Marco Minoli


Published on

Marco Minoli, Marketing Director, Slitherine, presentation at Handheld Learning 2008, London

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Marco Minoli

  1. 1. Commercial off the shelf games in learning A publisher’s point of view The Brewery Tuesday 14th October 2008
  2. 2. 1. Who are we Legion Arena 2005 Legion Arena COM 2005 Legion 2001 Chariots of War 2002 Spartan 2003 Gates of Troy 2004 The History Channel GBoR 2007 Commander Europe at War 2007 Created on the 4th of July 2000, Slitherine is one of the fastest growing independent UK publishers and developers. With over two decades of experience in the videogames market, our core team guarantees an unsurpassed level of passion and dedication to their products, combined with the highest possible quality of gameplay in every title released. Slitherine’s games, are all based on real historical events, and are winners of important international awards . In 2004 Slitherine was the winner of the ‘innovation in visual arts’ award at the independent games festival in San José and nominated again in 2007 for Technical Excellence. Handheld Learning Conference – 14 th October 2008
  3. 3. 2. Difficult challenges Handheld Learning Conference – 14 th October 2008 In creating games that are also suitable for education, the main challenge lies in merging the commercial needs of companies , which are obviously driven by earnings and profit and the needs of educators . This gap has to be filled by innovation on all fronts : content, ideas, technology, creativity, business savvy educators and socially aware businessmen. VS
  4. 4. 3. Act as an industry Handheld Learning Conference – 14 th October 2008 As companies we can certainly do more, but it is only by acting as an industry that we will be able to achieve our mutual goals . Not only by agreeing on the various aspects of our products, but also by disagreeing, discussing and finding the right compromises to reach a set of common ideals. " The internet and video games are now very much a part of growing up and offer unprecedented opportunities to learn, develop and have fun ”. Byron Review – Children and New Technology, 27th March 2008
  5. 5. 4. Positive Steps Handheld Learning Conference – 14 th October 2008 Over the last 18 months, PlayStation®Portable (PSP™) has been purchased and used extensively in nearly 100 UK educational institutions. ‘ It is Sony’s handhled console, the PlayStation Portable that is becoming the games platform of choice in British Schools ’ Daily Telegraph 24 th April 2008 ‘ The classrooms in Japan are welcoming the Nintendo DS with open arms. In fact, they are using the Nintendo DS to teach kids how to read and write English. Students claim that it is the most fun they have had learning in school ever! Teachers say that they have seen an increase in students’ grades, and they say that some kids are learning how to speak English faster than ever before ’. NY Times 14 th July 2008 Speaking at New York University, Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer, Microsoft Corp., announced the Games for Learning Institute (G4LI), a partnership with NYU and other universities to investigate which qualities of computer games engage students and develop relevant, personalized teaching strategies. Oct. 7, 2008, New York.
  6. 6. 5. A few good men Handheld Learning Conference – 14 th October 2008 A parent’s comparison with his local educators after learning of the exciting work being carried out by Derek Robertson’s and his innovative use of Nintendo’s Brain Training in Schools ‘ The teachers in my children's school have been completely bypassed by new technology and they simply would not be able to cope with this. It's amazing, my kids and others are far more aware of these things than them. It's typical of the teaching establishment ,I'm afraid ’. The Times Online – March 15 th 2008 To innovate requires courage and a little bit of madness . It’s not easy as the challenges are so diverse. We encounter issues of all sorts : logistical problems, personal interferences, political interests and many other hurdles. Only with patience and a long term vision have a few pioneers been able to find their way to the top of the mountain and lead their reluctant followers along a different but easier path.
  7. 7. 6. Finding the balance Handheld Learning Conference – 14 th October 2008 Although our common objective is quite clear, achieving a true match between gaming and educational and cultural elements is a fine balance . Clearly this balance is the secret to the success or failure of any such project. It has taken Slitherine years to fine tune these vital aspects and we are still learning and developing new approaches. Our desire to hold the attention of our audience whilst struggling to satisfying the mass media is the vital ingredient in reaching a much wider audience. This is one of the high hurdles that we must overcome. ‘ Today’s educators often struggle to find ways of bringing interesting and engaging content into the classroom. We would argue that today's generation is not in need of more content, but of more understanding, engagement, and access to 21st century skills and tools’. Mark Prensky Message delivered to the US Department of Education
