When teaching game design in your classroom we recommend beginning with the following game making tools.  

We also offer examples of student-made games for inspiration!   Kids get excited about designing their own digital games. And so do we!

Teachers are assisting children to transition from content consumers to content creators by introducing them to the latest digital and gaming productivity tools.  It is a very gratifying and exciting process to watch as children take their game ideas from conception to completion sharing their enormous sense of pride and accomplishment as they invite you to play their game for the first time.  Game design in particular offers many opportunities to develop higher order thinking skills like understanding and applying systems thinking, creative problem solving, storytelling, programming and collaborating with others.  We know you will enjoy Globaloria, Tynker, MIT's Scratch, Gamestar Mechanic, Minecraft Edu, Game Salad, Game Maker, Aris and Inkle. We feel they are among the best game making tools we have found.

game making tools

Gamestar Mechanic

This platform is designed to teach principles of game design and systems thinking. They have many excellent materials to get educators started.

Scratch

Created by MIT's Media Lab this programming environment & online educator community where kids create, share and remix animations & video games.

Minecraft Edu

The version of Minecraft for teachers and students, officially supported by Mojang. They offer educator discounts and a custom mod designed for education.

Game Salad

This tool allows you to make games rapidly using a simple drag & drop interface and no coding required.

Tynker

Tynker is a new computing platform designed to teach children computational thinking and programming skills in a fun and imaginative way.

Game Maker

This is another easy entry game making tool that can produce HTML5 web-games. They are currently holding a STEM GameMaker Challenge until November 15th, 2013.

Globaloria

A learning network (K-12 MOOC) teaching youth computer programming, design, making educational games & interactive simulations.

Aris Games

This mobile game building platform is perfect for exploring GEO-Location based games with smartphones.

Inkle

Creator of interactive stories that will let students make and play them with no programming required.