You might expect to see students in a video game design class hard at work doing coding, computer animated design and other technical programming.
But on a recent Monday, a group of students in the Capital Region BOCES CTE Game Design and Implementation program at the Mohonasen Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) put aside their computers and picked up markers, paint brushes and pencils.
The students were working on a project that required them to take a classic non-video game and update it for modern times.
Classmates Lauren DeLara, Nathaniel Shuart and Griffin Coirin chose hnefatafl, one of a family of ancient strategy board games played on a checkered or latticed game board with two armies of uneven numbers. The war strategy game has been played since before 400 BC and was spread around the world by the Vikings.
"We thought it would be cool and more original and outside the box to choose an obscure game and, besides, we all like Norse mythology," said Coirin, who attends CTE from the Niskayuna school district.
"It is an interesting project, but I wish we had more time," added DeLora, who attends CTE from the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District.
"I enjoyed watching the progression of the game design," she added while coloring a border of the game.
Students in the CTE program learn how to design videogames; create web pages, computer graphics and characters using Adobe software; create comics using ComicLife and learn about business procedures and professional etiquette. But they also must learn the history of gaming, artistic skills so that they can design their characters and story-writing abilities.
"I am a writer. I like story-building and telling a story that's fun and interesting," said Ryan Gundermann, who attends the program from the Guilderland Central School District.
Using the historic knowledge they develop and abilities to turn a 2,000-year-old game into a modern game, game design students are then able to better integrate strategy and history into the video games they design and build.
In the top photo, gaming students work on their updated
version of an ancient Viking game.
In the top photo, gaming students work on their updated version of an ancient Viking game.
In the second photo, Lauren DeLara works on a border for
In the second photo, Lauren DeLara works on a border for the game.