Collaborative Design in Extension- Using a Modified Game J…

but then split into smaller discussion groups to refine content ideas, then share with the group. This enabled small-group discussion, but sharing across content areas. Once the content was set, the content experts felt comfortable allowing the designers to brainstorm some game ideas to share with the larger group. One option could have been to split into different teams, placing some content experts and game designers on each. In smaller groups, the teams could have each worked through design pitches to share with the larger team. The larger team could then decide which pitch to take to the production of a prototype. Managing this process is important, and others should constantly find ways during the process to manage the group brainstorming and discussion processes in smaller groups, while encouraging pollination of ideas across game development and content expertise. Reasonable outcomes Define and prioritize your goals for your modified game jam with your larger team. While there will likely be several positive results, the structure of your jam should be informed by the most important goals.  Engage in professional development and immersion in game design: Game jams are traditionally used to give developers a chance to develop their skills. For example, game artists may want to explore a new style, play with a new kind of software, or even experiment with a new role such as audio editor. The rapid nature of prototype development allows participants to explore, without the constraint of high-quality demands. In this jam, content experts had the chance to take on the role of game developer and understand the educational design process for creating learning games. When proposing new educational interventions, they now have a better idea of how to estimate budgets and timelines.  Release a quality prototype: It’s unrealistic to expect a finished game in a short period of time— even delivering a working prototype in a short amount of time can be challenging. Depending on the nature of the proposed game, the nature of the prototype may vary. The “Unpeeled” game was designed to be modular, with short play experiences for the user — this design was chosen by the designers because they knew a primary goal was to create a prototype. A proposed, complex simulation game would not lend itself to a prototype, as programmers would need to spend a considerable amount of time building the engine to support the simulation with data. In this case, they could explore the development of that engine, but it wouldn’t yield a prototype users could play in a week. It’s also unfair to ask developers to create things below their own standard of quality. For this project, the teams allowed a sample prototype and budgeted in a couple of weeks of additional support so that the team could polish their product. While the content team was happy with the game, the designers wanted future users to know that this was the result of just a couple of weeks’ work and not reflective of everything the team could do. A screen was added in the “Unpeeled” game prototype informing players that the game was created during a week-long game jam. Finally, if your goal is to create a playable prototype, you will need experienced developers on your team. It’s unfair to expect new designers to explore the design of a new game and learn the production processes in a week.  Provide an interactive wireframe: In cases where a prototype is not available, the team could create a sample area of gameplay, or show what gameplay could feel like. For example, using wireframe software (e.g. Adobe XD), the team could create an interactive that would mimic some of the gameplay and feel. (A wireframe is a simple interactive storyboard that shows how a game or interactive program could work) . A short animation or opening set of graphics could set the stage for the game, and then allow the user to feel they are making some choices, when it isn’t as open - ended as the final game would be. This is useful for teams that don’t have experienced programmers, as creating wireframes is fairly easy. It is also helpful for game designers that require more complex assets (such as virtual reality) or more complex gameplay (such as a branching storyline or script, games that depend on simulated systems, or a game that requires significant input from the player). Wireframes show how one version of the game could be played, without offering the true game experience for the pla yer. It’s easy to talk about polish , in terms of add-on features to a game; but it’s important to note that things like smoother animation, quality graphics, accessibility, and voiced narration can contribute significantly to a game’s feel and a player’s


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