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A primer on game-based learning

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A presentation delivered at iDesignX Australia 2017 containing definitions and reasons for taking a game-based learning approach. Demonstration on how to map existing L&D roles to game development tasks and project management best practice. A seven step practical process for developing a learning game with additional instructional design and game design tips at gerardfriel.com.

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A primer on game-based learning

  1. 1. A primer on game-based learning iDesignX 2017
  2. 2. Me Gerard Friel eLearning Instructional Designer & Developer at PageGroup 15 Years L&D 7 Years in Australia Created mix of physical and digital games Serious Games Design student at USC
  3. 3. You 1. eLearning developers? 2. How many use advanced actions, triggers and events?  Show you how to map game development to existing L&D structures
  4. 4. A primer on game-based learning 1. What is game-based learning? 2. Why take a game-based learning approach? 3. Practical tips for developing a game x 3 skill coinsgerardfriel.com
  5. 5. What is game-based learning?
  6. 6. What is game-based learning?  Gamification  Serious games  Game-based learning  Edutainment  Learning Games  Playful learning  Gamified learning  Gamification  Serious games  Game-based learning  Edutainment  Learning Games  Playful learning  Gamified learning
  7. 7. What is game-based learning? 1. Structural Gamification 2. Content Gamification 3. Game-based assessments 4. Games
  8. 8. What is game-based learning? “leveraging game elements to propel learners through content without altering the content itself” Karl Kapp Structural Gamification Technology driven 1. Structural Gamification 2. Content Gamification 3. Game-based assessments 4. Games
  9. 9. What is game-based learning? Content gamification is the use of game elements within the course itself such as progress indicators, and the use of scenarios and challenges Content Gamification Design driven 1. Structural Gamification 2. Content Gamification 3. Game-based assessments 4. Games
  10. 10. What is game-based learning? These are common to all major eLearning authoring tools and provide quiz functionality wrapped up in a game format to assess knowledge Can be based on well known TV shows or sporting activities Game-based assessments 1. Structural Gamification 2. Content Gamification 3. Game-based assessments 4. Games Quiz driven
  11. 11. What is game-based learning? Fully featured games where the player has to achieve a goal within a set of rules Numerous obstacles have to be overcome on the way to achieving the goal Games 1. Structural Gamification 2. Content Gamification 3. Game-based assessments 4. Games Experience driven
  12. 12. What is game-based learning? 1. Structural Gamification Low 2. Content Gamification Medium 3. Game-based assessments Low 4. Games High Implementation difficulty
  13. 13. What is game-based learning? 1. FPS – First Person Shooter 2. RPG – Role Playing Game 3. MMO – Massively Multiplayer Online 4. SIM – Simulation 5. PLA – Platformer Types of digital games vs narrative gameplay
  14. 14. What is game-based learning? 1. Various types of games 2. Some that really don’t interest you 3. Build your game literacy 4. Call upon mechanics in your designs Play games Skill Coin #1
  15. 15. Why take a game-based learning approach?
  16. 16. Why take a game-based learning approach?  Engagement  Motivation 1. Engagement 2. Motivation 3. Lower barriers
  17. 17. Why take a game-based learning approach?  Immediate feedback  Know you’re on the right track  Correct errors  High degree of problem solving  Smart phones  Flow Engagement 1. Engagement 2. Motivation 3. Lower barriers
  18. 18. Why take a game-based learning approach? Flow 1. Engagement 2. Motivation 3. Lower barriers Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  19. 19. Why take a game-based learning approach?  Autonomy  Avatar  Choice  Freedom to fail  Mastery  View progress / win state  Relatedness  Sense of purpose  Share experience with others Motivation 1. Engagement 2. Motivation 3. Lower barriers
  20. 20. Why take a game-based learning approach?  Extrinsic  Rewards / prizes  Avoiding punishment  Intrinsic  Enjoyment of the task  Help or relate to others Motivation 1. Engagement 2. Motivation 3. Lower barriers
  21. 21. Why take a game-based learning approach?  Cost  Dramatically reduced  Many game engines are now free to use  Skills  Reduction of skill gap between L&D and game development  Organisational culture  Requirement for greater degree of engagement, behaviour change and completion rates Lower Barriers 1. Engagement 2. Motivation 3. Lower barriers
  22. 22. Why take a game-based learning approach? Game Engines 1. Engagement 2. Motivation 3. Lower barriers Name Difficulty level Features TWINE Low Narrative, text only Scratch Low Web-based Brick-like programming GUI Stencyl Low/Medium Web-based Brick-like programming GUI GameMaker Medium 2D GameSalad Medium 2D, Mac Construct Medium 2D Unity High 2D, 3D, VR Unreal High 3D, VR
  23. 23. Practical tips for developing a game
  24. 24. Practical tips for developing a game Set up your team Producer Game Designer Engineering Art Instructional Designer L&D Manager eLearning Developer Marketing/Design Team
  25. 25. Practical tips for developing a game Set up your process Waterfall vs AGILE Waterfall or ‘top down’ development
  26. 26. Practical tips for developing a game Set up your process Waterfall vs AGILE Iterative or looping development
  27. 27. Practical tips for developing a game 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game 7 Step Process
  28. 28. Practical tips for developing a game 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives (guiding light) 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game 7 Step Process Skill Coin #2
  29. 29. Practical tips for developing a game 1. Don’t let game mechanics overtake the learning outcome 2. Easy to lose focus/sight of these in development 3. Have these clear upfront before design and development 4. Make sure all decisions align with these objectives 5. Keep objectives simple and small in number Learning Objectives 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game
  30. 30. Practical tips for developing a game “Documents have two purposes: memory and communication” Jesse Schell Concept Document: 1 pager  high-level / overview of whole game  explain core mechanics  can include sketches Documentation 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game
