Tag Archives: Video Games

Start Your (Game) Engines!

The cover of Elements of Game Design by Robert Zubek

It’s March, and VPL’s first GameJam is well underway. Tommy already made a post explaining what it’s all about. Still, I thought I’d do a bit of advertising for it here and encourage people who maybe aren’t ready to make a game from scratch to get in on some game creation. Fair warning: these won’t be accepted as GameJam entries, so this post is entirely for fun from that perspective. This is likely a moot point, though, as I’m guessing my audience is likely too old to be entering the game jam anyway, but shout-outs to any grade 2-8 students reading my posts. I’ll be focusing on a suite of games that allow players to make games within them in addition to playing user-created levels.

The box art of Super Mario Maker

I’ll start with something that’s been popping up in my newsfeed lately: the original Super Mario Maker for the WiiU. If you want to borrow this one and play other people’s levels, jump on it quickly. WiiU servers are getting shut down in April, taking all of the user-created levels with them. You’ll still be able to build and play through your own levels, but that’s about it. Borrow it soon, though, and you can help Team 0% ensure that every level ever uploaded gets beaten by someone other than the original creator before that inevitable shutdown. At the time of writing this (March 18th, 2024), there’s only a single level left: Trimming the Herbs. This clear video is from the creator, who had to beat it to upload it to the servers, so don’t go thinking someone’s pulled it off just yet. Though… if even seasoned Mario veterans are having trouble with this one, then maybe getting that final clear is a little out of reach for most people.

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Get Ready to GameJam!

gamejam image

Do you love playing video games? Have you ever wondered how they are made? Do you want to learn how to create your own games using code? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are invited to join our game jam event!

This event is aimed at elementary school aged children in grades 2-8 and is meant to celebrate the joy that can be found in coding and creating something with your own or with a team of up to 3 people.

What is a game jam?

pixel ollie

A game jam is an event where participants try to make a video game in a short amount of time. You can work alone or in a team, and you can use any tools or software you like (as long as the game can be played in a web browser online, please see our rules and regulations for more info). The only rule is that you have to follow a theme, which will be announced at the start of the event on March 1st.

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Cross-Platform: Games to Film

The box art of The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

Augh! I make a post about The Legend of Zelda in different media, and now a film gets announced. And, of course, there are already countless articles from various media outlets expressing their opinions on what the film should and shouldn’t be. I could have gotten in on that! But instead, I squandered my chance to write a whole article about it by jumping the gun. I mean, I can still say my wife wants Dylan O’Brien from The Maze Runner movies to play Link, which I can see happening as LoZ director Wess Ball also directed The Maze Runner. My thoughts are that whoever plays Link better be short and preferably left-handed. The tone of the movie should be a decent approximation of the games, which are serious, but also… not? The games always ends with a battle against a world-ending villain, but Link still finds time to play minigames, get attacked by cuccos1, and torture tree-people2. So for tone… maybe somewhere between The Lord of the Rings and the original Indiana Jones trilogy? Feel free to tell me why this is a terrible take in the comments. Oh! And by the way, we have a bunch of The Legend of Zelda games in the catalogue. If you’ve missed some of them or want to try one for the first time, place a hold and give them a playthrough. Or maybe watch a let’s play3 and see what they’re all about.

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