Educational Game DesignDavid FarrellGlasgow Caledonian Universitydavid.farrell@gcu.ac.uk@unthank
Games in Education• Games used as motivator (especially boys) • extrinsic motivator    “finish your work and you can play” ...
Problem?• These products are not particularly  successful as games or / education
Shavian Reversal         +        Text                         =Beauty       Brains          Beauty & Brains?
Shavian Reversal         +            =Beauty       Brains       Beauty & Brains?
Shavian Reversal  Ugly & Stupid
Chocolate Covered Broccoli• Thin layer of chocolate (game) on a piece  of broccoli (educational content)
Raph Koster  • Game Designer   • Ultima Online   • Everquest   • Star Wars Galaxies  • Author   • Theory of Fun for Game D...
Wil Wright      • Game Designer       • sims       • sim city       • spore
Will wright @ GDC2010 • Said that designing games is like building a   model of the universe. Playing a game is   like tes...
• Neither Raph Koster or Wil Wright are  educational game developers - but they  have noticed the potential of games to  t...
Kurt Squire• Indeed, this kind of learning seems to be  something that games do particularly well• Kurt Squire’s work with...
David W Shaffer• Similar idea - game models physics.  (Svarovski & Shaffer, 2006)• By playing with it, students get a real...
• Instead of separating the game from the  learning, it seems that one of the best ways  to teach through play is to have ...
GM Choccoli• If games teach what games model, then we  can design game mechanics that model  learning outcomes• by doing t...
• This puts an emphasis on the ‘game’ part of  educational game design.• Educational game designers should  understand the...
Designing Games• Temping to jump straight to a scenario or  an idea • but you can’t wholly trust your instincts  • what yo...
Play styles• There are different types of play• Understanding your options can help you  find ways to implement learning in...
Huizina / Callois• Agon • Games of competition & conflict• Alea • Games of chance and fate• Mimicry • Games of simulation a...
User Centred Game Design• You want your player to enjoy your game,  so you need to learn about your user • what games do t...
• Profile of your average player (Persona)• Make it as real as you can.• When yourself:designing your game, keep  asking   ...
Actual User Feedback• Discussing game ideas with audience is crucial• Having observations and interviews with  players dur...
Match LO’s to Mechanics • Using user personae & understanding of   games and deep learning, model the   learning outcome u...
e-Bug• European Commission project to improve  microbial education• One game - for young children was like Mario• One game...
Detective Game• Narrative / conceptual model based.• Heavily inspired by the Phoenix Wright: Ace  Attorney games• Players ...
Converting LOs to     Mechanics• Learning Outcome • Some microbes are good for us.
Younger Children• For researching the younger audience, we  had decided that: • we couldn’t use too much text. • we wanted...
Platform Game Solution• Used different art to represent good and  bad microbes
• Contact with bad microbes hurts the player  whereas good microbes can be stood on to  jump higher.
• When good and bad microbes come in  contact with each other, they kill each  other - showing the good microbe  protectin...
Older Children• For the older children, we used the puzzle  structure of the detective game to create a  situation where a...
• Using dialogue, the player knows that the  Coach Beveridge character is sick.• The player is talking to a girl called Al...
Some areas that worked• Enjoyable - why? • Platform game - good play-testing throughout   • levels tweaked to find appropri...
• Teachers liked the games • teacher involvement in conceptual stage    helped ensure their concerns were met• rolled out ...
• High production values• good team work / art / management in-house /  personal investment / communication • Because of t...
• Internationalisation • technical solution that decentralised the    process    • allowed for cultural sensitivity    • a...
• Some positive knowledge change results • in platform game, particular areas very    successful in short period of time (...
Data Collection• We used two methods of data collection• The platform game had a built-in quiz show  that asked the player...
differences• found many players post-game questionnaire did  not match their pre-game one  • name differences  • claimed t...
whereas...• having mini-quizes at each stage of platform  game meant that even if a player left early,  we still got some ...
Some areas of difficulty• Detective game did not get enough player  testing during development. • before and after - but no...
UI Issues• Implied buttons
Phoenix Wright• Lifted some menu terminology that wasn’t  appropriate when put in the context of our  game.
• Users underlying conceptual model didn’t  match game behaviour
• Why would you need to use your phone to  speak to someone who is in the same  room as you?• Why would you need to use yo...
