10.6 Designing with Enemy Generators

Big Ideas for this lesson 
Guiding Questions          
Recommended Games     
Game designers should consider how the level of difficulty in a game grows or changes over time. How can you use enemy generators to create challenge in a game? Quest - Addison Joins the Rogue:

The Spawning Source, Episode 4, Mission 9

Frozen Survival, Episode 4, Bonus Mission

Spawning Blueprints, Episode 4, Bonus Mission Build

What's on for today:

Enemy generators can be used to change the level of difficulty of a game, especially when linked to spawning. Understanding how to adjust the parameters of an enemy generator is the core focus on this lesson.

What you need:

-A few copies of “Sample screenshot of enemy generator parameters” to pass around
-One copy of “Presentation worksheet” per student

What's attached:

-Sample screenshot of enemy generator parameters
-Presentation worksheet


Total: 1 hour

Play - 10 minutes
Discuss - 10 minutes
Design - 20 minutes
Circle Up - 20 minutes

10 minutes

1. Choose or create a game or series of Game- star Mechanic games for your class to play that highlight the use of enemy generators. Make sure these games show a range of approaches to the use of the sprite.

2. Pay particular attention to how games that use the enemy generators often feel very dynamic or dramatic.

3. If you are having trouble choosing a game or creating one of your own, refer to the recom- mended games for this activity.

10 minutes

1. Begin a conversation with your class about the game(s) that they played. Focus on the concept of the enemy generator as it relates to the level of challenge and difficulty.

2. Ask students to pinpoint specific strategies they used as players when faced with enemy generators.

3. If your class is having trouble with this concept use the following questions:

How does the enemy generator create challenge for the player?

How is the enemy generator the same or different from enemies that spawn?

What kinds of strategies do you think the game designers used when choosing where to place the enemy generators in the game space?

What kinds of things would a game designer consider when setting the parameters of an enemy generator.

Pass around copies of “Sample screenshot of enemy generator parameters.”


20 minutes

1. Instruct the class to build a game in Gamestar Mechanic based on a toy factory where the toys have revolted and are attacking the toy maker.

2. Tell your class to use 2-3 enemy generators to represent the assembly line where the toys are being produced. Your class may choose to generate the same kind of enemy or different enemies from each of the generators.

3. Encourage students to use the intro and outro message screens to set up the story for the player.

4. If students want to create games with multiple levels, challenge them to consider how the story of their toy factory run amok is told over a series of levels.

Circle Up
20 minutes

1. Have your class present their games to each other either in a design circle or in partners. En- courage students to make notes in their “Presentation worksheet” before presenting.

2. When presenting their games encourage the students think about the following questions:

Describe the space you created. How is it like a toy factory?

How and why did you distribute your enemy generators in the game space?

Did you use the same enemies for each generator? If so why or why not?

How did you create challenge for your player?

3. End the class with a games festival where students have the opportunity to play everyone else’s games.

How did it go?

Were students able to create games that repre- sented the idea of a toy factory?

Did they use enemy generators in a way to support this idea?

Did they use enemy generator in ways that intentionally created challenge for players, or in some other way?

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Jan 4, 2011, 8:27 AM