Our shelter just collapsed, who didn’t calculate correctly


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A presentation of design challenges of building an educational video game.

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Our shelter just collapsed, who didn’t calculate correctly

  1. 1. Our shelter just collapsed, who didn’t calculate correctly? Design challenges of building an educational video game<br />Presented at the <br />SALT - New Learning Technologies Conference (February 23-25th 2011)<br />Orlando, Florida<br />1<br />
  2. 2. Presenter:<br />Eric D. Milks <br />Project Manager/Instructional Designer/Game Designer<br />Institute for Interactive Technologies (IIT) Bloomsburg University<br />Bloomsburg, PA.<br />2<br />
  3. 3. Discussion Today<br />Overview of project, players, and concept<br />Design tactics<br />Game play<br />Some challenges we needed to overcome <br />A few lessons learned <br />3<br />
  4. 4. The Game<br />4<br />SMTE “Survival Master”<br />Simulation and Modeling in Technology Education<br />CENTER FOR<br />TECHNOLOGICAL<br />LITERACY<br />
  5. 5. Game Background<br />5 year funded project to develop and research the academic potential that a computer-based simulation game can play into a middle school technology education (tech. ed.) curriculum. <br />Uses the 3D world to engage students by providing STEM content in forms of activities and challenges. <br />5<br />
  6. 6. Team Members<br />Game Development<br />Serious Game Design Institute, Santa Barbara City College<br />Curriculum Design Help<br />State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo<br />NSF National Center for Telecommunications Technologies<br />Research and Evaluation<br />Center for Advanced Study in Education, City University of New York (CUNY)<br />Others<br />SME’s from various states and decrees (STEM advisors) <br />Local Tech Ed middle school teachers<br />6<br />
  7. 7. So What Do The Kids See?<br />Students assume the role as a competitor in a disaster relief training program located in a remote location in Alaska. <br /><ul><li>The goal of the game is to beat the other competitors scores and become a member of the National Disaster Relief Agency (NDRA) hand selected team of survival experts called Survival Masters.
  8. 8. Competitors will need to use skills acquired as they race through four areas of survival techniques (STEM concepts)</li></li></ul><li>Game Design Tactics<br />Based game on the popularity of reality shows<br />Team concepts from shows<br />Looked at current video game concepts<br />Hostile environment (danger)<br />8<br />
  9. 9. Type of Game?<br />9<br />
  10. 10. Questions<br />10<br />Do all students know how to navigate in a video game?<br />Do they all have the entry knowledge for the expected concepts?<br />Have they played a video game before?<br />How to we win them over (gain and keep interest)?<br />
  11. 11. Game Play (Single Player)<br />Allows students to become acquainted with the game (avatar, navigation, game play, etc.)<br />Consists of 4 KSB’s (Knowledge and Skill Builders) in different areas of a virtual mountainside. <br />NPC’s to help out with the KSB concepts.<br />
  12. 12. So What Are These KSB’s<br />Geometry Formulas <br />(KSB 1)<br />Surface Area vs. Volume<br />Heat Conduction and Transfer <br />(KSB 2 and 3)<br />Heat Flow<br />Compounded R Values<br />Structure Engineering and Integrity <br />(KSB 4)<br />Dead and Live Loads (snow and wind)<br />
  13. 13. Game Play (Single Player)<br />In the gaming environment, students will analyze and determine solutions to the challenges.<br />Students will also be able to change their solutions to “see” what changes certain science concepts have on challenges.<br />
  14. 14. Game Play (Multi-Player)<br />Use the single player skills gained, the students will need to collaborate on a final challenges to survive.<br />Will construct virtual <br /> models that will be tested<br /> in the game’s simulation <br /> physics engine.<br />Improve their models <br /> as needed with a cost vs. <br /> reward strategy. <br />
  15. 15. General Workflow<br />Discussion (conference call and face to face)<br />Write up curriculum, learning objectives, ideas/concepts<br />Construct design document<br />Distribute<br />Revise, re-distribute<br />Approval<br />Storyboard<br />Develop<br />Test<br />Pilot<br />Evaluate<br />15<br />
  16. 16. q = kA (Th -Tc)/L<br />Better create Learning Objectives…<br />16<br />
  17. 17. KSB 2C Concepts<br />17<br />
  18. 18. KSB 2 Design Document<br />After concept is agreed upon:<br />Design document is written up.<br />Storyboards are created from the design document<br />
  19. 19. KSB 2C – Demo<br />19<br />
  21. 21. 21<br />KSB 4 STRUCTURAL DESIGN<br />
  22. 22. Multiplayer Status<br />22<br />+<br />=<br />+<br />
  23. 23. Some Initial External Challenges<br />Consideration for use in school systems<br />Perception of games in school environment <br />Gun, killing things, lethal interventions<br />Shoot ‘em up (not well received)<br />Schools typically have firewall issues<br />Product is forced to CDROM delivery <br />Teacher’s role and comfort level was initially an obstacle<br />Sick or absent team members<br />23<br />
  24. 24. More External Challenges<br />Too “Boyish” (after first student review)<br />Death in game (what effect especially in multiplayer)<br />Quick saving (save efforts?)<br />Individual vs. group<br />Students not pulling their weight<br />Students just not getting it <br />Replay (any incentives for the quick?)<br />24<br />
  25. 25. Some Internal Challenges<br />May be a barrier when working with a group of “boomers”<br />No video game experience for some on team<br />Too many opinions (veto power all around)<br />Tons of rework<br />Why? Too many players involved in the decision making process <br />25<br />
  26. 26. More Internal Challenges<br />Difficult when balancing “fun” vs. “education” <br />Real “fun” is not cost effective<br />Time and manpower for interactive fun snippets <br />Fun can also be difficult when relating to math and science concepts <br />Know limitations , know child’s expectations<br />No preexisting curriculum <br />26<br />
  27. 27. Some Development Challenges<br />Chose software platform before finishing designing <br />Many jumps in software<br />Virtools, Second Life, Unity 3D, Virtools<br />Design had some limitations due to final software<br />Didn’t initially know bounds. We wanted fun, fun costs money, <br />Ended up reducing/modifying some cool ideas<br />27<br />
  28. 28. Our Strengths Thus Far<br />Large team with many various skills<br />Solid science concepts<br />No real limitations to the virtual world<br />Realistic physics engine<br />Good team comradely <br />
  29. 29. Lessons Learned<br />Never enough communication<br />Have a head chef (Gordon Ramsay is best)<br />Create a decision model or standard<br />Too much time = too many changes<br />Eventually a sign off<br />Then it does not change <br />Work from written curriculum <br />But allow some degree of fantasy<br />Involvement of development staff before design tends to emphasize technology instead of pedagogy<br />
  30. 30. To Stay Informed:<br />http://www.gaming2learn.org/<br />http://survivalmaster.wordpress.com/<br />
  31. 31. Questions<br />