21 July 2014

Making awesome games!

Some of you may be wondering. Some of you may not. I'd thought I'd let you in on how I create some of my games. I follow what I call the "Four P's": Planning, Production, Proofing, and Posting.


The Planning

To start, I look through my store to see what topic in math I have not made a game for yet. Then, I look through the Common Core to make sure it is taught (99.9% of the time it is). I've provided the links here:
Then, in a teacher notebook I bought from the Dollar Tree, I write the name of the game and the standards. Next, I decide what type of game I should make. Over the couple of years I been on TPT, I've made a variety of games:
  • Teacher vs. Student (TvS)
  • Student vs. Student (SvS)
  • Hangman
  • Spin the Wheel
  • Bingo
  • Test Prep
  • Jeopardy
  • Tic-Tac-Toe (TTT)
Once I decide which game to create, on that same page I will create problems for the game. Depending on which game I choose determines how many problems I need. Some games require more problems than others (TvS, SVS can have 20 - 25, Spin the Wheel, Bingo, TTT have a  minimum of 30 questions).

This notebook is wonderful if you have to go out and are waiting for something (ex. doctors, dentist, etc.) I would sit and come up with problems until I'm called. They're even good for just sitting at home and working on while watching TV.

The Production

After coming up with the game and problems, it's times to actually start making it. I've made templates of all my games so production time is cut in half. I create all of my backgrounds from scratch. Late one night, I made a bunch of black and white backgrounds using the Paint program. 

I choose a color scheme and color it in. I insert it into the powerpoint as the background. Next I choose the fonts. There are lots of great fonts on TPT and online. I have a few of KG Fonts and some from Kevin and Amanda.

A great website a fellow TPT seller found was wordmark.it which displays all the fonts you have in your computer. It's wonderful because you can even input sample text and you can see it in all the different fonts.

As I said before, I have templates of all my games. These templates in the "How to Play" slide, "Question board" slide, "Question" slide, "Thanks" slide, and "Terms of Use" Slide.

Next, using my notebook of problems, I add the questions to each question slide. I make a few animation changes so that every game doesn't have the same animation. Sometimes I'll use clipart from mycutegraphics.com or Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs. Both are excellent and I recommend visiting their site/store.



When all is completed, I check through everything including the questions, the fonts, hyperlinks, and clipart. I check my credits and my Terms of Use slide.I usually wait a day before posting. After working on it for so long, I may miss a thing or two because I know what it is supposed to say. Waiting a day gives me a clear head and a fresh mind. I recommend doing this with all your products. You just never know what mistakes you find!
Once I posted a game immediately after I finished it and a teacher who purchased it said there was 5 to 6 mistakes on it. Needless to say, I fixed them immediately and started waiting a day with the rest of my products. 
Creating a game doesn't stop there. I also created a "Product Description" template in  Microsoft Word that I fill out for each product I make. Laura Santos created an excellent seller guide that I use and it's free. It's great for goals and setting up your product description including hyperlinks to other products.

Afterwards, complete another form I call my "Product Inventory" which has general information about the game. I keep it in a 3 ring binder labeled "Powerpoint Games". It is separated by tabs labeled by the Common Core. This makes it easy for me check out which games and topics I've already created.

The Posting

Once I know everything is perfect or at least as close to it as possible, I post the games. I usually post on Fridays, but now I will post them a day or two after I've completed them. I post them to TPT, pin them on Pinterest on all my Pinterest boards as well as any collaborative boards I'm apart of. I also announce it on my Facebook. Sometimes, I will do a flash freebie or a giveaway so be sure you'e on my Facebook page and click "get notifications" so you don't miss out.
I hope you enjoyed this post and learned something. I'm working on a video that will show all this at once! Until then, happy teachings!

Class Dismissed! 

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