How could this happen?• Phone metaphor was popular with children  pre-development, but we did not use UI  design best prac...
How could we avoid?• Paper prototype would have found that the  phone interface wasn’t meeting player  expectations before...
Didn’t allow for player error  • If players accidentally clicked through a    dialogue without fully understanding it,    ...
Complicated• The Detective Game required some  actions from the player that were intended  to emulate the real-world inves...
www.e-bug.eu?David FarrellGlasgow Caledonian Universitydavid.farrell@gcu.ac.uk@unthank
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)
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Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)

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My Keynote from the Story Telling in Educational Games (STEG 10) workshop at ICWL 10 in Shanghai.

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  • Educational Games Design (STEG10 Keynote)

    1. 1. Educational Game DesignDavid FarrellGlasgow Caledonian Universitydavid.farrell@gcu.ac.uk@unthank
    2. 2. Games in Education• Games used as motivator (especially boys) • extrinsic motivator “finish your work and you can play” • intrinsic motivator • “since they like play, we’ll put learning in their games!!”
    3. 3. Problem?• These products are not particularly successful as games or / education
    4. 4. Shavian Reversal + Text =Beauty Brains Beauty & Brains?
    5. 5. Shavian Reversal + =Beauty Brains Beauty & Brains?
    6. 6. Shavian Reversal Ugly & Stupid
    7. 7. Chocolate Covered Broccoli• Thin layer of chocolate (game) on a piece of broccoli (educational content)
    8. 8. Raph Koster • Game Designer • Ultima Online • Everquest • Star Wars Galaxies • Author • Theory of Fun for Game Design
    9. 9. Wil Wright • Game Designer • sims • sim city • spore
    10. 10. Will wright @ GDC2010 • Said that designing games is like building a model of the universe. Playing a game is like testing a world model and learning from how it behaves. • like a child playing with water or shapes.
    11. 11. • Neither Raph Koster or Wil Wright are educational game developers - but they have noticed the potential of games to teach through modelling some aspect of the world.
    12. 12. Kurt Squire• Indeed, this kind of learning seems to be something that games do particularly well• Kurt Squire’s work with Civilization - just by playing scenarios in this commercial game, students gained a deep, meaningful understanding of history • not as a series of facts - but as patterns, relationships - as a model of how history works
    13. 13. David W Shaffer• Similar idea - game models physics. (Svarovski & Shaffer, 2006)• By playing with it, students get a really deep understanding of physics.
    14. 14. • Instead of separating the game from the learning, it seems that one of the best ways to teach through play is to have the game model the learning outcomes.• By playing with a simulation, students can attain a deep learning experience.
    15. 15. GM Choccoli• If games teach what games model, then we can design game mechanics that model learning outcomes• by doing that, we can create ‘genetically modified broccoli’ • Broccolate? Choccoli?
    16. 16. • This puts an emphasis on the ‘game’ part of educational game design.• Educational game designers should understand the game development process.
    17. 17. Designing Games• Temping to jump straight to a scenario or an idea • but you can’t wholly trust your instincts • what you find enjoyable may not be what your users find enjoyable
    18. 18. Play styles• There are different types of play• Understanding your options can help you find ways to implement learning in game mechanics AND find ways to make your game appeal to your audience
    19. 19. Huizina / Callois• Agon • Games of competition & conflict• Alea • Games of chance and fate• Mimicry • Games of simulation and copying• Ilinx • Games of vertigo & reckless abandon
    20. 20. User Centred Game Design• You want your player to enjoy your game, so you need to learn about your user • what games do they like? (genre, play style) • what music & movies do they like? • what is important to them• Work towards creating a persona that represents your player.
    21. 21. • Profile of your average player (Persona)• Make it as real as you can.• When yourself:designing your game, keep asking you are • Would Nathan like this game? • Would Nathan like this addition? • Nathan • 9 years old • Basketball • SpongeBob • Mario
    22. 22. Actual User Feedback• Discussing game ideas with audience is crucial• Having observations and interviews with players during development is key to ensuring that players will respond as you expect
    23. 23. Match LO’s to Mechanics • Using user personae & understanding of games and deep learning, model the learning outcome using game mechanics • Use narrative & story as framing devices for game mechanics where possible
    24. 24. e-Bug• European Commission project to improve microbial education• One game - for young children was like Mario• One game - for older children was a story- based adventure• Used the above techniques to design
    25. 25. Detective Game• Narrative / conceptual model based.• Heavily inspired by the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney games• Players explore locations, looking for clues, and speak to characters.
