Wednesday, September 21, 2011

SLF 2011 - Enhancing Game Design With Blogs

Brian Clark - PT Computing, Portabello High School
{Live capture of session}

Brian Clark
Enhancing Game Design With Blogs
Brian was seconded to Consolarium and involved in a games project with a primary school. He found that teachers felt they lacked the confidence to meet the game design requirements 2-09a outcomes. {See the Technologies document for more detail - DM}. First thing he did was to direct them to the Consolarium area on Glow where there are a series of tutorials and videos. {Note: to see most of the Consolarium links here you need a Glow Login. - DM}

Decided that Scratch was best tool for the children in their primary school. once this was decided they started to build up the capacity in the teachers, to get them up to speed in building games.

What is the game design process?

First stage is character design. When you designing a game, the characters are important - not just the game play. Also, opportunities to extend beyond the game into literacy, creativity, model making, marketing. (Think of the spin offs from established games, for example, comics, movies, novels, ...) Truely Interdisciplinary work, for example, see for example:
"By considering the type of text I am creating, I can select ideas and relevant information, organise these in an appropriate way for my purpose and use suitable vocabulary for my audience.
LIT 2-26a"
(From the Literacy document.)

Model building and creating assets, see for example TCH 2-14a. Create music and audio effect his other outcomes e.g. EXA 3-17a, 2-18a.

Building the game. This hits Maths outcomes, e.g MNU 2-04a and scaling. At a fairly late stage, we start coding.

Games design therefore brings in a whole load of inter disciplinary tools. Many activities have to take place before you get to the game creation. Real games companies use blogs to communicate internally and as publicity. So, this project got the pupils to use Glow Blogs to log progress (The Room 11 Games Blog - Glow login required) and communicate between teams. (Again, inter-disciplinary, e.g. LIT 2-20a and 2-23a as well as TCH 2-08a) The children used the blogs very effectively to give and act on feedback. Children in the project school choose to write about their work and comment on other people's work. The pupils we getting about 6.5 comments per post! Very impressive level of engagement and useful feedback helped them improve their games.

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