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[Digital Design] MakeCode Arcade Mini Projects

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

As I mentioned in the last post, I'm currently really into MakeCode Arcade. It is accessible and flexible, both students and educators could get on this very quickly. Also, it could meet various needs for learning - from easy projects to complex ones, as long as you have creativity, you can always create surprises.


I've been teaching MakeCode Arcade with my middle school students for over a month. Most of them regard it as an interesting platform to create games. Surprisingly, I got lots of really good projects finished by my students.

I think MakeCode Arcade can be applied to coding, game development, and even art and literacy lessons. It requires students to have innovations to create game (visual) assets, logical thinking to design game algorithm and show clear instructions.

Some people may ask - how can we apply it to literacy learning? Arcade platform is not only a retro game creating place. You can ask students to make pixelate animations. They can make stories by themselves and make coolest animations ever!

I haven't had chances to work with literacy teachers yet, but I'm pretty sure that the code part won't be that complicated.


Here I'm gonna share two mini projects resource that I made for my students. Some lessons require quick-finished projects. We do this a lot as we only have weekly sessions in our curriculum. Students love to see their learning outcomes - it's a good way to build up their confidence.

The first project is Mario Jump. Of course you can change the theme as anything that you want. We covered conditional statement (if... then... ) in this project. I also introduced what are sprites and projectiles in this project. It is easy to create, as well as a good practice to apply those game concepts (I mentioned above).


The second project is underwater adventure. It is a maze game. In this project, we talked about tilemap. It is an important setting to make games more reasonable and look better. Info blocks are used in this project - score and life are always huge motivations for players.


Both of projects can be finished within one session. It is easy to see students' outcomes and stepping game development and coding skills.

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