  8. 8. 7. The partners Handheld Learning Conference – 14 th October 2008 Slitherine has built a number of key partnerships over the years that enables us to capture the essence and knowhow to deliver our message through educational, cultural and enteratainment based media, whether this is via television, books, mobile phones or the internet and this message has many different rules depending on our different target audicences.
  9. 9. 8. A challenging project Handheld Learning Conference – 14 th October 2008 INTRODUCING Battlefield Academy is a 3D tactical strategy game set in WWII . The game is not a true simulation as it does not represent actual historical battles. It is an accessible and fun abstraction , emphasizing the key skills and tactics of the conflict without losing the player in a plethora of minutia. Missions place the player in familiar situations recognizable from history books and films . Famous units will be easily identifiable, and will behave as a well informed player imagines they should. Temporary Logo
  10. 10. 9. Battlefield Academy - Background Handheld Learning Conference – 14 th October 2008 Back in 2004, the BBC launched an online flash game to support the TV program Battlefield Britain , hosted by Peter Snow . The game was an immediate and huge success , with millions of players appreciating its simple gameplay and gradual learning curve. Even today this uncomplicated online game still remains a popular method of illustrating fundamental tactics and immersing players in the decision making processes of a real commander. “ A good battle plan that you act on today can be better than a perfect one tomorrow ”. Gen. George S. Patton
  11. 11. 10. Battlefield Academy – The Project Handheld Learning Conference – 14 th October 2008 The Battlefield Academy game releases on Sony PSP and Nintendo DS next year and will remain faithful to its original ideals. However we will push the boundaries even further. We now have access to much newer and better technologies to exploit the game, and can rely on the power of the two best handheld consoles in the market and use their many dedicated features. Most of all we are able to create a realistic, yet eye-catching environment so that the player forgets he is in a learning experience and consequently does not become bored or overwhelmed by the game.
  12. 12. Another great tool we will incorporate into this game is a very easy to use editor to create mis sions. In fact it will be possible with some research to recreate actual locations . This a great feature especially now, when user generated content becomes so important and allows a completely new dimension allowing players to become creators and designers, as well as players. Our development team has been working very hard to simplify our editing system and integrate this feature by means of a customized user interface that will allow each player to create his own levels or missions . 11. Battlefield Academy – Editor Handheld Learning Conference – 14 th October 2008
  13. 13. 11. Battlefield Academy – Editor Handheld Learning Conference – 14 th October 2008
  14. 14. 11. Battlefield Academy – Editor Handheld Learning Conference – 14 th October 2008
  15. 15. 11. Battlefield Academy – Editor Handheld Learning Conference – 14 th October 2008
  16. 16. 12. Battlefield Academy – Style Handheld Learning Conference – 14 th October 2008 Throughout the game the players is brought into a World War II setting with a realistic yet eye catching environment. We do this with the help of iconic figures and comic style characters . The Story is told in the style of a comic book and is therefore created in an easy to understand way allowing us to communicate with youngsters .
  17. 17. 13. Battlefield Academy – Targets Handheld Learning Conference – 14 th October 2008 Immerse the player in an enjoyable yet realistic setting, where without knowing he will pick up a wealth of relevant historical information Allow the player to learn simple strategy – tactical gameplay mechanics by stimulating his responses to in-game events Give the player a wealth of tools to create his own settings and levels to share with friends Make the game as attractive as possible using high quality graphics and the application of the most basic game design rule ‘ easy to play, hard to master ’
  18. 18. 14. Turning Point Handheld Learning Conference – 14 th October 2008 This project represents a very important milestone for Slitherine . Of course we have not and never do lose sight of our business aims to make this game a huge and successful commercial release, but we also believe that we are giving this project a chance to be as important for educators as for us, the videogames makers.
  19. 19. 15. Questions ? Handheld Learning Conference – 14 th October 2008