I talked to my students about the “iterative design process” of making video games yesterday as we began our Geological Video Game Project and when we got to the part about the job of “game testers” at companies, they were intrigued to learn that people to get paid to play games. But, I reminded them, not just “play games,” but play games with a reflective eye, noting strengths and weaknesses so the developer can go back and revise, revise, revise.
I made connections between the game design process and the writing process, and I think I saw some lights going on.
Today, they will begin the brainstorming phase of their project: coming up with an overarching scientific idea for the game they are going to create in Gamestar Mechanic. Then, they will launch into storyboarding out the levels of their game. This becomes their “map” for development of the game, although I was honest in saying that it won’t be surprising if the final game no longer resembles the storyboard because ideas change as games go under development. We storyboard to keep focus.
I am going to share out my own storyboard for my Women in Science game, which I am using as a model of a multi-level game that entertains (I hope) and educates. This is where I began:
This is where I ended up with my Women in Science video game (go ahead, please try the game, if you haven’t. I need as many players as possible so that I can share out game stats with the kids later this week.)
Peace (on the board),
This is great stuff – I’m linking to it for a game design enrichment course I’m beginning in Jan @ http://techkimgames.blogspot.com. Are you having the kids enter the http://www.stemchallenge.org?
We are definitely going to have some projects for the STEM Competition. That something we are shooting for, and the kids know that is an option for them going in … and almost 75 percent are already saying they want to design a game to enter in the competition. So, very exciting …
We had a sudden schedule change and with less than a day’s notice I had my kids for an extra chunk of time on the last day before vacation. So, I found 25 minutes in a computer lab free and they all played your game. They were so engaged! Thanks for a way to keep them focused for another 30 minutes today.
Thanks for getting them to play and thanks for letting me know. I walked my classes through my whole storyboard process and then we looked at the stats behind the game, and so the more players, the more helpful it was with stat. Give your kids a big thanks from me, please.
We spend a good hour and 15 minutes on Tuesday of this week checking out all that you offered in your blog post. We brainstormed a “What makes a good game?” compilation. We enthusiastically played your Science game while projecting the game on our classroom SMART board. The students loved it. We even went as far as to use your framework for game design to design our own games! Thank you for outlining, “just enough” to get us started on our game design quest!
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Hi Kevin. Are you ok if I use your video gane storyboard design sheets and share on my blog? Full credit given of course. Dai
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