We at Gamefroot are about empowering todays kids to become tomorrows creative coders, game developers. and design thinkers.
We believe that those wholearn to code and create digital content from a young age are better prepared for the future of work and careers in the games industry. We want to thank you for coming on this journey with us, and allowing us to support you.
After over a decade of being almost totally free, Gamefroot has added a new subscription model. We love seeing people learn about coding and game design. This shift allows us to continue our mission and to keep improving the Gamefroot experience, and to make game creation more accessible and fun for years to come.
Happy New Year Gamefroot users. We’re keeping real busy at this end and will have lots to share with you over the coming weeks as we start to navigate 2022.
To get the 2022 ball rolling here’s a quick look at what to expect over the next couple of months:
A new art pack made to support Aotearoa teachers and students make games based on local stories and contexts, tailored to fit in with the New Zealand Histories curriculum. That said, the pack works for making all kinds of games, and we can’t wait to see what you do with it!
A new shape tool. You asked for it so you’re getting it. Starting with rectangles, very shortly you’ll be able to drop programmable shapes into your level for your prototyping pleasures.
We’re already enjoying this behind the scenes and have made a mini-game where a rectangular playable character made out of a rectangle has to avoid deadly objects that fall from the sky – also rectangles. How fun is that!
New and improved groups / classrooms functionality. Users that have upgraded their account will unlock the ability to add groups / classrooms, invite people and manage users.
This area of work also includes tutorial progress and micro-credentials. These are just around the corner. Users that have micro-credentials will soon have evidence of their skills and achievements and they will be able to share those with others.
The usual! A portion of our time is always spent making Gamefroot better and 2022 is no different. You can expect more bug fixes, faster loading times and user experience improvements as we continue to evolve our platform.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve got plenty more to share with you ranging from new additions to the marketplace, updates to pricing, and more interactive fiction tutorials and updates. It’s going to be a fun ride! Stay tuned and keep coming back. Dan, Gamefroot Co-founder
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
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)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.