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Learning by Gaming: A social project through the game Warcraft III.

Discussion in 'Warcraft Discussion' started by moyackx, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. moyackx

    moyackx

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    Hello my dear community:

    Before becoming an adept at Warcraft III, I am, above all, a Colombian teacher with my heart and my willingness to support my students to get ahead in their lives. This is not an easy task, in fact my day to day takes me daily to deal with social situations that do not stop impacting me. Among all the educational aspects that I confront in my daily work, one of the aspects in education that has intrigued me the most is the fact that the students I attend do not have a good academic performance despite all the strategies and didactic applied in the process, this can initially be attributed to the social context that surrounds them , the environment of the neighborhood where they live, and the social pressures that they live in their daily lives.

    Faced with this, and seeing that the videogame is a natural aspect in their daily life, I came up with the idea of experimenting to what extent the world of video games can impact their minds as a pretext to introduce them into the design of these and propose a comfortable alternative so they can generate knowledge with a different significance than usual.

    This project is called "Learning by Gaming" and then I will tell you how it has evolved.

    It should be noted that the purpose of this topic is not only to show the progress of this idea, but this is a space for you, the WC3 community, to encourage my students and show them that this project is not a local situation: It is part of a large group of people who have made modifying WC3 an inspiring hobby.

    I appreciate your time in advance for reading this topic, and any comments are valuable to me and my students. Thank you.

    Here's the original text in Spanish, and the original link in English

    LBG.png

    Introduction

    Currently, educational models have focused on a school environment that often does not adapt to the needs and interests of individual students, which leads to not always achieve the academic results and skills necessary for the student to be an active member of the society.
    With the current technological developments and the new social, communicative and labor trends, new conditions and competences that a citizen must have to be an active, proactive and productive element to society have been imposed. Among others, competencies in interdisciplinary work, which involves excellent communication skills and social interaction, which move in critical thinking environments and analysis of problem situations.
    With this in mind, and focusing this project on the community context of Reino de Holanda School, we propose the development of a collaborative work project, significant for Students from their experiences as children and allowing them to have experiences of construction of knowledge from the group that, implicitly, strengthen skills and intelligences that even they do not recognize they have.

    General objectives

    • To promote in the students unconventional experiences through the playful that they tend in the improvement of their learning processes
    • Habituate the students to develop group projects, with a collaborative and communicative perspective.
    • Encourage creativity in students, fostering confidence in them to express their ideas and thoughts assertively.

    Why the game?

    One of the most common problems in the classroom is the lack of interest that students give to the subjects, this is because the topics, even if the teacher rationalizes strategies for the development of an effective class, this do not reach to the student, producing a frustration in their learning. With this in mind and seeing that they have a great interest in social technology (social networks, video games, etc.), we see in the electronic game a mean to offer a challenge to the student, motivated by an activity that he usually does in his spare time, which motivates him greatly from his personal interest.

    Additionally, another aspect that is seen with concern is that students have problems to learn, because their personal experiences are not enough to establish mental connections with the topics seen in class, which reduces the efficiency of their training from meaningful learning. The game from the perspective of its development, allows the possibility of creating a world of rules under the conditions of students, moderated by the teacher and supported by all of them. With this, the design of a game becomes an "accelerator of experiences" that makes it a mean to build a base of rules that will help to build the necessary subjectivities to make a foundation to the academic and attitudinal formation of the student.

    Student profile

    In this project, students with different abilities and skills are looked for that, and within a working group, they can contribute from their intelligences to a common purpose that is in this case, the development of an electronic game. These skills range from analysis to art, all this to show the uniqueness of knowledge and life, all within a meaningful framework for students as is the electronic game.

    Welcome of the proposal

    Within a preliminary survey that was conducted with some students, it is evident that the project has a great reception and that they are excited about the work with video games. With the experience of 2017 and its first participants, it has been possible to attract more students to the proposal of this project, showing the need to expand the coverage in terms of resources so that they can build their ideas.
    With the development of "Gaming Day", held in the context of Science Day (October 5 2018) at Reino de Holanda School. From this point, the project was established in the academic community of the Reino de Holanda as a recognized and alternative learning environment.

    Methodology

    The work with the students focuses mainly on collaborative work in order to generate a team of students that is dedicated to the development of a part of a macro project.

    lbg7.jpeg lbg11.jpeg
    Students doing colaborative work

    The project's overall purpose is to create groups of works that behave like "game design companies" where the participating students will propose a game idea which they will build from different paths or requirements. Students will have the opportunity to join the team in which they feel comfortable (design, programming, narrative ...) and from this point, they will begin to define the initial ideas of the project, learning strategies and methods to solve the problems that arise along the way.

    lbg6.jpeg
    Discussion of design situations during the Learning by Gaming project

    One of the characteristics of developing a video game is the need to have participants with different creative and technical skills. With this in mind, the work groups will work and learn according to their initial abilities. In general, this project handled in 2018 three initial categories of work in the development of a game and a new line of work is going to be implemented in 2019:

    • Design: We're looking for students with analytic skills, which can establish the game's rules and how they work
    • Narrative: People with communicative and creative skills are required to build the context of the game (history, characters, speeches, etc.).
    • Artistic: In this category students who are skilled in the visual representation of what is proposed by the aforementioned profiles are required, since they will deal with the sketch part of the worlds to be created, characters, etc.
    • Modelling (2019): In this category, a complete and multidisciplinary student profile is looked for, since not only will have to handle an artistic component, but it will also have to be involved in handling logical mathematical concepts for 3D modeling.

    lbg17.jpeg
    Collaborative work in the artistic part

    Due to previous experiences of teaching projects through videogames, this activity is characterized by being from medium to long term. This is very convenient because one of the pillars of this project is the construction of group interaction skills and collaborative, essential for a professional profile, and also promotes the recognition of the other through the acceptance of qualities in co-workers, The latter builds in the student a key confidence in his attitude towards the challenge and his ability to solve day-to-day situations.

    The technological work environment: Warcraft III

    To achieve the objectives of this project, a videogame has been chosen so that not only allows the student to enter the world of electronic games, but also allows them to create their own worlds with relative ease. In these conditions it was established as the best alternative Warcraft III, It offers an efficient engine for running on low profile computers and includes a world editor (WorldEdit) which offers practically all the necessary tools to create a strategy or customized game.
    With the world editor we can then establish a line of work, being more specific:
    • Design: The world editor provides us with the ability to create terrains, edit the objects of the game with the object editor and program the logic of the game with the GUI programming interface and future, using the code of JASS and vJASS.
    • Narrative: To form this line, games with campaign mode will be proposed, to build an interesting narrative in the game. This will imply that the student is already familiar with the management of the world editor at the design stage
    • Artistic: Parallel to the development in design and narrative, the conceptual art part is worked on to pose a general image of the characters. Initially, Warcraft III characters are adapted with skins modification to implement new characters in the games they want to perform.
    • Modelling: In this last stage the characters are modeled so that they work according to the needs of the projects to be developed. For this last part, modeling tools developed by the Warcraft III community will be used as MDLVIS and Magos Model editor.

    Benefited population and progress in 2018

    In 2018, we worked with more than 20 students, from 11 to 18 years old. Within the initial skills we have 5 students with artistic aptitude, 6 with analytical skills (mathematical logical reasoning) and 3 with verbal and writing aptitude. The other students are in the process of recognizing their intelligences through collaborative work.

    lbg13.jpeg
    Colaborative work and guidance from the teacher

    Progress was made in the structuring of the project, in the construction of the students' perception of the characteristics of autonomy required to belong to the project, and projects were established for other subjects that are supported by this project in order to fulfill its function of guaranteeing a transversal training in students. We need to work more on the autonomy part, structure the modeling line and strengthen the project with more technological resources such as digitizing tablets and computers. About this part, it's being worked in conjunction with the College to achieve the necessary resources to strengthen the growth of this initiative.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  2. Retera

    Retera

    Tool Reviewer

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    Unfortunate for me to read that the Matrix Eater application is unfit for your needs, but this is still an amazing read.
    The ability to learn and benefit our human lives is one of the reasons that I am still willing to play Warcraft 3 after 15 years.

    When I was 8 years old in 2002, my family purchased Warcraft 3. I still remember it because I was a kid playing Age of Empires around that time. We had recently purchased Age of Mythology, which I equated with being Age of Empires 3, and when my older brother told me that we were going to purchase Warcraft 3 for the family I thought we already had it, because I thought we already had Age of Mythology and did not know the difference. We already had the third of the RTS series, I thought.

    As the youngest of 5 cousins who were soon caught up playing Warcraft 3 custom maps on family holidays, Warcraft 3 gave me a chance to have an equal part in social experiences -- each player in a game gets a character -- when in the real life in our activities I was often the annoying young kid who was left behind.

    Inspired by the fun that I had, I started to try to dream big, always wanting to build Warcraft 3 maps that I could convince my family to play so that I could derive more meaning from life and feel like I was able to do something unique to add to our family fun. In 2004, having graduated the 3rd grade, I entered a 4-H computer project about how I learned the term "variable" and "integer" from the Warcraft 3 game when I attempted to build a campaign with basic Triggers in the Trigger Editor. That kind of learning was a big hit, and I was the champion 4-H computer project in my division for my county that year.

    In 2005 I entered another 4-H computer project, still excited about Warcraft, this time building a basic HTML web page using Microsoft FrontPage that my family gave me to allow my family members to download the Warcraft 3 models that I was making in 4th grade when I was 10-11 years old.

    (A version of this web page from 2 years later was preserved at Summons of the Void )

    This second project was not a hit with 4-H because the web site theme was so much darker with the red text on a black background. This web page did not win anything. But I knew in my heart that I was learning a lot, because I learned to make customized model files by changing the texture file paths and the Materials information.

    Around that time my brother and cousin began work on a custom map that swapped out the various playable races in Warcraft 3 for custom ones. As my knowledge of editing and playing with model files drew me deeper into the MPQ archives of the game, I came to realize that some mods my family downloaded from online were made with EXE files that were modifiable in an MPQ editor. These mods could have huge amounts of custom characters (model files and unit data) dumped into the EXE with an MPQ editor so that when you double click the custom EXE it plays your customized version of Warcraft 3. Once I understood this, I took a downloaded copy of the map that my brother and cousin had been building and I put their custom units into an EXE and showed my brother how it would make any Warcraft 3 map play with the custom characters that he and my cousin had created.

    Back in those days, everybody trusted each other and we all had our Warcraft 3 maps folders shared so that we could pass files back and forth across our computers through the network. When my brother saw what I had created -- and perhaps in his jealousy, as an older brother realizing I had done what he did not know how (or perhaps did not care how) to do -- he deleted the contents of the Warcraft 3 Maps directory on my computer remotely. This included my own, much less fun map that was a crazy map with all kinds of creations I had made. My map was a kid's own dreamland, and it was single player, so there were not other backups on the other computers, I don't think.

    You only really realize what something means to you once you have it taken away, I think. Anyhow, that moment when my maps folder was gone before my brother told me that he had a backup hit me pretty hard that day as a kid. Later, I eradicated all copies of my brother's project from my computer and he made good on his word and restored the backup of all of the maps that I had created in my life until that point.

    But above all else, I think that also taught me how much my brother cared about the project he and my cousin had built. Several months later, he changed his stance on the issue. He offered me a copy of their mod in exchange for me doing work to update it. I set to work for several weeks perusing tooltips and glitched abilities, finding all of their faults and perfecting them again and again. After making a hundred of my own maps that no one would play nor enjoy, I finally was able to work on a project knowing that someone cared about it. I do not think that I would have expressed this feeling that way at the time, but that is probably what I was thinking in my heart.

    After I had fixed many tooltips and done a lot of respectable work on the project, I asked my brother for permission to add a 6th race into the project. (My brother and cousin had originally created only 5). I wanted to add "The Freezing Legion," my own personal version of an Undead race to be "the good Undead" as opposed to the one commanded by the Burning Legion. The religious mom of my 2nd grade school friend had said he was never allowed to return to visit my family's house because we played a game with the Undead, and ever since that time I had always wanted to be able to play Undead without being evil and without being against religion.

    In my personal map that had been restored after my maps folder removal fiasco, I had created a custom techtree for my Freezing Legion race. However, it was made with a 4th grade brain, and by this time I had a 6th or 7th grade brain. There is quite a difference. So, I poured my heart and soul into trying to make my Freezing Legion race: a hybrid between something that someone would actually care to play and inside references to my old personal map. (It would thus be fit for my cousins' mod while also true to my heart.)

    This created a phenomenon that earned the respect of my brother. Despite only being a kid who only knew how to edit model texture paths and move basic shapes between model files using "Oinkerwinkle's Geoset Merger", I tried to make a personalized custom model file for every Freezing Legion character and building. I had a vague understanding of how model files could be made from scratch, but I understood what a model file was almost entirely. I was able to create exciting and cool creations in a relatively short amount of time by using Notepad and GeosetMerger to make rehashed versions of existing Warcraft 3 characters.

    upload_2019-1-5_0-28-20.png

    When I got to the end of the Freezing Legion, my brother began to encourage me to make custom models for every unit in the other races. He advised me to re-doctor them to feel new and innovative with the same depth of heart -- a custom model for each character, lots of time and precision put into everything. We wanted the races to feel polished, like the 4 races in the original Warcraft 3 game.

    This path went on for years, on and off. Around 2009 (probably 9th grade) I added two more races -- then removed two -- to save myself from having to re-doctor some of the very old content from many years before that even my brother agreed was inferior. I still remember getting ahead on my work at school and then spending the extra time to add animated particle emitters up and down the spine of the Tentacle summoned unit model. I had learned to understand by that time how a Particle Emitter could inherit animation from a Bone (such as the moving glow on Jaina's staff during spell cast). This meant that I could apply a moving Particle Emitter that would follow the spine of the Tentacle and create a flashy, glowing purple tentacle for my Voidwalker race.

    I started to understand the true innards of how the Warcraft 3 MDL was put together. During summer break, I spent 3 days recording numeric indices in Notepad -- ObjectId values, "Matrices" chunks, and object names -- to merge the Hydra model onto the Chimaera model, so that I had a 3-headed flying creature with animated wings.
    upload_2019-1-5_0-56-7.png


    Soon everything that I was taught in school had a purpose for modding Warcraft 3. When my 9th grade Geometry teacher taught me Trigonometry, I used the new mathematics to create a Vortex spell that would pull units inward, into a modified Tornado unit, with an angular momentum. Around 10th grade, the project peaked, and then something extraordinary happened.

    For all of these years, I had been working on this project out of a love for the work itself. Modding for modding's own sake. We would find things horribly wrong with the game experience -- someone would win unfairly -- and that would never stop me. It was fun to dream, and to laugh at balance mistakes.

    But around that time in the 10th grade, I began to realize that I had created something larger than I ever imagined or set out to do. We could sit down, and we could play this mod -- and then I chose the name, "Heaven's Fall," after all those years of working on "The Race Mod." And I finally found what it felt like to enjoy playing my own game. I started coding AI players to play Heaven's Fall, and my family members joined me in battles against these recorded bits and pieces of my understanding of how to win the strategy game. And sometimes, every so often, that AI would beat us. There is something profoundly odd about being defeated by your own AI in your own game. It inspires a sense of dedication to try again, and to know how to outplay it.

    And I think that is when I became a Heaven's Fall mod player. I learned to love the greatest happy accident that has ever befallen my life. I did not ever really consciously decide to try to make a project knowing how long I would spend on it -- it simply happened.

    But the journey did not end in the 10th grade. In the 11th grade, after already writing hundreds of lines of JASS scripting to power the Heaven's Fall mod, I decided to take a class in computer programming. Little did I know, to make the class interesting the teacher spent the first week teaching us the "fundamentals of Java" and then left the rest of the course to generally be a "do-it-yourself" class with basic prompts such as "code a PacMan game."

    pacman-game

    I made several friends in my programming class because the other students saw me as incredibly talented, since they could not look in my eyes and see Heaven's Fall and understand that I was simply another human being -- one who had spent more time instructing the computer machines in the World Editor than they could imagine, and had therefore already learned logical thinking.
    But of course, when my programming teacher went on vacation for a week, I did all of my assignments on the first day and then copied Heaven's Fall around to the other computers in the school computer lab. Almost every day that week we got 4-6 players into a game of the mod with me each day. Unfortunately, it was still an unbalanced game experience, and I always won until that one guy figured out how to demolish me by playing as the Voidspawn race of Voidwalkers. I was honored that he spent the time to figure it out, though.

    The programming class made me realize a solemn fact about human life.
    We can command these machines, and they can act based on our requests separately from our immediate button presses and mouse clicks.

    And that was when I began to have this maddening realization that the software I used to make Warcraft 3 model edits was written by people who cared less than I did. And so I set out to write my own copy of Oinkerwinkle's Vertex Modifier, hoping it would become something better.
    After spending days typing out Matrices in Notepad for models like the "Sky Hydra" project, I named this program the Matrix Eater with the intention that it would end the era where I typed Matrices chunks in Notepad.
    After I had that magical moment when I saw that it was actually possible -- that my 2D game drawing skills could be transferred to render a cross section of a Warcraft model in 2D, and that I could instruct the computer to load all of the model data -- I spent 3 weeks in the following summer coding my dream program. It was the pinnacle of everything that I learned building Heaven's Fall.

    For my own amusement, I remade the Sky Hydra model with the "Import" feature of this new program, and it only took 3 hours instead of 3 days. I had truly innovated on top of the incredibly slow development process that I had been using to merge models.
    I found a system called the MultiRace Template that would allow the Heaven's Fall mod to use the standard Warcraft 3 dropdown for choosing the 6 races. (Previously, there had been 4 broken buttons on the dropdown before the game started, then 6 options on a dialog in-game).

