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Brainstorming by Creating a Game

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Brainstorming by Creating a Game

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Creating a game together is a great tool for teams to establish a shared language and to discover aspects of collective experience that can foster innovation. The reason is that games can be defined as “A Playful Journey to Success” — the processes of innovation, entrepreneurship and education are all also Journeys to Success. Thus by designing a game, we are modeling future successful journeys for ourselves.

Creating a game together is a great tool for teams to establish a shared language and to discover aspects of collective experience that can foster innovation. The reason is that games can be defined as “A Playful Journey to Success” — the processes of innovation, entrepreneurship and education are all also Journeys to Success. Thus by designing a game, we are modeling future successful journeys for ourselves.

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Brainstorming by Creating a Game

  1. 1. SLIDES: Allen, Christopher (2014, May 19). “Brainstorming through Game Creation”. Life With Alacrity. Retrieved May 19, 2014, from http:// www.LifeWithAlacrity.com Brainstorming through Game Creation ABSTRACT: “Creating a game together is a great tool for teams to establish a shared language and to discover aspects of collective experience that can foster innovation. The reason is that games can be defined as “A Playful Journey to Success” — the processes of innovation, entrepreneurship and education are all also Journeys to Success. Thus by designing a game, we are modeling future successful journeys for ourselves.”
  2. 2. Created by Christopher Allen, ChristopherA@LIfeWithAlacrity.com. Published in blog Life With Alacrity. Text and design ©2014 Christopher Allen and is licensed CC-BY-SA. Individual images are from The Noun Project, are © their respective owners and are licensed under CC license. Brainstorming through… 2 What is a
  3. 3. Today, as part of our brainstorming exercise, each of our teams will be creating a game. Creating these games will give us a shared language about our different experiences, and will inspire us to discover aspects of our collective that we might have otherwise missed. Creating a Game 3 What is a
  4. 4. So to start — What, exactly, is a Game? What is a Game? 4 What is a
  5. 5. So to start — What, exactly, is a Game? What is a Game? 5 Game Game
  6. 6. There are many excellent definitions, written by philosophers, game historians, game designers, and scholars of “Ludology” — the study of games. Game 6 Game
  7. 7. There are many excellent definitions, written by philosophers, game historians, game designers, and scholars of “Ludology” — the study of games. Game 7 Game A game is a voluntary effort to overcome unnecessary obstacles. — Bernard Suits, in The Grasshopper: Games, Life, and Utopia (1990) A game is an activity among two or more independent decision-makers seeking to achieve their objectives in some limiting context. — Clark Abt, in Serious Games (1970) A game is a system in which players engage in an artificial conflict, defined by rules, that results in a quantifiable outcome. — Kalen, Zimmerman in The Rules of Play (2004) A formal game has a twofold structure based on ends and means; Ends: it is a contest to achieve an objective. Means: it has an agreed set of equipment and of procedural ‘rules’ — David Parlett, in The Oxford History of Board Games (1999)
  8. 8. However, my personal definition is quite simple: A Game is “A Playful Journey to Success” So why do I prefer this definition? Game 8 Game
  9. 9. However, my personal definition is quite simple: A Game is “A Playful Journey to Success” So why do I prefer this definition? A Playful Journey to Success! Game 9
  10. 10. One reason is that I use this definition is that it distills the essence of what is a game down to three key qualities — that games are Playful, that they embody a Journey, and at their end you have a feeling of Success. A Playful Journey to Success! Game 10 Playful Journey Success
  11. 11. Also important to me, are the words that this definition leaves out. A Playful Journey to Success! Game 11
  12. 12. In this definition I use the word Playful rather than Play. Though games may be full of play, they are not solely about play. They are much more. A Playful Journey to Success! Game 12 Playful Play
  13. 13. Part of this is because games are not always fun — all games will have some form of fun, but typically some portion of the play experience must challenge you, thus you will experience difficultly and frustration. Which is not fun, but overcoming those challenges can be. A Playful Journey to Success! Game 13 Playful Fun
