This is my second year using an online program called Gamestar Mechanic and I love it. According to the website, Gamestar mechanic enables students to build games which develops; Systems Thinking, 21st Century Skills, Creative Problem Solving, Art and Aesthetics,Writing and Storytelling, and creates a motivation for STEM learning. I totally agree. In addition you can purchase a life time subscription for a student for $2.00. Every teacher needs to adhere to a budget so this gaming program is very affordable.
Furthermore, it is very user friendly for teachers and requires minimal teacher background knowledge of gaming. The program has been designed so that students complete quests and learn the skills they need in order to create their own games. Last year one of my students created a multi level game and presented it at the SA EdTech Conference, she was 11 years old. Below is a screen capture of one of her levels.
If you are teaching using the Australian Curriculum this program fits nicely into the Digital Technologies Curriculum:
Y5-6: Design a user interface for a digital system (ACTDIP018)