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A Roblox Coding and Design Syllabus for 8 year olds

What is a Roblox Game?

Roblox is an online multiplayer 3D game based on a very simple mechanics and graphics engine.

Roblox (the company) makes full featured games based on this platform, but the heart of the thing is really the large library of homemade games that run on the engine and are accessed via their own App Store.

These range from professional endeavors made by large teams (that I assume produce profits somehow) to silly half-broken ideas made by kids like ours.

We can restrict these games to be only playable by friends or make them available to the public. Everything we do in this course will be shared and accessible only to kids and parents in the course, but we can consider releasing something publicly in the future.

There is a large library of prebuilt characters, tools, 3D models, and other buildings blocks available, but this class will focus on making components from scratch.

The Tools Involved

To make a Roblox game, all you needs is an application called Roblox Studio. It is available for Mac and Windows. It is an all-in-one tool for making the artwork, game mechanics, and publishing to the Roblox game store.

If some students really get interest in the artwork aspect, we may also use Photoshop to make custom textures and/or Blender to do 3D modeling that goes beyond what’s supported in Roblox Studio.

Goals of this course

Building a Roblox game gives us the opportunity to work on skills in 4 categories

  • Coding
  • Digital Artwork
  • Game Mechanics Design
  • Story Writing

This program will expose the students to all four, but allow each child to focus on one in particular.

Ideally, the children will work together and combine their individual areas of focus to build a game that we can release to the Roblox Game Store.

Class Format

– 10 minutes lecture to the whole group where I will demo on a projection screen how to accomplish the day’s goal.

– 15 minutes individual coaching time with each child sitting at my computer working hands-on with the idea. (The other kids can work with paper and pencil to design game ideas and write storylines during this time)

– 15 minutes of group brainstorming about other things we could make with same ideas.

– 30 minutes free build time (bring your own laptops if possible, but not required)

Planning vs Doing

We’ll talk about planning and prototyping in paper notebooks before we try to build our ideas on the computer. This will attempt to teach them about the importance of getting our ideas from our heads to the page.

Weekly breakdown

Week 1 – Make a block about the size of a character. This block should display your name on all sides. The color of the letters should change every 1 second (Coding)

Week 2 – Make a block and launchers your character ridiculously high into the air when you touch it (Coding)

Week 3 – Make a character with your face that is wearing a Rosebank Elementary t-shirt (Art and texture making)

Week 4 – Paint a crazy sky scape for your world (Art)

Week 5 – Make a huge monster with a crazy shaped body that walks (3D Modeling, Coding)

Week 6 – Make your own version of capture the flag (Game Mechanics)

Week 7 – Design a 3 level game with a story that has a beginning, middle, and end (Story Writing)

Week 8 – Brain storm the Roblox Rosebank Elementary World! (This will be a different formatted adapted a create processed invented at Google called a Design Sprint.)



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