For game design (how to create a good game using tried and true mechanics and principles) I have had good luck with Gamestar Mechanic. https://gamestarmechanic.com/

Gamestar Mechanic, Jr for younger students. http://pbskids.org/gamestarmechanicjr

This program is really pretty good for teaching what goes into a well designed game. It uses a self-directed, play-to-learn method that engages students right away. Play a few levels, then you are asked to repair some broken ones. Step by step, students move towards a final finished product

The game creation engine that it uses will allow you to create a game like you are describing. The licenses are a mere $2.00 per student and that is a lifetime license which they can take into later grades with them. I buy enough for all grades above 3rd, and use Gamestar Mechanic Jr. for the younger ones (free).

Gamestar is restricted to creating 2D games.

Once the students have grasped the concepts behind good game design and have mastered Gamestar, they might want to move on to something like RPG Maker, which is a professional grade engine which is used by many independent developers.

http://www.rpgmakerweb.com/

RPG Maker is restricted to creating 2D games.

Kodu Game Lab is also a good introduction to 3D game making for younger students if you want a 3D game. And it's free!  https://www.kodugamelab.com/



On Tue, May 16, 2017 at 11:32 AM, Erica Zimmer <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hi All,

I am looking for suggestions regarding any apps or websites to make games for 4th-grade students who have almost zero programming experience.  These students would like to make a game that teaches about space and allows users to make their own astronaut avatar.  Ideally, it would be pretty simple to use and allow them to make a game by the of the year during genius hour which will happen twice a week until school lets out for the summer.  

Thanks!

--
Erica Zimmer
ELL/Technology Integration Specialist
Rutland Central Supervisory Union


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