Dr Jacob Habgood, Head of Serious Games, Sumo Digital

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Dr Jacob Habgood, Head of Serious Games, Sumo Digital presents the concept and development of the Outnumbered game for the Nintendo Wii. Video presentation at: …

Dr Jacob Habgood, Head of Serious Games, Sumo Digital presents the concept and development of the Outnumbered game for the Nintendo Wii. Video presentation at:

http://newlearning.blip.tv/file/1906938/

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  • 1. Dr. Jacob Habgood Head of Serious Games © 2009 Sumo Digital Limited Wii Don’t do “Edutainment”!
  • 2.
    • Sumo Digital Limited:
    • “ Work for hire” Console Developer
      • SEGA, Konami, Sony (Xbox, 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP).
      • Around 120 developers in Sheffield.
      • Heritage going back to Gremlin Graphics in the 80’s.
    • Foundation 9 Group
      • Around 900 developers worldwide.
    Just who are Wii?
  • 3. Personal Background
    • Industry & Academia:
    • Gremlin / Infogrames / Atari
      • Hogs of War, MicroMachines, Actua Sports.
      • Programmer / Technical Lead (PSX, PS2, Xbox, GC) .
    • Ph.D. in Learning Sciences
      • LSRI, University of Nottingham.
      • “ The Effective Integration of Digital Games and Learning Content” ( www.zombiedivision.co.uk ).
    • Head of Serious Games
      • “ The Game Maker’s Apprentice”.
      • Game Development tools for Kids (Game Maker).
      • But no explicit “learning” products… yet.
  • 4. Learning Showcase
    • Work for Hire:
    • Console-based Learning
      • “ Edutainment” products are trickling onto consoles.
      • Often developed by smaller developers to make ends meet while chasing the big publishing deal.
      • Not necessarily any expertise or passion for learning.
    • Sumo: Serious about Learning
      • Large console developer, great track-record : large publishers beat a path to our door.
      • Passion and expertise for game-based learning.
      • Perfectly positioned to branch into learning-based console products.
    • Showcase Game
      • Self-funded WiiWare title: “Outnumbered”.
  • 5. Design Philosophy
    • Anti-Edutainment:
    • Intrinsic Integration (Kafai, 2001)
      • Extrinsic “chocolate-covered broccoli” approaches to integrating games and learning do not work.
      • Modern example: Questionaut by Amanita Design ( Award-winning web game designers).
      • More integrated approaches could be more effective.
  • 6. Research Evidence
    • Zombie Division:
    • Controlled Trials
    • Results
      • Intrinsic games are more motivating than extrinsic games (as measured by time-on-task).
      • Intrinsic games are more effective than extrinsic games (as measured by learning gains).
      • Intrinsic Skeletons = Dividends Weapons = Divisors
      • Extrinsic Skeletons = Symbols + Extrinsic Q&A
      • Control Skeletons = Symbols
  • 7. Design Philosophy
    • Maths-Based Game for WiiWare:
    • Intrinsically Integrated
      • Deliver learning content alongside, and in tandem with the flow experience of the game.
      • Integrate the learning content within the structure of the gaming world and its core-mechanics.
    • Unpatronising and Unapologetic
      • Kids are aspirational: so design for big ones.
      • Safe is dull – zombies/monsters/explosions are fun.
    • Does Not Try to “Make Maths Fun”!
      • Maths is simply a medium.
      • All games are about learning something.
      • The fact that this happens to be maths should be almost entirely irrelevant to the player.
  • 8. Pedagogy
    • Interconnected Mathematics:
    • Learning Content
      • Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division.
    • Conceptual and Procedural Knowledge
      • Should be developed alongside each other (Rittle-Johnson, Siegler & Alibali, 2001).
    • Beyond Rote Learning
      • Embodies the meaningful relationships between knowledge essential for understanding (Hiebert & Lefevre, 1986).
    • Anchored Instruction
      • Successful mathematics teaching needs to be grounded in “real world” situations (Greer, 1992).
      • Real world “anchors” (Brandsford et al, 1990).
  • 9. Outnumbered
    • Basic Concept:
    • Maths can be fatal – especially if you’re a monster!
    • Attach your brain to your wand-arm and get ready to cause some serious mayhem as you defend your wizard’s home against an army of magical beasts…
  • 10. Outnumbered
    • Screen Layout
  • 11. Outnumbered
    • Core Mechanics:
    • “ Mechanism through which players make meaningful choices and arrive at a meaningful play experience” (Salen & Zimmerman, 2004).
    • Core Mechanic 1: “Playing with Goo”
      • Magical mana comes in two flavours.
      • Monsters are made of bad mana while wizard’s towers attract good mana.
      • Bad mana can be neutralised with good.
      • Monsters die when you reduce their bad mana exactly down to zero.
      • Overshooting makes all the good mana fall off the monster.
  • 12. Outnumbered
    • Core Mechanics:
    • Core Mechanic 2: “Monster Grow Bags”
      • Create your own good monsters.
      • Drop mana onto a monster grow bag and it will form its own “good” cloud.
      • Fill it up to the desired value of good mana.
      • Grab the cloud to pull the monster from the earth.
      • The good monster will defeat any bad monster of equal value in its path AND take out any other monsters standing behind it.
  • 13. Outnumbered
    • Progression:
    • At the beginning of the game:
      • Throwing Goo = Subtraction.
      • Growing Monsters = Addition.
      • Mixing colours of goo is fine.
    • Progressing to PURE EVIL:
      • Monsters which are pure evil can only be defeated by pure good mana – i.e. a single colour of goo.
      • Now :
      • Throwing Goo = Division by repeated subtraction.
      • Growing Monsters = Multiplication by repeated addition.
  • 14. Outnumbered
    • Core Mechanics:
    • Core Mechanic 3: “Divide and Conquer”
      • Repeated subtraction is a slow way to divide.
      • Magic can speed that up.
      • Any value of blob can be powered up to become a divisor.
      • Magic blobs kill monsters instantly (provided that they divide!)
    Fire Ice Lightning
  • 15.
    • Core Mechanics:
    • Divisor Relationships:
    • Core Mechanic 4: “Multiplying Monsters”
      • Repeated addition is a slow way to multiply.
      • Magic can speed that up.
      • The result is always “pure” good.
    Outnumbered 2, 4 &8 3, 6 &9 5 & 10 7
  • 16. Outnumbered
    • Emergent Gameplay:
    • Core Mechanics:
      • Throwing Goo = (Repeated) Subtraction.
      • Growing Monsters = (Repeated) Addition.
      • Dividing Monsters = Division.
      • Multiplying Mana = Multiplication.
    • Mixing Mechanics:
      • Pure Evil / Pure Good.
      • Monster Immunity (Red, Blue, Yellow).
      • Subtract -> Divide / Multiply -> Add.
      • (23 – 2) / 3
      • “ Smart Bombs”
      • End of Level Bosses – multiple clouds
  • 17. Outnumbered
    • Difficulty Level:
    • Gameplay Difficulty:
      • Standard gameplay progression:
        • Speed, quantity, strength, visual cues.
        • Same for every player.
    • Mathematical Difficulty:
      • Cognitive Model:
        • Tracks use of key domain concepts.
        • Varies difficulty accordingly.
        • Different experience for every player.
        • Additional replay value.
  • 18. Outnumbered
    • Wii Demo
    • Around 50% Complete:
  • 19. Any questions?
    • Release
    • Coming to WiiWare Summer 2009
      • 500-1000 Wii Points (£3.50 - £7.00)
    Outnumbered