When I think about Kids and Game Design, the first thing that comes to mind is Parkour. Why Parkour? Because when I watched a documentary about this free running art, it was explained as something that everyone naturally possess, does and then stops doing as he gets older and more serious. It is normal for kids to jump over obstacles in the park or climb trees, but it would be weird to see an adult doing it, yet it is healthy for both and you must agree that it would be cool if more serious people did Parkour 🙂
In my opinion the same goes with kids and game design. They are starting out great and then they just stop doing it because they are “too old to play with their toys” and “too old to invent stories about toy characters” (GUILTY). But there is NO “too old” in game design nor Parkour, nor Capoeira for that matter.
If you feel TOO OLD to do anything, then you’re old even before you start doing it.
Working on my first 3D game is a lot of fun and interacting with my two newest team members Usko and Denis is a BLAST. Through our work we are getting to know what we can do, still can’t do, where we can improve and what we have already mastered. But through this process what is most important is knowing ourselves and a good example of all of the above is when I explained the walking cycle animation to my team. I tried to explain it in one way, then in another, did not get that feedback I needed and then I started walking funny (as the character would) and my team started laughing, but they understood how the animation should look like much better than when I was using words. And I was not and WILL NOT be too old to do that, to voice-act a villain, to type childish humor messages on Skype to my team members, to write stories, to collect toys, to play games…and surely I will never be too old to design games.
So when you see your kid developing a story about his toy characters ask him/her more about it. You will be surprised of the back-story he will describe. When you see him jumping over the red slabs on the street and walking normally on the blue ones, ask him why he/she does that? Your kid will be really happy you’re interested in that little game designing brain of his! And once you’re there, lead him onward to more games. Take what you have learned on this blog, or what you already know about games and HELP HIM/HER build worlds that contain every bit of child creativity and fantasy.
So if you are a parent or an older brother/cousin and you see that potential in your younger siblings lead them on to the great doorway of Game Design. You will provide them with nothing but ENDLESS FUN.
Kids and their parents can Start Building games here: