Game Development Rubric

When teaching a game development curriculum unit use a Game Development Rubric. A rubric is an efficient way to consistently grade student work. Especially when teaching multiple classes. Moreover, this tool makes it easy to rate students’ performance from beginner to expert.

What is a Rubric?

To clarify, a rubric is an assessment tool that evaluates each part of a task based upon the level of mastery. Typically, there are three or four levels in a scale. These progress from beginner to advanced. Each level includes a performance descriptor for a part of the task. A teacher or student can use a rubric to identify strengths and areas for improvement.

Why Use a Rubric to Assess Game Development?

Whenever you teach a game development unit it is likely each student’s program will be unique. In this case, evaluation can become complex. Therefore, you need a rubric. Below are three benefits to using a rubric when assessing games.

1. Save Time

Most importantly, the number one benefit of using a rubric is time. To evaluate a game a teacher will likely need to run the program – sometimes repeatedly. If there are many students, this can be extremely time consuming. By having a clear and concise grading criteria instead of playing the game many times, the teacher can play it once. Consequently, reducing hours of marking.

2. Clear Expectations

The second benefit to using a rubric is that expectations for a programming task are clear to both the student and teacher. This is because a Game Development Rubric divides game components into parts such as user experience, theme, player controls, sound, etc. For each part a description explicitly states what the game should contain and how it should function. Instantly, this creates achievable goals for students. As well, clear expectations provide consistency to teachers when grading.

3. Concise Feedback

Lastly, a third benefit to using a rubric is the quality of feedback. As you know, this type of assessment tool provides a rating scale for each game component. This is informative to students. By reading the marked rubric, a student is able to pinpoint the strengths of the game, as well weaknesses. Instantly, a student can refer to the performance descriptor to determine what is lacking in their program or how they can improve.

Challenges to Rubric Design

With the benefits of using a rubric in mind, it is essential to consider one of the drawbacks to a rubric. Granted a rubric saves time. Unfortunately, this tool also takes time to create. Mostly because dividing performance criteria into differentiated levels can be challenging. And, although it might seem trivial, fitting the criteria into a tiny table cell can seem almost impossible. It is for this reason, TechnoKids has provided you with an example of a Game Development Rubric.

Example Game Development Rubric

Since a game development rubric is such a useful assessment tool, TechnoKids has provided an example. This is done in hopes that you will find it a valuable way to assess and evaluate learning. Please note, the Game Development Rubric is from the TechnoKids coding project, TechnoRace, which is a Scratch coding project.

Game Components1
Beginner
2
Skilled
3
Talented
4
Expert
User ExperienceGame does not include instructions.Game has instructions and describes the plot.Game has instructions which clearly describe the plot. Plot is logical.Game has instructions which entice players with a unique description. Plot is imaginative.
ThemeGame board design does not fit the theme.

Characters and objects do not match storyline.
Game board design matches the theme.

Some characters and objects match storyline.
Game board design matches the theme and has an interesting path.

All characters and objects match the storyline.
Game board design matches the theme and has creative elements.

All characters and objects match the storyline, and some are from an external source.
Player MovementsPlayer does not start at a specific spot, nor stay on the path.Player starts at a specific spot and sometimes stays on the path.Player starts at a suitable spot and always stays on the path.Player starts at a suitable spot, always stays on the path, and provides an optimal challenge.
SoundSoundtrack is missing or unsuitable.Soundtracks loops forever.Soundtrack loops forever and sets the mood.
Actions have sound effects.
Soundtrack loops forever and sets the mood.
Actions have fitting sound effects, and some are from an external source.
ObstaclesObstacle is missing or does not slow the player.Obstacle moves and slows the player.Obstacle slows the player in an interesting way
(e.g., freeze, trap, start over).
Obstacle slows the player in an entertaining way and is the ideal difficulty level.
Characters/ObjectsSprites do not move or change appearance.Sprites move and change appearance.Sprites move and change appearance, attracting player interest.Sprites are customized to move and change appearance, captivating player interest.
ScoreScore is missing.Score resets to zero.

Player scores points when they touch treasure.
Score resets to zero.
Player correctly scores points when they touch treasure.

Player wins if they have enough points when they reach the goal.
Score resets to zero.
Player correctly scores points when they touch multiple pieces of treasure.

Player wins if they have enough points when they reach the goal.
TimerTimer is missing.Timer counts the seconds and resets to zero at start.Timer counts the seconds and resets to zero at start.

Game ends when time is up.
Timer counts the seconds and resets to zero at start.

Game ends when time is up.

Time limit provides optimal challenge.
CreativityGame does not include creative elements.Game includes few creative elements.Game includes some creative elements.Game includes many creative elements. (e.g., hyper speed, switch backdrop)
Game Development Rubric from the TechnoKids technology project, TechnoRace.

Game Development Curriculum Units

It is important to realize that teachers need a simple method to evaluate games. If you are interested in game development, TechnoKids has projects that include assessment tools. For instance, refer to the six technology projects below.

TechnoWhiz

In TechnoWhiz, primary students design a game using Scratch Jr. To play, players watch racers dash to the finish line. Next, they must select who they think is the winner. If they are correct, the racer will do a dance to celebrate their victory.

TechnoArcade

In TechnoArcade, elementary and middle school students create a treasure hunt. In this game, the player must collect items and store them in a safe place to earn points.

TechnoRace

In TechnoRace, elementary students build an imaginary world using Scratch. In the race, the player must complete a mission before time is up. To win, they must avoid obstacles and collect treasure.

TechnoTurtle

In TechnoTurtle, students use Python and the Turtle library to code a carnival game, such as rign toss, duck pond, dart throw, or spin-the-wheel. The player must pick a choice to win a prize.

TechnoCode

In TechnoCode, students use Scratch to design a target game. In it, the player touches targets to score as many points as they can before time runs out. Whether it is an alien attack or feeding a hungry hippo, students will enjoy the activities.

TechnoPython

In TechnoPython students use Python to code a text-based adventure. In the game, players explore a strange land to earn coins and collect special objects. They can travel North, South, East, and West on their quest.