Collaborative Design in Extension- Using a Modified Game J…

 the types of engagement a game could use to engage the player in the defined activities (Chamberlin & Schell, 2018)

In full game development projects, the team starts with a multi-day summit. The team anticipated starting the jam with this process and having flexibility to see when they would be able to move to the next step. During this process, the team designed and discussed a full version of the game, envisioning what the game could look like if lim ited funding and time weren’t barriers .

Activity 2: Decide on Final Deliverables from Jam

It is difficult to predict what the outcome of a game jam could be until some amount of design is complete. For example, if the team reviews content needs and decides on a modular game, a prototype could show one of the paths of the larger project. If the game is more complex and difficult to show a single path, it might be better for the team to create concept art and a trailer that demonstrates how the game could work rather than a playable prototype. The team agreed to discuss their prototype after talking about what a larger game could look like. It can be difficult for the team to brainstorm what the full game would be if they feel pressured to create a prototype first. By deciding to commit to the deliverables after the design process, the team was freed to brainstorm the best version of a full game and then decide what the output of the shorter jam would be.

Activity 3: Produce Deliverables

Once the team agreed on what the full game would be and what kind of prototype they could create in one week, the designers started producing the prototype. The designers were comfortable creating different types of products: such as a written design document, a slide deck that is used as a pitch, sample artwork, a trailer showing possible gameplay, a paper prototype, and digital prototypes. The content team agreed that once the designers knew what their deliverable would be, they would commit the remainder of the week to producing that deliverable. This should be done as a large group, as the designers can predict what is doable with the time left in the jam, and the content experts know what they need to do to meet the goals of their funded project and pitch completion of the full project.

Activity 4: Gather Feedback

Throughout early planning, both groups knew there were outstanding questions about who would play and give feedback on the prototype:

 What is the ideal length of time for play in the environment they had proposed?  How open would players be to the messages about the content?  Should content offer in-depth studies of one or two products or give a broader review of concepts?

The content experts knew they wanted an opportunity to get feedback on the product from their colleagues and from other stakeholders. The decision to include an opportunity to gather feedback through an online survey and user testing was important for the process, so that designers had a clear understanding of the audience for their prototype, the delivery medium, and the level of compilation required to make it viable.

Activity 5: Polish and Refine

Finally, the team knew that the last step would be to make changes to the prototype before the content experts were able to use the prototype for future funding. In advance, the team agreed that some work would have to be done after the game jam to polish and refine it before sending it for feedback and to make small changes to the product to reflect the feedback. The team agreed on how long they would spend after the game jam prioritizing and supporting post-game jam changes.

Differences from Traditional Game Jam Formats

With the necessary steps defined, the team also knew that the proposed game jam would differ from traditional game jams in a number of ways:

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