    At this point, I posted Heaven's Fall onto the Hive Workshop, along with an installer application that I wrote with my newly-found Java coding skills. A member of the community named Spellbound created new custom UI tiles for two of the 6 races. I created 3 other UI tiles, and the last race was meant to be friendly for first-time Heaven's Fall players and used the Human UI. The MultiRace Template allowed me to put this into the game, and allowed my dream creation to become a reality. It was even better than the 10th grade version of the mod.

    I had to decide where to go to college, so I borrow my older brother's idea and went off to study Computer Science. I figured that I was going to make more Matrix Eater level innovations for the world and really make a difference where it mattered.

    The university that my brother was attending accepted me and I started my new life in the university dormitory with a friendly roommate who was also deep into Blizzard games and loved to play Starcraft 2. I felt completely on top of the world, and Heaven's Fall was perfect. Now and then I added a few units or a new neutral hero, and tweaked the balance -- releasing updates through my Java-based updater system. I spent my first semester bragging to other students and finishing 2 hour Java lab projects for class in 10 minutes. And one night in September, I looked at my roommate and said, "I'm going to code a game." By Christmas, I uploaded this video of my own Warcraft-inspired strategy game:

    But pride comes before a fall.

    In my second semester, they gave us a weedout course to teach the C programming language. The TAs all lined up at the start of the course wearing shirts that said, "Gravedigger" that they had purchased for class, so that we would know they were going to kill us. One of the first labs, to teach use of binary search trees, involved writing "happy.c" and "tree.c" named for "Happy Tree Friends" (this is a cartoon show about horribly mutilated animals) Each lab built upon the previous lab, so that any student who fell behind... was left behind. They would receive 0's from the automatic grader after they first got behind, since they would not have the project from the previous lab to build upon.
    For me, this was incredibly funny. I aced every project that was given to me. The C programming language is nearly identical to JASS, but with improvements. I played Heaven's Fall in the evening and helped make simple Warcraft 3 models with my Matrix Eater technology for people on the Hive Workshop who requested simple model edits.

    But I underestimated the impact of other people. Because I had bragged about how smart I supposedly was, all of the people who struggled in the C programming course came looking to people like me for help. One particular fellow somehow convinced me to stay up until 6 am multiple nights in a row, and I was taking the maximum possible course load available at the university without extra overtime approvals.

    I came through it all, but sleep deprivation takes a few years to truly take its toll. I worked a summer internship and tried to help that fellow who always asked for help with his company that he wanted to start. Eventually I got tired of his meetings, where he would gather the smartest programmers he knew and then spend the time debating whether lunch should cost $5 or $8, and I told him that I quit their team. But it's not a good feeling to let someone down that you've tried to help.

    The following semester when school started back up, I was standing in a large room at a Career Fair next to my good friend, who eventually became the President of the League of Legends club at our university, and he looked across the room where Google and Facebook and Microsoft and three dozen companies no one has ever heard of each were running a booth. And then he said, "I hate all of these companies. I would never want to work for any of these." I believe in his heart, he wanted to work for Riot Games, most likely.

    But something snapped in my brain when he said that. It occurred to me that this was not the way. Trying to be a model example of how I thought he was wrong, I walked up to an empty booth and shook hands with a friendly young lady and said, "Hi, my name is [Name] and I like to code in Java! I coded my own game model editor in Java, because I like to innovate and make my Java code simplify my life." Or at least, I said something similar to that. I was probably hiding some nervousness and soon forgot the exact words that I said.

    That booth, as it turned out, was paid for by a company that almost exclusively coded Java and wanted to interview as many people as possible to find the most talented Java programmers that they could possibly find. Although I interviewed other places, in the end, they always wanted me back. I am now employed there full time, and my income after this first full year will probably be above six figures in US dollars, although I stopped counting.

    The sad side of the story is that in those later years of college, while I was getting ahead on work and my own game project, Heaven's Fall deteriorated. In a flash of ego, I decided to set a 6 month deadline back around 2015 proclaiming that I would create Heaven's Fall v2 -- under the premise that the Matrix Eater would allow me to redo the work of a decade in only a few months. At the time, I believed that this would be a test for my life: either I would finish the project, proving to myself once and for all that I really cared about Warcraft 3, or I would fail and would have shamed myself, needed to leave Warcraft 3 forever because it would show that I prioritized my college friends and social interactions above my Warcraft 3 modding hobby.

