Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Game Design and Ecosystems - Continuing the Project
The game design project is going still well with our group of girls. If you want to look back at my previous posts about this:
First, before or after each of the assignments below we encouraged the students to continue their progress through the Quest at Gamestar Mechanic. It has taken them a very long time to work through the five episodes necessary for them to publish games, but the girls are not complaining. Honestly, I don't think I have heard a single student complain about having to play the levels. And it appears the lessons intertwined in the game levels have been effective too. Still, I wish the Quest was a little shorter. Some groups have spent a total of three hours or more on working through the levels.
Students had a tough time filling out the Game Flow Chart (mentioned in the last post) properly, so we had to work with them to be sure they correctly planned the game and had some science facts. Here's a completed sample flow chart that I used to better explain this assignment.
Next, we required them to write an engaging introduction to their game. The assignment resource is here. I plan to send their introductions to the younger students who will be playing the games so that they can vote on the ones that sound most exciting. This is keeping with my initial project focus of effectively presenting information.
These assignments led up to storyboarding, which I will explain that stage in my next post. At this time, though, I want to mention a few other assignments that we worked on.
One of my goals, which I eventually set aside, was to have them compare and contrast the game design process (one good version of which I found explained on this page) with the Scientific Method. The main reason for this was so that the science was not lost in the fun. I liked how dreaming up a fun game is kind of like forming a hypothesis and how testing that game is like running an experiment to test a hypothesis.
I ran this by the teacher and she agreed it was a decent idea. In practice, though, it was just distracting. We started down that path by making a Glog assignment on the Scientific Method. Given the amount of time some girls are spending on the Quest, we decided to abandon that line of thinking for now.
And I also gave them a couple more journals to help them connect with concepts that they are learning in class.