Tag: IEL

GameJam: Permanent Campaign

The real excitement in the Game Design Workshop happened in the afternoon, when I participated in a “GameJam” (a timed contest of design and creativity where you get a set amount of time to design the core concepts of a game). In this particular event, we a little less than three hours from start to finish to come up with the conception for a game, how the gameplay works and what the game look like. During the short time period we also had to come up with enough visual and verbal documentation of the game that it could be judged without us being there to present it. Teams were formed at the beginning of the event. Our team was Dan Petrak, Richard Sebastian, Stephen Martin, and myself (only Dan and I knew each other prior to the GameJam). We were armed with a box of markers, a box of colored pencils, an easel of paper, and a trifold board to post our videogame design. One final detail — you don’t know what the game is supposed to be about until the beginning of the contest. With two hours and 45 minutes of time to completion, we got our game theme, which was “long-term and short-term goal setting.” Ouch. At least 45 minutes of our initial time was simply spent brainstorming ideas for the types of activities that would involve...

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Game Design as a Teaching Method for Math

One of the purposes for attending this conference (Innovations in eLearning at GMU) was to attend an all-day workshop on game design conducted by Brenda Brathwaite. We spent the first half the day learning about game design in general through the process of designing some simple games (digital or non-digital). When designing a digital game, you have to “Know Your Constraints” and the process of walking through this list helps you to funnel your ideas down to something that is manageable. • Identify the genre/type of game (e.g. simulation, adventure, first-person-shooter) • Rating (Will the content of the game restrict your audience?) • Audience (Who is your target audience?) • Budget • Platform (e.g. web browser, Wii, Facebook) • Tone/Style • Incidentals (details that are beyond your control, i.e. a funder insists there are no guns anywhere in the game) • Game Engines • Release date (sets timeline for what can reasonably be done) • Skill set limitations (Can your designers actually handle the job? No? Then either change the job or the designers) Through the process of attempting to design games with constraints ourselves, we learned how game design can be a powerful tool to motivate creative thinking. For example, we had to design a video game where the objective was to decide the winner in a Civil War battle, but there could be no combat or territorial...

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