    In the end, I did not recreate 6 custom races. I created one half of one race. To attempt to cover my blunder and retain honor as a Warcraft 3 mod developer, I combined the 1 half of a new Freezing Legion race with the old unit data, creating a glitchy and unfinished hybrid, and then I published it through the Heaven's Fall updater. I defaced the Freezing Legion with something that did not work, and changed a mod that had long been a very polished project into something half finished. Shortly after this, the Dropbox file hosting API that my mod updater was using was changed, so that users who had the Heaven's Fall installer application could no longer receive updates. Then, Blizzard Classic Games began work on Warcraft 3 and released Patch 1.27, then 1.28, and at this point changed the way that the game was structured so that Heaven's Fall (which used the MultiRace Template, which was never updated to my knowledge) would no longer work. The full-working custom race mod with 6 custom races on a working in-game dropdown, and per-race custom music themes and UI tiles in-game faded into only a memory, covered over by arrogance that defaced the Freezing Legion with something dysfunctional.

    But maybe I don't need Heaven's Fall anymore, if you think about it. And the Classic Games team does not wish to support out-of-game modding of Warcraft 3 anymore anyway. My goal in writing this here today is to share a story that I feel is a positive one. Because it's relevant to you when you use Warcraft 3 to teach students new ways to think. This is a story of how I went from being the youngest of the bunch to being a successful employee, and it would not have happened if it were not for Warcraft 3 at each step along the way.

    So I hope you can use this and continue to inspire learning.


     

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    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  3. Kyrbi0

    Kyrbi0

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    So text
    Much read
    Very word
    Wow.
     
  4. moyackx

    moyackx

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    Hi @Retera , thank you very much for your post, is motivating by itself, and I really appreciate the time you took sharing your story of life in the world of WC3.

    Well, about your app, I personally didn't use because I had a personal black against java, but after reading and now seeing the purposes behind its creation, definitely I have to take into consideration for the project :D

    hahaha, this happened to me in a similar way :D

    I was a fan of AOE 2, I loved the game even though I lose 8 of 10 games. My favorite part was using cheats, I remember the sport car, that's what we call a great easter egg :)

    i'll keep answering your posts...
     
  5. Rui

    Rui

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    This is soooo my story xD

    @Kyrbi0 Yeah, if you're referring to @Retera's text, I too imagined myself comatose by paragraph two, but I ended up reading it all! @Retera thanks for sharing your story. It is quite inspiring. I never went as far, partially because the encouragement environment just wasn't there. People in Portugal generally loathe strategy games, preferring first person shooters (FPS), car games... and fifa -_-
    In that sense, I think @moyackx's endeavor here is quite important. At its best, I envision it overcoming the boundary of age, at least inside the family. At the least, I believe it'll help intellectual development much more than the aforementioned game genres.

    @moyackx When I started reading, I thought you'd be better off with Age of Empires 2. I figure, though, since you guys are South American, it probably appeals less to you, because AoE2 is too centered around European history. And I definitely concur the World Editor's capacity is superior; after all, it is the reason Warcraft 3 bloomed as much as it did.
     
  6. Reactionist

    Reactionist

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    I'm from Venezuela, and AoE2 is one of the few games in South America that everybody and their dogs know.

    I loved to learn about far-away cultures, and know many that loved it too. But, the thing is that people in South America love multiplayer games where you can do "quick" matches. Back in the day we (Venezuela) had a huge cyber-cafe culture where Counter Strike and AoE2 were the kings and Warcraft 3, Tibia, and such were there in a lesser capacity. I'm sure Colombia's scene was very much the same.
     
  7. Rui

    Rui

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    @Reactionist Glad to hear it. Unfortunately, over here in Portugal, we only get to hear about Venezuela and other South American countries due to migrant caravans or the poverty going on. The idea our media passes of Venezuela is that of a couple of guys sitting on a throne while the rest of the people starves to death. Whenever someone speaks of left-wing policies in social media, there's always some twat asking: «What about Venezuela????!!» It's gross.

    Sorry for the off-topic. My story with Warcraft 3 is hardly as interesting, but I was hoping for more participation. Since a couple of ol' guys have returned due to the announcement of Reforged, perhaps they have something interesting to share. @Illidan(Evil)X @Restor @Razorclaw_X @Ash @loktar @Kuhneghetz @RED BARON. I know @BlinkBoy is also South American and he's got quite an interesting story to share too. I'll see if I can find it and then I'll edit this post.