    26. 26. Converting LOs to Mechanics• Learning Outcome • Some microbes are good for us.
    27. 27. Younger Children• For researching the younger audience, we had decided that: • we couldn’t use too much text. • we wanted a visual and simple interaction
    28. 28. Platform Game Solution• Used different art to represent good and bad microbes
    29. 29. • Contact with bad microbes hurts the player whereas good microbes can be stood on to jump higher.
    30. 30. • When good and bad microbes come in contact with each other, they kill each other - showing the good microbe protecting the body.
    31. 31. Older Children• For the older children, we used the puzzle structure of the detective game to create a situation where a character had harmed his body’s good microbes.
    32. 32. • Using dialogue, the player knows that the Coach Beveridge character is sick.• The player is talking to a girl called Allison who tells the player that Coach Beveridge has been taking her antibiotic pills.• When the player confronts Coach Beveridge, it emerges that he has killed his good bacteria and that is why he is sick.
    33. 33. Some areas that worked• Enjoyable - why? • Platform game - good play-testing throughout • levels tweaked to find appropriate difficulty level. • Didn’t ‘feel like’ an educational game • Detective game - good stories / dialogue • stories discussed with children before hand
    34. 34. • Teachers liked the games • teacher involvement in conceptual stage helped ensure their concerns were met• rolled out to 10 EU countries, more coming
    35. 35. • High production values• good team work / art / management in-house / personal investment / communication • Because of the internal art production, we managed to get 2 man-years’ worth of production from what would have been 3 months of outsourced work.
    36. 36. • Internationalisation • technical solution that decentralised the process • allowed for cultural sensitivity • allowed for variation in puzzle emphasis• Google Spreadsheet used to coordinate. • because the game was data driven, could pretty much ‘save as’ the spreadsheet straight into the game.
    37. 37. • Some positive knowledge change results • in platform game, particular areas very successful in short period of time (30 minutes of play covering multiple LOs) • in detective game, some encouraging results but not statistically significant - too many pupils already aware of correct answer - need further study
    38. 38. Data Collection• We used two methods of data collection• The platform game had a built-in quiz show that asked the players questions. Their answers were automatically saved in a database.• The detective game featured a pre and post-play web-questionnaire.
    39. 39. differences• found many players post-game questionnaire did not match their pre-game one • name differences • claimed to have played a different mission• many players did not fill out post-game questionnaire• having a questionnaire up front scares of players
    40. 40. whereas...• having mini-quizes at each stage of platform game meant that even if a player left early, we still got some data• also we could validate and contextualise data (identify player, level, what content exposed to etc)
    41. 41. Some areas of difficulty• Detective game did not get enough player testing during development. • before and after - but not during implementation (3 month) • didn’t paper-prototype • a number of UI issues • some conceptual issues causing difficulty for some players
    42. 42. UI Issues• Implied buttons
    43. 43. Phoenix Wright• Lifted some menu terminology that wasn’t appropriate when put in the context of our game.
    44. 44. • Users underlying conceptual model didn’t match game behaviour
    45. 45. • Why would you need to use your phone to speak to someone who is in the same room as you?• Why would you need to use your phone to change room?
    46. 46. How could this happen?• Phone metaphor was popular with children pre-development, but we did not use UI design best practice
    47. 47. How could we avoid?• Paper prototype would have found that the phone interface wasn’t meeting player expectations before software development• Use of cognitive walkthrough and other established UI techniques could have identified problems during early stages of development - before any art or programming
    48. 48. Didn’t allow for player error • If players accidentally clicked through a dialogue without fully understanding it, there was no way of getting that information • because the game is totally reliant on players understanding this content, we should have considered this.
    49. 49. Complicated• The Detective Game required some actions from the player that were intended to emulate the real-world investigation practices of institutions like the UK’s Health Protection Agency• These were functionally unnecessary in terms of game play and players found them confusing.
    50. 50. www.e-bug.eu?David FarrellGlasgow Caledonian Universitydavid.farrell@gcu.ac.uk@unthank
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