  31. 31. Practical tips for developing a game 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game Playtesting Skill Coin #3
  32. 32. Practical tips for developing a game Paper Prototyping Over half of commercial game developers still prefer paper-and-pencil prototyping tools 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game Game Developer Magazine 2009
  33. 33. Practical tips for developing a game 1. The building of quick, rough, playable sections of your game for feedback purposes 2. Used to identify flaws in gameplay or level design early 3. Can be paper-based and/or digital 4. Who is involved?  Development team  Organisational representatives & end users  Blind testing What is Playtesting? 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game
  34. 34. Practical tips for developing a game 1. Saves time and money 2. Quick and easy to make 3. Test ideas rapidly 4. Refinement of gameplay 5. Get early involvement and buy-in with stakeholders 6. Reduce likelihood of having to throw weeks of costly coding and artwork away later in the project Why is Playtesting useful? 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game
  35. 35. Practical tips for developing a game Sydney race Epic (game) design fail! 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game
  36. 36. Practical tips for developing a game  No set template, each project will have different requirements but can include items such as:  Lists (everything that needs to be done to complete the game with estimates of time)  Programming tasks (levels, mechanics, Interface)  Artist tasks (images/animations)  Feature list (prioritise / drop items during development)  Story, characters, worlds, strategy  AGILE warning: “Working software over comprehensive documentation” Documentation – Design doc 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game
  37. 37. Practical tips for developing a game  Working version of part of a game  Users can play them  Include interface  Used for development testing & refinement  Determine how playable the game is  Can reuse the code in actual game Digital playtesting 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game
  38. 38. Practical tips for developing a game 1. Lockdown on features 2. QA and bug reporting 3. Refine artwork, animations & audio 4. Alpha 5. Beta 6. Gold 7. Release 7 Step Process 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game
  39. 39. Practical tips for developing a game WHS Platformer Example
  40. 40. Practical tips for developing a game 1. Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) 2. Workplace injuries are increasing 3. New starters are not wearing safety equipment on site 4. Fire evacuation procedures are not followed 5. Fire evacuation roll calls are at 70% Performance Problem 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game
  41. 41. Practical tips for developing a game 1. Identify the safety equipment required for working on site 2. Follow the evacuation procedure in the event of a fire Learning Objectives 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game
  42. 42. Practical tips for developing a game Concept Brainstorming 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game
  43. 43. Practical tips for developing a game Concept Document: 1 pager 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game
  44. 44. Practical tips for developing a game Iterative Design 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game Level Game objectives Learning objectives Flow index Skills & Challenge level 1 Navigation 1 - low 2 Avoid/eliminate hazards 2 - low- medium 3 Identify safety equipment 3 - medium 4 Follow fire evacuation procedure 4 - high
  45. 45. Practical tips for developing a game Iterative Design: Paper Prototyping 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game
  46. 46. Practical tips for developing a game Documentation – Design doc 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game “Working software over comprehensive documentation” Online project management tools rather than a large word document
  47. 47. Practical tips for developing a game 1. Testing: Basic movement (left, right, and jump) 2. Playtest feedback: Player jumped too high Iterative Development 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game
  48. 48. Practical tips for developing a game 1. Testing: Access next level 2. Pick up access card, Use card on reader, only open lift if card is used on the reader 3. Enter lift to next level 4. Feedback: Player didn’t know what to do. Instructions needed to play. Iterative Development 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game
  49. 49. Practical tips for developing a game Iterative Development: Program 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game
  50. 50. Practical tips for developing a game 1. Testing: Imported sourced graphics, player animations, objects, and tilemap background 2. Feedback: Player confused when attempting to access the lift with no pass Iterative Development: Artwork 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game
  51. 51. Practical tips for developing a game 1. Testing: Health, score, start screens, game over screen messages, level access UI 2. Feedback: Too busy when all menus open. Need to simplify the interface Iterative Development: UI 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game
  52. 52. Practical tips for developing a game 1. Alpha 2. Beta Output – 4 completed levels 1. Performance Problem 2. Learning Objectives 3. Concept Document: 1 pager 4. Iterative Design: Paper prototypes & playtest 5. Design Document: Art and engineering tasks 6. Iterative Development: Digital prototypes & playtest 7. Output: Deliver the game
  53. 53. Summary A primer on game-based learning
  54. 54. A primer on game-based learning 1. What is game-based learning?  The use of full games to provide a learning outcome 2. Why take a game-based learning approach?  Engagement, motivation, cheaper and easier than ever 3. Practical tips for developing a game  Use existing team structures and take an iterative development approach
  55. 55. A primer on game-based learning 1. Play games 2. Keep focus on learning goal 3. Playtest early and often x 3 skill coins www.gerardfriel.com/idesignx iDesignX resources
  56. 56. Image credits Gameplay https://www.flickr.com/photos/bagogames/25683700084 Mario https://www.pexels.com/photo/cartoon-character-computer- game-console-305576/

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