There are lots of great items that can teach the basics of coding, many of them lead into the creation of basic games – something that many kids would tell you is a potential “what I want to do when I grow up”. As great as these can be, the theories of game design are woefully missing: how to make them fun, engaging, and perhaps even educational… not just functional. Doodlematic allows open ended creativity for game design, without any coding skills, and only requires an iOS or Android device with a camera, plus a sheet of paper and some markers.
The concept as incredibly simple as it is innovative: simply draw out a game, using specific colors for different items within the game. Using the Doodlematic application to take a picture of the drawing, will turns it into a playable game in just a few moments. As users develop their own games, they will want to make improvements to gameplay, which is as simple as tweaking the original drawing and re-scanning it. Once a designer is happy with their game, it can be shared on social media for the world to enjoy.
You can get your feet wet with the free application, but unlocking all the features that game creators will want needs to be done through in-app purchases or buying a Doodlematic Interactive Mobile Game Creating Starter Kit (available online at doodlematic.com). These unlocked features include in-game powerups, movement and editing tools – bringing the kind of gameplay that is seen in popular games to the creative designs that were created on a simple piece of paper. The kit includes three books that share game design concepts, tips and tricks for aspiring developers. We were given a Doodlematic kit for the purposes of this review (all opinions are, of course, our own) and have been watching the kids create, play, critique, edit, play again (and repeat) for days.
There is a special education edition of Doodlematic that includes lesson plans and access to a teacher portal. Teachers can create rooms for unlimited games and class content, with no advertisements or in-app purchases (because everything is included).
A super-special GeekDad game is in the works (if the kids ever, ever give us a turn) and will be shared for everyone to play!