of the maps. After completing all of the maps for our game I felt relief. The project was extremely time consuming and tiring. After I got used to making maps they became a little bit easier than they were before. Overall, I think it all went smoothly and I’m pretty proud of all of the maps that I have created. In my opinion I think that the caves look the best and the caves are what I am most proud of. The most successful thing we have done is completing our videogame.
Problems we had in our game ranged from being unable to implement our characters to having to change the story to losing all of my maps… twice. The first time I lost my maps I had around 6 hours of work put into maps, I didn’t lose too much luckily. The second time it happened I had about 8 hours of work that had been erased. In total it was around 14 hours of work lost in total which sucked a lot. After starting for the third time I began backing up my work so if I lost it I would have another copy. When I first started creating the maps it was a little bit harder than it would be now because I had no experience in map creation. One thing I would do differently would be to research the program better before I used it so I know what other programs are compatible with it. Another regret I had was not backing any of the work up the first time around. I should definitely have a USB to back up any work I have done. One day I gave up on trying to fix everything because I was too exhausted of doing so much of it. In the end I continued though.
Propel has been a great time for me and in Propel we have done tons. One of my favourite things we did was our trip to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. I enjoyed it a lot because the architecture of the building is amazing and it has so much knowledge inside the building that you can learn a lot of different things from the museum. My favourite part of it was when we walked around on the bridges because the building is amazing to see from upper and lower levels. I learned quite a bit while at the museum and I also practiced my French from watching a few documentaries in French while I was there. Another experience I had while in Propel was setting up our classroom. This was very enjoyable to me because we got to paint all the walls and set up tables and draw on walls and make posters, we collaborated a lot and learned a bit about each other. I drew a wolf on a rock for my section of the blackboard wall because I love wolves. On the blackboard wall we got to express somethings about ourselves in the way we wanted to, which I loved. The thing I am most excited about is the fact that we don’t have exams. Taking 5 exams in the first semester was difficult but I would say it’s worth it if I don’t have to write any in the second semester.
Overall I really loved Propel, it showed me a very unique and different way to learn and it allowed me to pursue one of my passions. I feel like in the future I could possibly become a game developer because of the different experience I’ve had in Propel. In the end I think that propel is a wonderful program that is great for people with self-motivation.