- following directions
- asking questions
- making new creations
- digital creation
- using and applying technology
- applying information
- problem solving
- thinking critically
ProsIntuitive drag-and-drop design makes building games accessible, and the ability to publish means games might get played.
ConsFull access to publishing options will cost you.
Bottom LineIt ups the sophistication of building block coding by connecting student work to major publishing platforms.
Graphite Expert Review
Common Sense Graphite Reviewer
Students get sucked into the idea of planning, creating, and sharing their own video games without having to code, and they thrive on endless critical-thinking and problem-solving opportunities.
As a constructivist tool, Stencyl lends itself to both project-based and problem-based learning. Students see the real-world benefit of learning relevant technical skills by building their own complex video games.
There's a helpful network of tutorials, instructional videos, forums, and other digital tools to support all levels of game developers.
Stencyl is a game creation program that’s focused on codeless, cross-platform game making. By snapping blocks of code together, students and teachers can create games (and curricula) that can be published on a variety of platforms. Building blocks of code makes the game very similar to MIT’s Scratch, but with much more functionality. Tech-savvy users will find the interface intuitive and will dive right in, but the less experienced may initially be daunted. To overcome any early frustration, students and teachers should dedicate a few hours to the helpful online tutorials.
Finished games can be exported as stand-alone Flash files or can be uploaded to Stencyl itself. With annual paid versions of Stencyl, games can be played (and optionally sold) on many additional platforms, including iOS and Android. In addition to the support website and core program itself, Stencyl comes with an image editor, a database of free user-created resources, and an online reference encyclopedia. The Stencyl website is very comprehensive and full of tutorials, game ideas, help forums, and a live chat area.Read More Read Less
Stencyl provides infinite sandbox-style learning opportunities ranging from game design theory and basic programming to graphic design and student collaboration. It also facilitates digital project-based learning that helps students build career and life skills. Working on game projects allows for powerful differentiation, as students work at their own pace and complexity level. And as they get further along with their games, students develop feelings of pride and ownership, creating tangible demonstrations of learning that they can share and even publish.
While it works well in a classroom, Stencyl would be even better with a simple learning management system that could track student progress, store assignments and completed work, and issue and display assessment like recognition badges.Read More Read Less
Probably the best way to utilize Stencyl is in a semester-long after-school program or elective class, giving students the freedom to simply act as game developers. An ideal classroom setup would be a 1:1 (or a slightly less ideal 2:1) computer lab with desktop or laptop computers. Within two to three weeks (4-6 hours of seat time a week), students should be developing games on their own -- although this time frame may vary depending on the students.
In a core content class, students can turn their subject-based learning into the theme or mechanics of a game. For example, students studying the solar system in science class can build a game inspired by the Milky Way. This motivates students to both learn and apply core content in ways that are equally novel and fun.Read More Read Less
Key Standards Supported
Operations And Algebraic Thinking 4.OA Generate And Analyze Patterns. Quantities
|HSN.Q: Reason Quantitatively And Use Units To Solve Problems.|
|HSN.Q .1||Use units as a way to understand problems and to guide the solution of multi-step problems; choose and interpret units consistently in formulas; choose and interpret the scale and the origin in graphs and data displays.|
See how teachers are using Stencyl
Field Notes Field Notes are reviews by teachers for teachers. In Field Notes, teachers rate products as well as share their hands-on experience with using the products in the classroom.
Teacher ReviewsWrite Your Own Review
- A nice program for students to create games without having to know code.1Kelly B.
Chaminade College Preparatory High School
West Hills, CA5February 28, 2014
- Stencyl is an ambitious project with a lot of promise3March 11, 2014
- Students love to program. Stencyl makes it easy and fun!Ellen S.
Sullivan County Elementary School
Laporte, PA4February 19, 2014
- Best all around FREE product on the market for 2D game makingScott J.
Lake City High School
Coeur d'Alene, ID5February 16, 2014