2024-02 Dawson College – Pixel Art and Game Design with Bitsy

Dawson College – Pixel Art and Game Design with Bitsy

  • Location: Dawson College, Canada
  • Date: February 19th, 21st, 26th and 28th 2024
  • Duration: 4 sessions of 2 hours each
  • Instructors: Vanessa Racine, Nancy Townsend, Taylor McArthur, Caeleigh Lightning


We were invited back to Dawson College to host another Skins Workshop for students in the Journeys program! Journeys is an introduction to CEGEP designed for First Nations, Inuit and M├ętis students and is a one-year transition program that gives opportunities to complete prerequisites, obtain college credits, explore options, and settle into the city to pursue higher education. Over four sessions, we covered the fundamentals of pixel art and game design using Bitsy: a mini game maker for mini worlds.  

Learning 8bit pixel art is fun and challenging due to its constraints. Students had to focus on building shapes, and piecing together tiles to create larger images that can shape the overall narrative and feel of the game. Once students were comfortable with building tiles, they worked on creating immersive worlds in Bitsy, where they had to interact with at least three sprites, three items and move between three rooms. While we required one ending for each game, many of the students went ahead and made more! 

At the end of the workshop, students submitted a variety of games. Ranging from finding keys to unlocking different rooms of a house to a cat finding its friend to navigating mazes, we were excited to see the enthusiasm for video game design! Until next time, Journeys!  

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