Good advice: make a game!

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Evonne Heyning

Jul 21, 2010, 1:29:54 PM7/21/10
It has never been easier to make your own games and we are considering ways to help you turn nonprofit gaming into a real winner for your org, not only in terms of outreach, educational value and emotional engagement but also as a potential fundraiser embedded with virtual goods and other incentives for getting more involved in your day-to-day work!

Marnie Webb, CEO at TechSoup mentioned that it may make sense for us to just "make a game" so I went ahead and tested out a few of the new DIY make a game web platforms out there, most recently Playcrafter.

Playcrafter allows anyone to create quick flash games that are embeddable on your own site or downloadable to big gaming sites like Newgrounds.  I created a game that set a Frogger-like character in the oil spill, rescuing animals before getting hit with dangers and dispersants.  Nukes, fires, toxic barrels, mutant crabs and pearls with bonuses all change throughout the 18 levels: you can try Froggoil out at

I will be releasing this game more publically in the next two weeks and have been beta testing it with game designers and friends over the last two weeks, so far it's been played a few hundred times.  Comments are welcome as I tweak the levels and add a few more levels (the first release will have 21-25 levels and we may continue to expand it if there's interest).  We're learning a lot about testing in gameplay as we do this and you'll see what we've done in under 20 hours over 2 weeks. If one person can do it in a matter of days there's no reason why we couldn't host a collection of nonprofit games within a few months.


~Evonne Heyning~ @amoration
Interactive Producer, Social Games

Josephine Dorado

Jul 26, 2010, 2:26:59 AM7/26/10
Thanks, Evonne! I hadn't tried Playcrafter before but it looks like a great resource. 

Here are some more DIY game-making platforms:
Double Dutch
DIY Foursquare (Do-It-Yourself custom branded geolocation apps). See this review:
"allows any company, community, or organization to get up and running with a best in class geolocation app in a matter of weeks"

Gamestar Mechanic:
Article on students using Gamestar Mechanic:

Wild Pockets:
Browser-based 3D game creation

Also, I stumbled across this and thought it would be of interest -- great best practices list for social issues games (some of you may have already seen this):
"My TED talk: seven lessons from games for transforming engagement"

and an insightful quote at the end:
"Collective engagement can be transformed by the unprecedented laboratory that virtual worlds offer for observing group psychology and motivation; from analyzing Guild structures in games to exploring how the public visibility of participants' levels of achievement can encourage both competition and collaboration."

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