NZ Histories Gamefroot + Interface 2021 competition

Imagine creating a dynamic and interactive kōrero game that uses the great stories and historic tales of New Zealand Aotearoa that tell us where we came from, how we are connected to each other and the lessons we have learned as we look back on our history.

This competition empowers your students to make an interactive story game themed around New Zealand Aotearoa histories. Your role as their teacher is to guide the students through this process and ensure the history behind their stories are authentic. 

Why interactive stories?

Creating an interactive story game provides students with a hands-on learning experience that connects multiple learning areas including literacy, history, social studies and digital technologies. 

The templates we’ve made available for students / ākonga are designed to be attractive to a range of teachers. If you’re a literacy teacher, a history teacher, a social studies teacher, or a digital technologies teacher this competition is for you! 

The more local the story the better. So if you’re based in Wellington your story might be about early WGTN trade routes, or even the famous Māori chief Te Rauparaha who would pull up to the Thistle Inn on his waka.

If you’re based in Rotorua you might want your students to write about all the geothermal activity or about how when Tutanekai visited the mainland he met Hinemoa. If you’re based in Canterbury you might want your students to write about local sporting heroes, your school values or maybe the earthquake of 2011. It’s up to you! 

If your students are going to include cultural contexts in their game, your local Mana Whenua are an excellent resource for keeping your histories authentic. It’s important that hitories are authentic and that you use reliable resources. 

How it works  

  • Students need a Gamefroot account
  • Login to Gamefroot and open the Interactive Fiction template on the Gamefroot user dashboard
  • Students need to work through and complete each step in the tutorial
  • Once students completed the tutorial, they have the knowledge needed to create their own unique interactive fiction game  

Entry Criteria

  • Games must be based on stories from New Zealand Aotearoa
  • This competition is best suited for students /  ākonga year 7 – 10 
  • Students / ākonga must be based in Aotearoa
  • Games that have been customised beyond the default template (with images and sound) will be ranked higher than those that have not
  • Games must be published on the Gamefroot site
  • The deadline for submission is Friday 1 October at 3pm (the last week of Term 3)

How to submit your entries 

Interactive Fiction Games in Gamefroot

Creating Interactive Fiction Games in Gamefroot

We recently updated our user interface to make creating Interactive Fiction games in Gamefroot even easier. We’ve done this by adding “visual wires” that you can use to connect passages of text together. 

Here are three example games that we have made in partnership with our friend and fellow game designer Edwin “Narrative Designer Extraordinaire“ McRae. 

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Gamefroot 4.5 release – Wires!

We’re excited to announce Gamefroot 4.5 – Wires! 

We’ve made lots of improvements and squashed bugs to make Gamefroot better for you.

This release also includes one major feature that we’re calling Wires. Wires allow you to visually represent coordinates and connect game objects on the screen that have until now only been accessible to you via code. 

Here are two couple of examples of how we’re adding wires to make your Gamefroot experience ever better! 

Interactive Fiction 

In this pick-a-path style example, Gamefroot uses wires to visually link text. This allows writers and game developers alike to focus on the writing and structure of their game instead of coding.

Moving Platforms – coming soon 

In this example we’ve introduced a visual indicator for moving platforms and other scripts that use coordinates in the game world. A snazzy and complementary visual interface will make adding new platforms to your game easier than ever.

We hope you enjoy this update as much as we enjoyed making it.

Later this week (early next) we will be releasing a small but very important update that will greatly improve the speed at which games are download on certain school networks.

Artist spotlight #1

Gamefroot is pleased to introduce Kings Vs. Pigs from our friends at Pixel Frog

Kings Vs. Pigs

It’s time to settle the age old question… Who would win? One king or swarms of pigs, all with detailed animations allowing them to hide in boxes, throw bombs and more! 

Battle King to Pig King, build awesome environments with beautiful tile brushes and decals! 

Make a fun and challenging level using the Kings Vs. Pigs pack. 

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New Zealand Histories – Upcoming Digital ‘Games Based Learning’ Resources

If you’ve been through school in New Zealand like I have you might recall some of your history lessons – I remember tales of Cap’n Cook, European favoring colonisation stories, and British this and British that. Well what I was taught and what I remember learning is all about to change.

The NZ govt is in the process of updating the NZ histories learning area to better reflect a more contemporary understanding of NZ history.

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Gamefroot + United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Hackathon

Last month Gamefroot ran the words first game design hackathon based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (world first in Aotearoa).

A group of local educators, game designers, climate activists and other passionate folk came together and spent half a day learning and designing games to support schools in Aotearoa integrate and weave the Sustainable Development goals into their learning plans and school goals.

The ultimate goal is to empower our kids (and anybody willing)  to integrate these goals into how they choose to live their lives.

If you’re interested in learning more about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, wondering how you could enact them in your school or even your life, or would like Gamefroot to run a hackathon please reach out to us in the comments section.

Gamefroot V4

To our fellow game designers and game developers. 

Last week we released a major update to Gamefroot. So major, in fact, that the game editor (the bit you make games with) was totally rebuilt. No small feat that has taken us the best part of 6 months. 

We decided to make this update because web technologies have evolved since we made Gamefroot V3 and we wanted to ensure Gamefroot was built on a platform that can better accommodate our long term goals.

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