10 Game Design Principles for the Next 10 Years


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Presented at The Children's Media Conference, July 4, 2013.

In an era of ever evolving technology, how are designers and media creators to keep up with the best practices for children’s interactive entertainment? Luckily for us, some things are universal, no matter what the platform or when the time they are applied. This session explores game design principles and the developmental psychology behind them, providing attendees with a foundation of kid-focused good design that will always ring true… even as far as 2023.

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  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/thedalogs/3021721046/sizes/o/in/photostream/
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  • But digital games are often designed this way. And this is what causes some of the concerns about games being isolating.
  • One of the best examples of kids playing together is this video. (And, on a side note, even with collaboration, scaffolding, and modeled behaviors, expect a little chaos!) Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4j4l0lWfEEcThis is one of my favorite examples of kids playing together and being accidentally successful as well. The game isn’t penalizing them for the chaos in the room. It just keeps chugging along! So it allows the kids to play together instead of punishing them, which happens with many of these dance games – where the song will end if there’s too many incorrect actions.
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  • Borderlands 2
  • Giving power ups for performance
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  • Scaffold wrong answers whenever possible, but don’t get so scaffolded that it draws out gameplay endlessly. The model shown is just one way to scaffold for wrong answers. But scaffolding can also be for levels of gameplay, based on factors such as right answers or time on task. [Images to come]
  • Don’t hijack the game to provide the learning moment.
  • Collect and visualize data, particularly within activities that are familiar to the child. And we can return to the topic of why adults need to be reeducated to.
  • [Discuss Census maps of response rate to surveys and how information can be explored.]
  • TeachMe Toddler
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  • Repeated exposures to content over time is preferred
  • Asynchronous and/or episodic games
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  • At it’s core, STEM is about fostering curiosity and discovery. It is about instilling in children the desire to find out on their own, not always to be taught. While discovery is a natural inclination of children, it is not a fundamental goal of today’s traditional science and math pedagogy.Ideally, STEM is about encouraging exploration of the environment, asking questions, and being curious beyond initial comprehension. Doing so fosters the mindsetof STEM rather than the facts of STEM. © DarrelBirkett, mollypop, trec_lit, haemengine
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/aloha75/8111417059/sizes/o/in/photostream/ Sam Howzi“Intrinsic motivation is all-too-frequently extinguished by extrinsic goals and expectations of school.”Margaret Honey and David E. Kanter, Design, Make, Play: Growing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators
  • http://www.wpclipart.com/education/supplies/periodic_table_of_the_elements.png.html
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  • ScribblenautsTrial and errorMultiple paths to success, but rewards most efficient path?Create your own puzzles – systems thinking
  • Minecraft – Sandbox gamesExplorationTrial and errorCommunity of explorers/creators – play each other creationsThe game involves players creating and destroying various types of blocks in a three dimensional environment. The player takes an avatar that can destroy or create blocks, forming fantastic structures, creations and artwork across the various multiplayer servers in multiple game modes. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kjarrett/8365208683/sizes/z/in/photostream/
  • 10 Game Design Principles for the Next 10 Years

    1. 1. 10 Game Design Principles for the Next 10 Years Carla Fisher, Ed.D. No Crusts Interactive
    2. 2. But isn’t claiming to know the future as much a faux pas as comic sans on your business cards?
    3. 3. Luckily, some things are constant.
    4. 4. Kids are different from adults. Cognitively and physically. © Pragmagraphr
    5. 5. © epSos.de
    6. 6. 1. Look for inspiration in inappropriate places everywhere
    7. 7. 2. Foster dialogic play
    8. 8. vs
    9. 9. Hundreds
    10. 10. 3. Practice dual-premise game design
    11. 11. “Girlfriend modes”
    12. 12. Super Mario Galaxy
    13. 13. 4. Scaffold
    14. 14. 2
    15. 15. Zone of Proximal Development • Pair players together based on unequal abilities. – The more capable tugs the other along, encouraging reaching the next level © State Records NSW
    16. 16. What I can do What I can do with help What I can’t do Zone of Proximal Development Wash hands Pour milk into bowl Put cookies in ovenPour pre-measured ingredients Sift flour Measure ingredients Measure ingredients Eat cookies (and dough) Roll out cookie dough Decorate cookies Read recipe
    17. 17. Scaffolding • In a classroom, the teacher – grabs the student’s attention – creates and adjusts the task – provides encouragement and motivation – highlights task features that are most relevant to the learning goals and the student’s abilities – adjusts the task to moderate frustration – models and demonstrates the task where needed © nathanrussell
    18. 18. Typical Educational Game Scaffold • 1st wrong  Encourage the player to try again • 2nd wrong  Play short hint • 3rd wrong  Highlight correct answer
    19. 19. Alternative Scaffolding MotionMath
    20. 20. Sid’s Science Fair
    21. 21. Motion Math Zoom
    22. 22. 5. Embrace data.
    23. 23. U.S. Census Bureau
    24. 24. http://2010.census.gov/2010census/take10map/
    25. 25. The Eyeballing Game The Eyeballing Game
    26. 26. Perfect Slice
    27. 27. 6. Provide real-time, contextualized feedback
    28. 28. Real-Time Feedback • Feedback loop between student & teacher, often with technology • Teacher strategy to review student work repeatedly and adjusting the instruction accordingly • Variations include – Just in Time Instruction – Computer-Assisted Instruction © nSeika
    29. 29. Parent dashboards and progress reporting
    30. 30. Plants vs Zombies
    31. 31. Accumulate 8,000 sun during a single level.
    32. 32. 7. Use achievements to motivate new ways of playing
    33. 33. 8. Be different.
    34. 34. Standing Out • Avoid crowded content areas unless you’re really, truly, completely, 100% different – or have a ton of money – or are Disney  • Do your homework to find gaps in the market
    35. 35. 9. Create distributed learning opportunities
    36. 36. 10. Test early. Test often. Adjust. Repeat.
    37. 37. 11. Foster discovery and curiosity.
    38. 38. MyRobotFriend
    39. 39. Scribblenauts
    40. 40. Minecraft
    41. 41. Minecraft.Print()
    42. 42. Makey Makey
    43. 43. Thanks! • carla@NoCrusts.com • @NoCrusts • Kids Got Game blog on Kidscreen.com