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Library game design programs


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  • 1. Game Creation Programsin Libraries
    Scott Nicholson
    Syracuse University
    School of Information Studies
  • 2. Overview
    Why Game Creation?
    Analog Game Creation
    Digital Game Creation
    Partnering with Schools
    Introducing the Community
  • 3. Why Game Design?
    Theoretical Background: Constructionism (Seymour Papert)
    Comes from Constructivism
    Constructivism: Learners create their own knowledge
    Constructionism: New ideas developed when an external artifact is created and shared
    Benefit: Long-term retention
  • 4. Why Game Design?
    Design is an active and creative process
    Multiple skill-sets (group engagement)
    Design->Playtest cycle teaches reflection
    Design is addictive!
  • 5. Structure for Game Design Programs
    Overall Concept
    Outcome – How will the game affect the players?
    Can be set by you or have groups determine and then vetted
    Time for Creation
    Time for Play & Complexity
    Additional constraints (theme, mechanism)
    “May not be” constraints (no asking questions)
    Prevents reuse of prior games
  • 6. Organization
    Groups or Solo?
    Different time formats
    One session
    Intensive (Global Game Jam)
    Over months
    Importance of playtesting!
    Emphasize gameplay over look
  • 7. Analog Game Creation
    Board and card games
    “Paper Prototypes”
    Paper, posterboard, index cards, Playing cards, dice, chips, cubes, card sleeves
    Educational supply store
    Print and Play from Prototype
    Writing the rules earlier in the process
  • 8. Challenges in Analog
    Tend to be Roll and move or Abstract strategy
    Many other mechanisms out there: Auctions, trading, cooperative, wagering, pick-up and deliver, set collection, investment, area control/voting
    1 die = random, 2 dice = probability
    Alternates to roll-and-move: Cards from hand, fixed number of spaces
    Player’s actions representative of theme
  • 9. Digital Game Creation
    Game creation toolkits
    Scratch – MIT, designed for 8-16
    Gamemaker, - Yoyo games, Older
    Sploder – Web-based, basic
    Little Big Planet, Level creation tools
  • 10.
  • 11.
  • 12.
  • 13. Digital Game Creation
    Consider game experience for player
    How will player be changed?
    Storyboard first – what will happen?
    Game Design Document
    Integration of tutorial
    Playtest by others is critical (observed interaction without direction)
  • 14.
  • 15. Digital Game Creation
    Rules vs. tutorial
    Integration of tutorial vs. presentation of rules
    Playtest by others is critical (observed interaction without direction)
  • 16. Challenges in Digital
    Schmups and Platformers
    Don’t drop rocks on player’s heads
    Computers needed
    Focus too early on graphics and sound
    Loss of connection between desired outcome and gameplay
    Paper prototypes -> Develop game mechanisms first
    Focus on one level before moving on
    Something playable is important
  • 17. Working with Schools
    Game creation as pedagogical tool
    Used after students learn a topic
    Focus on finding the game in the topic
    Player experience should come out of topic, not mechanisms of the game
    Teacher involved in the planning process with student groups
  • 18. Involving the Community
    Open house to demonstrate games
    Invite press, local game stores, students from gaming programs
    Bring in speaker from gaming industry
    Career paths in programming, art, music, writing, math and physics
    Engage with larger events
    National Gaming Day @ Your Library
    Global Game Jam
  • 19. Conclusions & Questions
    Twitter: snicholson & scottsturn
  • 20. Let’s Make A Game
    Concept: Networking Activity
    Outcome: Players will know something new about other players that is valuable from a job perspective
    Competitive – there must be a winner
    Timed – game ends in 10 minutes
    Simple – No more than 6 rules (write them down)
    Works for 5-10 people
    Must use at least one item
  • 21. And now..
    Play your game!
    What did you learn?
    What would you change?
    Next steps..