Dad, Can you make a video game?

My four year old son and I have a Saturday morning ritual where the two of us go our for a “special” breakfast at a local restaurant. While we are waiting for our food, Owen always draws a very exciting battle scene on the back of the paper placemat using the crayons provided by our server. This week’s battle scene was that of an army battle that involved a very large spaceship and a tank and some helicopters. Once he was done drawing, he asked “Dad, can we turn this into a video game?”. I answered that of course I could make a video game!

So we went home and pulled out an old scanner, scanned his drawing, and went to work in Flash! The result, is a fun little game that I had fun making (and relearning a bit of trigonometry) and Owen had fun playing. I thought I’d share it as a small lesson in how to make a video game.

The game is aptly titled “Army Battle“. To play the game, you try to blast the helicoters with a bullet from your tank. To move the tank use the up and down arrows. To rotate the tank, use the left and right arrows. To aim the turret, move your mouse pointer around the screen. To fire the cannon, click the left mouse button!


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30 thoughts on “Dad, Can you make a video game?”

  1. Wow, that’s impressive work for a Saturday morning/afternoon.

    Just watch out when the other kids on the street start turning up on your front door with their place-mat scribbles and game requests :)

  2. Definitely the best game ever! I will write a post on my Chinese blog titled: What a real game is like!


    to michael, you just move the tank using arrow keys.

  3. hmm….. the last helicopter (the one on the left top corner) seems ..invincible? or.. is that a mistake? my son (3.5 old) & I played 3 times so far adn ..that drives me CRAZY! :-p also ..if u could send me the flahs file, i could possibily add some sound..?? :-p (my sons’ request lol)
    but.. well we LOVED it.. good job!

  4. Wow, that is something. You are really talented, man. I mean, it’s so simple but much too fascinating in a kiddish kind of way.

    I wish I had the parallel skills of Flash as you do.

  5. I was watching the lab with leo and i love the idea of making your own game
    but when i try to go to the zip file download your site wont pull it up could you please try to trobleshoot it for me Thank You!

  6. dude that is some cool game you made i play it alot but when you destroy all o em how yougt last 1.any way kid your you gotta think your dad izz de best :D only 4your a good drawer lol! :) plzz tell us your secret lolz (‘.’)

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