Game Conceptualization – Beginning Phases #etlead

With a week off for spring break, I feel as if I am starting all over again. So much so, that I completely forgot to post my blog for week 10. Hence, this “initial” blog for week 10 is actually posted halfway into week 11. Buggers!

On our first week back from spring break and we were hit with a huge task. At first I felt like this was just going to be a simple task, outlining our ideas of a game. I soon realized that we were being asked to completely conceptualize every aspect of the game, from start to finish. Holy cow! I guess this just seems difficult because, although I am pretty good with computers, I am definitely not a gamer. Pretty sure I pointed that out before. (Although, after evaluating some serious games, I find that they are rather entertaining and I can sometimes get carried away. Of course, that’s when you realize it is a good game). So, here we are in week 10, trying to collaborate on our wiki, and not really getting any ideas out there. So, we scheduled our first meet and greet as a team, and I really think we did a great job of outlining our game. At least, it started off that way.

We decided on an overall objective of the game and laid out some specifics to the opening of the game. Then, Lee popped in for a visit. It’s always great to get a clue about whether you are on the right track. I think Lee was more helpful than she realizes. Her most important question was if we felt like we were creating a serious game. This got me thinking about the serious games that we researched and used as examples to create our teacher rubric. Most serious games touch on an important life value that is trying to be taught, and I am not sure ours was doing the trick. We ended our first meeting with an agreement to work through the wiki, building on our ideas and outlining the different levels of our game.

I liked the beginning outline of the game. I soon realized that this was going to be more time consuming than I originally thought, and was starting to get nervous because I also had the rough draft of my portfolio coming up. I believe it was Sunday that communication really started to pick up. Through e-mails we talked about the path that our game was taking. Sara H. probably sent out one of the most important emails reminding me that our overall goal was probably not clearly defined and did not necessarily match those of a serious game. She mentioned the pebble mines, and I thought that was a great idea. I feel that it doesn’t really change the feel of the game, but does kind of get us on a path to a certain objective that most students in the state of Alaska could relate with.

Lee also mentioned that we should come up with the standards that we want our game to meet. Using the UbD model, this makes it easier to actually design the game around the standards. On our wiki, I started a new page for standards alignment. Here I listed the NETS for students and some math standards that I felt our game could meet.

I am really glad that Lee has given us another week to iron out our game mechanics. I have finally finished that rough draft of my portfolio and feel like I can spend more time on this project. We have our next meet and greet Wednesday. I really like where our game is headed, but I hope we can get there a little quicker, as I feel like we might be a little bit behind.


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