    EDIT2: Ah, YES! Found it: From World Editor to Computer Science
    I wasn’t planning to extend my post further, but I do believe I should. Therefore, I would like to share some other interesting points which I've learned and I hope anyone who is starting knows a bit of how modding can really change your life. Some important points:

    Modding, at a first glance, is just a hobby, something we do for burning free time. However, it may be more than what it looks like. I believe modding is, for many of us, our first work experience. We learn to work in teams, we set objectives and we work them out from our own self motivation in order to achieve the creation of artifacts which could make our main hobby (gaming) more interesting and delightful. During my experience, I was: an artist, a mapper, a programmer and a 'lecturer'.

    As an artist, I produced material in order to incorporate my own imagination and passion for the things I liked (history for instance) into the different mods who saw my creations as key elements for their creation to take shape. This discipline instructed me to be precise, learn of perspective and actually look to the shapes and colors deeper than I could ever do before. As I had specialized in 3d animation, I learned to understand movement and how to achieve certain human like effects in a very systematic way.

    As a mapper, I produced maps for creating new ways of playing a good game which people could find interesting and enjoyable, as well, as useful for future maps and ideas. From this experience, one learns to design, brainstorm ideas, talk with clients/customers as well as learn values like humility(which to my own shame was something that sadly took me a while), honesty, empathy, gratefulness, to be willing of mind, as many others.

    As a programmer, I used my knowledge of logic and math to systemize ideas and bring them from a very abstract view into real solutions to many of the problems presented in other disciplines. It was programming who taught me to be organized, methodological and visionary on my ideas. It teaches you to think out-side the box and learn to solve problems in a very organized way. Not only that, but the science itself behind it, Computer-science, can be used to solve many of the problem present now-a-days within the market (not only software wise as many of s tend to ignore).

    As a 'lecturer', I used my experienced before mentioned to help newcomers travel along the hard path of each discipline. Using your knowledge to help others, teaches you about many aspects of social interaction, like learning to express your ideas, learning to give your ideas from one person to another and teaching yourself the importance of intellectual sensibility(how to be on their position).

    Among other important things: the modding community is an international community; one learns to work with people from different cultural backgrounds and how can you synergize within to make more creative products than you could from just one perspective. Furthermore, the need for all of us to communicate in one common language (English) different from our own mother language (Spanish in my case), gives us linguistic skills and helps us learn to express ourselves in a more fluent way.
    It is for all these reasons that I believe my time here was completely worth it. I'm grateful for being part of this community and grateful to all the different people in it which opened their heart and shared what they had. There's no more and better thing to say, that thanks to that I became a better man and i was able to improve to some point i could have never imagined.

    With great joy I say these words, Fernando Andreas Sahmkow Beicos, aka @BlinkBoy.


    Also, I came across something I forgot I had shared here. In case you're interested My first Blender model xD
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  8. Reactionist

    Reactionist

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    The situation is much more complicated. I always compare it to India, in the sense that "where people are the poorest, you can see the richest." There's a lot of bad things going here and a LOT of money being fueled into these. The social stratification is insane. These years of crisis, for example, the production of gold has spiked. People have a lot of money, but the nation has got worse. Anyway, this is not the place of such topics. If you want to talk more about it, send me a PM.

    Thanks for the excerpt! I have always loved what modding represents. For me, modding is doing art. I've lurked Wacraft 3, Morrowind, and Neverwinter Nights modding communities for years and been impressed at their creative output. Yeah, some mods are shit. But, seeing so many people doing imperfect things without giving a damn, it makes me feel free to do whatever I want without being so self-conscious.

    I read somewhere that, in a classroom, when one student skips class, he hurts not just him but the whole class. The writer reasoned that teaching is more than an interchange between students and professors—it's an environment. I think that modding is also an environment, so the more, the better!

    Nice Panda XD!
     
  9. moyackx

    moyackx

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    Warcraft 3 has much power in itself, probably because it offered directly a tool (honestly I don't remember EOA2 offered a tool like WE) but the thing is that it has inside WE the tools needed to make gaming stuff almost in a direct way, without a steeped learning curve that scares newcomers.

    OMG, that's the thing I love the most from the WC3 modding community, we never finish to know people with the same interest and so near physically. It's curious though, WC3 is not so popular in this country, the current demand is from LOL, Halo, minecraft, and almost all of the FPS from known gaming companies. In fact is so popular the console games over the PC games. I could attract kids to the project for LOL, Clash Royale and Clash of Clans.

