Game Design & Implementation students’ project makes and preserves local history

Students in the Game Design & Implementation program are working on an interactive website that will let people explore the history of the Watervliet Shaker Historic District.

The juniors and seniors in the program at the Career & Technical Education Center – Albany Campus started work in January on the website, which will provide a history of the Shaker site, offer a virtual tour and offer small, “micro” educational games, said teacher Darryl Nunn. The campus is located on a section of The Watervliet Shaker Historic District, which is listed on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places.

Two students, Carissa Stern and Zachary Casso sitting in front of computers.
Students Carissa Stern from Schalmont and Zachary Casso from Shenendehowa work on the website during class.

The site was established in 1776 as the home of the first Shaker settlement in what would become America. Students are working with Shaker Heritage Society to ensure the historical accuracy of their work, Nunn mentioned.

Nunn said students are starting the multi-year project with an interactive website featuring a point and click tour of the site and its history. Ultimately, future Game Design & Implementation students will turn the website into an application that will be accessible through your mobile device.

Classwork that prepares students for “the real world”

Capital Region BOCES senior Zachary Casso said the work provides a real life lesson for himself and classmates.

“This is something we are doing that will be able to help others and it’s cool because are making something that the world will see and get to experience,” said the Shenendehowa student.

Classmate Tyler Furgason of Schenectady concurred, also touting how the work will boost their resumes.

“It’s a great experience that shows we can do it in the real world,” he said.

Furgason and Casso are among a team of students working on the coding for the work; other student teams are assigned the task of creating the artwork and digital design, while others are creating the games.

“We all have our tasks and work together as teams,” said Casso.

Shaker Heritage Society Executive Director Johanna Batman said she is excited to have students involved in the project.

“I approached BOCES leadership last fall to ask for assistance re-developing an audio tour for the Church Family Shaker Site. I was excited to discover that not only could BOCES students help with the project, but that Shaker Heritage Society could actively support student goals as a work-based learning partner,” Bateman said.

“What started as a simple audio tour has blossomed into a multi-year project blending humanities and technical education. I’m excited to see where this partnership takes us next,” she added.

Learn more about our Career & Technical Education programs

Students in the Capital Region BOCES Game Design and Implementation program learn the “ins” and “outs” of video game design, 3-D modeling and computer programming. They also learn the history of games and create a wide variety of games, including board games, card games and dice games while exploring various art concepts during the first year and 3-D modeling during the second year of the program.

Learn more about the Game Design and Implementation program at our Albany Campus.