  14. 14. Another missing word — Competition. Though competition is often important part of a game, the Journey does not necessarily require players to compete with each other. Instead they may compete with themselves, or against the board. A Playful Journey to Success! Game 14 Journey Competition
  15. 15. Similarly do games don’t have to be fundamentally about conflict — there are many great games that are about cooperation. A Playful Journey to Success! Game 15 Journey Conflict
  16. 16. Finally, this definition avoids the word Win. Win implies that someone else looses. Winning can be an important part of a game, but I prefer to use Success. In the best games, those who do not win still enjoy and gain value from their play, so also share in the Success. A Playful Journey to Success! Game 16 Success Win
  17. 17. So why in this exercise are we using the design of a game as a metaphor? A Playful Journey to Success! Game 17
  18. 18. A Playful Journey to Success! The reason is that education, the process of innovation, and entrepreneurship are all also Journeys to Success. Journeys have a path, they have obstacles, and at their end is some measure of success. So by designing a game, we are modeling the process of success itself. Game 18 SuccessJourney
  19. 19. For the next half-hour, you will hear some stories about the Journeys. Take notes. A Playful Journey to Success! Game 19 SuccessJourneyPlayful
  20. 20. In particular listen for anything that you can use in your game design that fit into the categories of the Playfulness, the Journey or the Success. A Playful Journey to Success! Game 20 SuccessJourneyPlayful Journey Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit Playful Success Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit
  21. 21. After listening to these Journeys, we will be asking you begin the process of of brainstorming about how to create a game. We are not asking you to create a great game — again, our goal is simulate the Journey in the form of game to see what we learn. A Playful Journey to Success! Game 21
  22. 22. Transcript 22 Breakout: Stories of Journeys to Success
  23. 23. Creating a Game 23 What is a
  24. 24. To recap, games are a Playful Journey to Success. Here are some things to think about in regards to these three aspects of game design. A Playful Journey to Success! Game 24
  25. 25. To recap, games are a Playful Journey to Success. Here are some things to think about in regards to these three aspects of game design. A Playful Journey to Success! Game 25 Playful Journey Success
  26. 26. PlayfulA Playful Journey to Success! Let’s dive into the nature of of what it means to be Playful: Playful 26
  27. 27. There are many kinds of Play. Some elements of play in games are Discovery and Creativity, Collecting Sets, Problem Solving, Achieving Goals, and many more. There are many kinds of play Play 27 Discovery / Creativity Collecting Sets Problem Solving Achieving Goals Play
  28. 28. Transcript 28 Question: What aspects of Play do you enjoy? Discovery / Creativity Collecting Sets Problem Solving Achieving Goals
  29. 29. Transcript 29 Question: What do you find Playful?
  30. 30. PlayfulA Playful Journey to Success! Here are some things you should be thinking about when describing a Journey.. Journey 30 Journey
  31. 31. Journey’s have a path. It can be single path, like a racetrack. Or a Journey can diverge from a single starting point into multiple paths. Or you can start from many different places and converge on a single goal. Path’s can also be very non-linear and chaotic. Journeys have paths Journey 31 Single Path (racetrack) Multiple Paths (branching tree) Non-Linear Rooted Paths (upside-down tree)
  32. 32. Journeys have obstacles Journey’s also have Obstacles. They can be as simple as requiring one thing to be done after another, or require a decision to be made. Other obstacles can be randomness, rules, or time. Journey 32 Order Decisions 1 2 3 4 1 2 3a 3b 4a 4b Randomness Rules Time
  33. 33. Journey’s have constraints. You have a limit to how far the Journey is, and how much time you can spend traveling. Journeys have constraints Journey 33 Space Time
  34. 34. JourneyJourney Similarly, Journey’s have a scale. Are about a single company, a city, or a whole country? Does your journey take hours, days or weeks? Journeys have scale 34 Space Time
  35. 35. Journey Our Journey’s lead to Success, but what is the nature of Success? A Playful Journey to Success! Success 35 Success
  36. 36. Success Who wins? 36 Individual Team Society First, who wins? Is an individual person, a team of people, or society as a whole?
