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Introduction to Coding for Game Development - Summer 2023 Cohort

Gaming Design image Blue back ground, green grass sunny sky
Screenshot of game created by Miles Burkett a participant of the online coding summer camp.

After seeing the Appalachian STEM Enrichment Academy (ASEA) platform, Dustin Goetz, a southeast Ohio native and Ph.D. candidate at UC Santa Barbara in Mechanical Engineering, saw an opportunity to give back to the Appalachian Ohio community he grew up in. He developed a free introductory online coding cohort to give students in the region an opportunity to learn about coding, in the context of game development, with support from knowledge experts that could help troubleshoot and provide feedback. With development support from staff at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service, the first Introduction to Coding for Game Development Cohort ran for 6 one-hour sessions from June 5 to June 22. The five students, four 9th graders and one 6th grader, learned the basics of Scratch and Python coding by creating a new game each session. The game for each session introduced coding concepts and was coded in its base form during the synchronous session. After review and reinforcement of the coding concepts by the instructor, the students then brainstormed new features they could add to the base game they created and added those features asynchronously, creating a unique game and sharing it in the class forum for feedback and review.





Instructor and Course Developer

dustin goetz headshot
  • Dustin Goetz - Southeast Ohio Native! Ph.D. Candidate, U.C. Santa Barbra, Mechanical Engineering


Assistant Instructors:

Elkan Kim
  • Elkan Kim - Senior IT Project Manager and Computer Software Engineer, Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service, Appalachian STEM Enrichment Academy 
  • Ted Han

  • Denis Govorov



Week 1


June 5

Session 1: Build a Jumping Game using Scratch

  Scratch coding, conditional statements and loops

June 8

Session 2: Build a Platformer Game using Scratch

  Variables and objects
Week 2  

June 12

Session 3: Build a Fighting Game using Scratch

  Variables and objects

June 15

Session 4: Build a Text-Based Game using Python

  Python file structure, syntax, commenting code

Week 3


June 19

Session 5: Build a Drawing Game using Python

  Python libraries (Pygame, etc.) and  game loop

June 22

Session 6: Build a Breakout Game using Python

  Object-Oriented Programming and game physics


Visit the Appalachian STEM Enrichment Academy webpage,!



This effort was sponsored by the AEP Ohio Foundation of the Columbus Fund and the PORTSfuture Program funded by a grant from the US Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office.


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