Hello WC3 Community:
For the people who don’t know me, I’ve been in the field of mapping and modding WC3 since 2006, my skills are in terraining, coding, concept art and more.
But before becoming an adept at Warcraft III, I am, above all, a Colombian teacher with my heart and my willingness to support my students to get ahead in their lives. This is not an easy task, in fact my day to day takes me daily to deal with social situations that do not stop impacting me. Among all the educational aspects that I confront in my daily work, one of the aspects in education that has intrigued me the most is the fact that the students I attend do not have a good academic performance despite all the strategies and didactic applied in the process, this can initially be attributed to the social context that surrounds them , the environment of the neighborhood where they live, and the social pressures that they live in their daily lives.
Faced with this, and seeing that the videogame is a natural aspect in their daily life, I came up with the idea of experimenting to what extent the world of video games can impact their minds as a pretext to introduce them into the design of these and propose a comfortable alternative so they can generate knowledge with a different significance than usual.
This project is called “Learning by Gaming” and then I will tell you how it has evolved.
It should be noted that the purpose of this topic is not only to show the progress of this idea, but this is a space for you, the WC3 community, to encourage my students and show them that this project is not a local situation: It is part of a large group of people who have made modifying WC3 an inspiring hobby.
I appreciate your time in advance for reading this topic, and any comments are valuable to me and my students. Thank you.
Because I can’t share any links here, please visit wc3 modding
dot info (English) or viviraprendiendo
dot co (Spanish) and search for the original text, with images included about the process that is being made.
I’ll put all the text, but the pictures of the process can be found in the links posted before.
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Currently, educational models have focused on a school environment that often does not adapt to the needs and interests of individual students, which leads to not always achieve the academic results and skills necessary for the student to be an active member of the society.
With the current technological developments and the new social, communicative and labor trends, new conditions and competences that a citizen must have to be an active, proactive and productive element to society have been imposed. Among others, competencies in interdisciplinary work, which involves excellent communication skills and social interaction, which move in critical thinking environments and analysis of problem situations.
With this in mind, and focusing this project on the community context of Reino de Holanda School, we propose the development of a collaborative work project, significant for Students from their experiences as children and allowing them to have experiences of construction of knowledge from the group that, implicitly, strengthen skills and intelligences that even they do not recognize they have.
- To promote in the students unconventional experiences through the playful that they tend in the improvement of their learning processes
- Habituate the students to develop group projects, with a collaborative and communicative perspective.
- Encourage creativity in students, fostering confidence in them to express their ideas and thoughts assertively.
Why the game?
One of the most common problems in the classroom is the lack of interest that students give to the subjects, this is because the topics, even if the teacher rationalizes strategies for the development of an effective class, this do not reach to the student, producing a frustration in their learning. With this in mind and seeing that they have a great interest in social technology (social networks, video games, etc.), we see in the electronic game a mean to offer a challenge to the student, motivated by an activity that he usually does in his spare time, which motivates him greatly from his personal interest.
Additionally, another aspect that is seen with concern is that students have problems to learn, because their personal experiences are not enough to establish mental connections with the topics seen in class, which reduces the efficiency of their training from meaningful learning. The game from the perspective of its development, allows the possibility of creating a world of rules under the conditions of students, moderated by the teacher and supported by all of them. With this, the design of a game becomes an “accelerator of experiences” that makes it a mean to build a base of rules that will help to build the necessary subjectivities to make a foundation to the academic and attitudinal formation of the student.
In this project, students with different abilities and skills are looked for that, and within a working group, they can contribute from their intelligences to a common purpose that is in this case, the development of an electronic game. These skills range from analysis to art, all this to show the uniqueness of knowledge and life, all within a meaningful framework for students as is the electronic game.
Welcome of the proposal
Within a preliminary survey that was conducted with some students, it is evident that the project has a great reception and that they are excited about the work with video games. With the experience of 2017 and its first participants, it has been possible to attract more students to the proposal of this project, showing the need to expand the coverage in terms of resources so that they can build their ideas.
With the development of " Gaming Day ", held in the context of Science Day (October 5 2018) at Reino de Holanda School. From this point, the project was established in the academic community of the Reino de Holanda as a recognized and alternative learning environment.
The work with the students focuses mainly on collaborative work in order to generate a team of students that is dedicated to the development of a part of a macro project.
The project’s overall purpose is to create groups of works that behave like “game design companies” where the participating students will propose a game idea which they will build from different paths or requirements. Students will have the opportunity to join the team in which they feel comfortable (design, programming, narrative …) and from this point, they will begin to define the initial ideas of the project, learning strategies and methods to solve the problems that arise along the way.
One of the characteristics of developing a video game is the need to have participants with different creative and technical skills. With this in mind, the work groups will work and learn according to their initial abilities. In general, this project handled in 2018 three initial categories of work in the development of a game and a new line of work is going to be implemented in 2019:
- Design: We’re looking for students with analytic skills, which can establish the game’s rules and how they work
- Narrative: People with communicative and creative skills are required to build the context of the game (history, characters, speeches, etc.).
- Artistic: In this category students who are skilled in the visual representation of what is proposed by the aforementioned profiles are required, since they will deal with the sketch part of the worlds to be created, characters, etc.
- Modelling (2019) : In this category, a complete and multidisciplinary student profile is looked for, since not only will have to handle an artistic component, but it will also have to be involved in handling logical mathematical concepts for 3D modeling.
Due to previous experiences of teaching projects through videogames, this activity is characterized by being from medium to long term. This is very convenient because one of the pillars of this project is the construction of group interaction skills and collaborative, essential for a professional profile, and also promotes the recognition of the other through the acceptance of qualities in co-workers, The latter builds in the student a key confidence in his attitude towards the challenge and his ability to solve day-to-day situations.
The technological work environment: Warcraft III
To achieve the objectives of this project, a videogame has been chosen so that not only allows the student to enter the world of electronic games, but also allows them to create their own worlds with relative ease. In these conditions it was established as the best alternative Warcraft III, It offers an efficient engine for running on low profile computers and includes a world editor (WorldEdit) which offers practically all the necessary tools to create a strategy or customized game.
With the world editor we can then establish a line of work, being more specific:
- Design: The world editor provides us with the ability to create terrains, edit the objects of the game with the object editor and program the logic of the game with the GUI programming interface and future, using the code of JASS and vJASS.
- Narrative: To form this line, games with campaign mode will be proposed, to build an interesting narrative in the game. This will imply that the student is already familiar with the management of the world editor at the design stage
- Artistic: Parallel to the development in design and narrative, the conceptual art part is worked on to pose a general image of the characters. Initially, Warcraft III characters are adapted with skins modification to implement new characters in the games they want to perform.
- Modelling: In this last stage the characters are modeled so that they work according to the needs of the projects to be developed. For this last part, modeling tools developed by the Warcraft III community will be used as MDLVIS and Magos Model editor.
Benefited population and progress in 2018
In 2018, we worked with more than 20 students, from 11 to 18 years old. Within the initial skills we have 5 students with artistic aptitude, 6 with analytical skills (mathematical logical reasoning) and 3 with verbal and writing aptitude. The other students are in the process of recognizing their intelligences through collaborative work.
Progress was made in the structuring of the project, in the construction of the students’ perception of the characteristics of autonomy required to belong to the project, and projects were established for other subjects that are supported by this project in order to fulfill its function of guaranteeing a transversal training in students. We need to work more on the autonomy part, structure the modeling line and strengthen the project with more technological resources such as digitizing tablets and computers. About this part, it’s being worked in conjunction with the College to achieve the necessary resources to strengthen the growth of this initiative.
Thanks for reading.