    In the school where I work I've attended people from Venezuela, in fact I had 3 students from your country. Honestly, they were a good addition because they helped me indirectly to remove a bad costume in Colombia (and I presume in Latin America) so see the others less then itself.

    @Reactionist , I'm so glad to know you and I hope to share more of the progress of this project with you and the community. And thanks for the @BlinkBoy citation :D
     
  10. Reactionist

    Reactionist

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    I said "Back in the day...", that was long ago :p. I don't know about the current cyber-cafe scene in my country (if it even exists). Nowadays, cybers are mostly occupied by people working (often because their PCs don't work anymore). The cost per hour (which once was almost nothing) also prohibits long sessions as before.

    That's really great! Am happy each time I read that our kids are out there getting education. I had good education when child and I hope every children gets the same, but nowadays our schools have more than a 50% dropout rate. Thanks for treating them well!
     
  11. Landmine

    Landmine

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    This is a great story to hear about. I'm surprised that Warcraft 3 was the game chosen, over all the other, much newer options like Starcraft 2 and Minecraft (so many already work with Minecraft in educational environments). However, Warcraft 3 does have enough complex aspects to it to need a diverse team. Congratulations on having this project be a success; I'm always happy to hear that those in educational roles are using games to better engage with students for learning, not to mention providing industry-level environments for practical experience (creating a game dev team and following a development cycle).
     
  12. moyackx

    moyackx

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    Using SC2 unfortunately has a serious limitation and is its steeped learning curve, which generates lack of motivation in newcomers. The second inconvenience is that I don't have access nor resources to get good PC specifications to run SC2 editor, neither my students. WC3 is the real option because it can run properly in a Pentium II, and that's enough for me.

    If the project gets more support from the Education Secretary, I may get more hardware and more powerful opening new possibilities with others game IDE.
     
  13. emperor_d3st

    emperor_d3st

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    When my kid brother was 8 I formulated a plan to infect his mind with Warcraft III.
    My goals were to make him interested in learning a foreign language (English) through gaming, make him practice abstract thinking, problem solving, eventually coding, and giving him a creative outlet.

    I created an RPG map where I was the king (obviously!) and he was a royal member of my army. I included his beloved dog in the game as well.

    The original map's only chapter took ~30 minutes to play through. There were only 4 abilities to level up, with ~8 types of enemies and a boss battle in the end.

    It was a huge success!

    So I kept updating it every now and then. Now there are 15 chapters, roughly 80 abilities (including upgrades that modify the effects of a skill), over a hundred enemy types, 15 bosses with complex boss mechanics, etc.
    As well as some spinoff maps such as a turn based card game map that plays similar to Magic: The Gathering / Hearthstone with roughly 200 cards.

    Better, my brother, now 15 years old, is fluent in English, has a rudimentary programming knowledge and relevant skills. For example, a few weeks ago he made modifications to a model by teaching himself how to do it. Himself spawned more than a hundred of his own maps. Maps I play, critique, and I keep setting my expectations higher.


    I genuinely think that GUI and then JASS should be used in classrooms to teach kids the basics of coding. It should be a gateway drug to python or java or whatever.
     
  14. moyackx

    moyackx

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    That's what I call an evil plan :D

    Awesome!!! I'd like to see the map, if there's no problem...

    More than awesome!!! you left a high mark in his learning process, and you promoted self regulation, which is the key for better and faster learning :)

    Yes, but there's a lot of room for improvements in the didactic of programming. That part is one of the hardest to achieve. But I won't give ip :D

    Thanks for sharing your experience, definitely a good one to show to my students.
     
  15. stormone

    stormone

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    Wow the best teacher ever :)
     
  16. moyackx

    moyackx

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    Thanks, I just want to share the good things that WC3 has, much more than playing melee :D
     
  17. corpuzmarvicjune

    corpuzmarvicjune

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    Hands up to you Sir... I am a teacher too and the world editor is my past time... your project is awesome... but such projects could not be apply in the school I am teaching...
     
  18. Daffa the Mage

    Daffa the Mage

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    Maybe I should start infecting the new batch students with Warcraft 3 instead of harsh C coding when they just hit electrical faculty's door xD

    Nice share!
     
  19. moyackx

    moyackx

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    Why not?? could you share the condtitions and context you have and we can analize the situation :)

    Thanks @Daffa the Mage , it's been a lot of work and more to come with this idea. I hope everything keeps coming for the good of this project.

    Thanks for your support :D
     
  20. Archian

    Archian

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    Great read :)

    I love your initiative and dedication.