  37. 37. How do you define success? Success 37 Learning Perform Skill Make Decision Create Next, how do you define success? Are you demonstrating that you’ve learned to perform a skill, or how make a decision, or the ability to create something?
  38. 38. How do you define success? Success 38 Learning Perform Skill Make Decision Create Metric Score/ Statistic Money Vote Or is it some form of Metric, such as overcoming some score, statistic, or collect money, or winning a vote?
  39. 39. How do you define success? Success 39 Improvement Personal Overcome Rival Aesthetic Social Learning Perform Skill Make Decision Create Metric Score/ Statistic Money Vote Success can also be very personal. You can feel that you’ve created something beautiful, that you have accomplished an improvement, or overcome a rival. And success can just be that you had a good time with your fellows.
  40. 40. In our next Breakout, talk about the Journeys that were shared previously. What are elements of that might be considered Playful? A Playful Journey to Success! Game 40 SuccessJourneyPlayful Playful Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit
  41. 41. What kind of the paths and obstacles occurred during that Journey? What is the nature of Journey’s constraints in space and time, and what was the scale? A Playful Journey to Success! Game 41 SuccessJourneyPlayful Journey Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit Playful Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit
  42. 42. Who wins? How would you describe the elements of Success? A Playful Journey to Success! Game 42 SuccessJourneyPlayful Journey Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit Playful Success Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit
  43. 43. Break Out: The elements of each Playful Journey to Success 43 Kinds of Play Nature of the Paths Obstacles Constraints & Scale Who Wins Nature of Success
  44. 44. So after listening these Journey’s, and sharing your thoughts on the nature of these journeys, our next goal for is to begin to create a game. A Playful Journey to Success! Game 44
  45. 45. A Playful Journey to Success! You should have some notes about journeys to success that were shared earlier. Similarly you should have some notes about the kinds of play, the elements of the journey, and the nature of success. Game 45 Journey Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit Playful Success Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit
  46. 46. You just focused on these aspects of your Journeys. Which was the most interesting? Don’t start on the mechanics of your game yet — instead, simply choose what kind of journey you’d like to create a game around. Later we’ll help you brainstorm the game mechanics required to support the goals of your game. A Playful Journey to Success! Game 46 Kinds of Play Nature of the Paths Obstacles Constraints & Scale Who Wins Nature of Success
  47. 47. Transcript 47 Break Out: Choose one Playful Journey to Success to Design Kinds of Play Nature of the Paths Obstacles Constraints & Scale Who Wins Nature of Success
  48. 48. Now that you’ve defined the broad goals of a game, I’d like to share with you some ideas about game mechanics that can support your goals. You don’t need to understand these mechanics, but you may connect these ideas to games you’ve played in the past, and thus find them useful for your designs. A Playful Journey to Success! Game 48
  49. 49. Games are often made up of sequences of mini-games Mini-games 49 First, many games are made up of sequences of mini-games If your game is too simple, create mini-games inside it. Or, if you feel your game may be too complex, focus on a mini-game within your larger game.
  50. 50. An early decision that you need to make is the nature of competition. There is a continuum from competing with only yourself, to competing against someone else, to the true cooperative game. Not all games need to be about competition Player Interaction 50 Solitaire Competition Cooperative
  51. 51. There is actually many more choices here. Between solitaire and competition is ranked solitaire where you compete only by score. Competition can include parters or teams. And you can have games where there is one vs many, like a secret traitor you have in the game Werewolf. There are many choices Player Interaction 51 Solitaire Individual Ranked Competition Cooperative Partners / Teams One vs. Many / Secret Traitor
  52. 52. Journeys have guideposts Game Components Journeys have guideposts. In games, we call these game components. Guideposts 52
  53. 53. Game ComponentsGame Components There are four basic categories of game components. There is the game environment, the are the tokens, the markers, and the randomizers. There are four categories 53 Tokens (Pawns) Markers (Scores) Environments (Boards) Randomizers (Dice & Cards)
  54. 54. Games are played in a context. This is the game environment. For instance, a game can be played entirely in the hand, or on a table, or on a device such as computer. Games are played in a context Environments 54 In the Hand (Cards) On the Table (Boards) On the Computer (Virtual Reality)
  55. 55. However, for our purposes today we are going to be focused on the mechanics of tabletop board games. However, free to create a card game if you prefer. Games are played in a context Environments 55 On the Table (Boards)
  56. 56. There are two kinds of boards. There are those that are the same every time the game is played, but in some games boards are dynamic and thus are different for each play. Kinds of Boards 56 Static Dynamic
  57. 57. Dynamic boards have two sub-types — in the first the board is constructed before the game starts, the other board evolves as the game progresses. Dynamic Boards 57 Constructed Before Game Evolves During Game
  58. 58. What you can do with a board? So what can you do with a board? You can mark territory, as you have in simple games like tic-tac-toe or complex games like Risk or Go. Kinds of Boards 58 Mark Territory
  59. 59. What you can do with a board? The board can also be used to signify projections of force, like chess. Kinds of Boards 59 Mark Territory Projections of Force
  60. 60. What you can do with a board? A board can define a racetrack, such as the Game of Life. Kinds of Boards 60 Mark Territory Define the Racetrack Projections of Force
  61. 61. What you can do with a board? Or a board can display the score markers of the players as they proceed along their journey. Kinds of Boards 61 Mark Territory Define the Racetrack Display Scores Projections of Force
  62. 62. Boards have tokens on them. These tokens can be pawns that represent the players and their opponents, or they can be flags that show ownership or control of territory. Many games have shared tokens that all players may use during their turn. Tokens are dynamic—they move, or may enter or exit play Tokens (Pawns & Flags) 62 Player Avatar Enemy Avatar Control Territory Shared Token
  63. 63. Markers are representative for a score, value or state Markers (Scores & Quantities) 63 Money Resources Tools Powers Rules Change Beyond tokens, boards have markers on them that most typically are used to represent a score, such as money. However, these markers may represent quantities of resources, tools, and powers that the players can use. Or they can signify a rules change has occurred.
  64. 64. All games have some source of randomness Randomizers 64 Player’s Choices All games have some source of randomness. These may come purely from each players choices, such as with Rock Paper Scissors
  65. 65. All games have some source of randomness Randomizers 65 Player Skill Player’s Choices Or the randomness can come from the differences in players skill or strategies.
  66. 66. All games have some source of randomness Randomizers 66 True Random Player Skill Player’s Choices But there is also true randomness such as dice…
  67. 67. All games have some source of randomness Randomizers 67 Arbitrary (less random over time) True Random Player Skill Player’s Choices …or forms of randomness that become less random over time such as a deck of cards. With a fresh deck you can’t predict which card will be drawn next, but as the deck runs out it becomes more predictable.
  68. 68. So for the next breakout, think about the the nature of cooperation vs competition in your game. Decide on the kind of board you wish to use, what do territories on the board represent, and the nature of tokens and markers required for your game. A Playful Journey to Success! Game 68 Cooperation vs. Competition Kind of Board Tokens & Markers Board Territories
  69. 69. Break Out: Design a Playful Journey to Success! 69 Cooperation vs. Competition Kind of Board Tokens & Markers Board Territories
  70. 70. Transcript 70 Report Out: Share Your Games!
  71. 71. Transcript 71 Discussion: What did you discover about Successful Journeys by creating a Game together?

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