I have to admit. At first, I was a little skeptical. There was no way we were going to pull this off in a two-week period. But, lo’ and behold, we did it!
We played around with things over the weekend, and by Sunday a few of us started to get a little worried. We were hitting the e-mail send button every 5-10 minutes with questions and updates to the wiki. It was crazy. I assisted the group by writing down the NETS and Math standards I figured our game would meet. Lee was right, with the standards written down, it was easier to come up with some tasks for the different quests.
We still had a rough sketch of our game concept and schematics. However, by Monday, I had pretty much forgotten what our overall objective for the game was. What real-life dilemma were we trying to portray with our game? What were students going to take from playing our game, other than some fun and a few learning objectives? For it to be a serious game, we want it to mean something to the gamers playing it. Sara H. mentioned that we should tie it to an Alaska event, such as the Pebble Mines. I thought this would be a good idea.
On Wednesday, we had our second team meeting. The start time was rather confusing, but four of us were in attendance and it did us good. Heather reminded us of our concept, we remembered some details that we had not ironed out, and we assigned some finishing tasks to each member. Overall, we feel that our game is on the right track. We are happy with the objective, the concept, and the flow.
Sara decided to nail down the introduction and conclusion to our game. Someone mentioned an intro like the back cover of the book, and I believe we had one pretty much ironed out from week 10. We thought the conclusion would not really be the end to our story, but a continuance into maybe a sequel game.
Gary is going to work on the presentation. We had originally thought maybe a powerpoint that would flow like the game – click game start and go to the outline of the levels, click avatar and go through the process of that. But we are now leaning towards something more brief and maybe even a little more entertaining. Gary has looked into VoiceThread and he is confident that it is the way to go. We are definitely going to spend some days thinking this through. We love the concept of our game and we really want to get that across to these students. I think it would make a great serious game for the classroom!
Over the last couple of days, I finished up the standards. I added Language Arts, Social Studies (geography and citizenship), and science. Actually, I could not find any science standards that really fit, so I added some National STEM standards that I found online. Do not know how official they are, but they sounded great! I also outlined the game. I did this in preparation for a powerpoint so that I would know how everything should flow. I also went through the outline and added the standards that they matched from our list of standards. I am thinking I might finish up the standards for the outline, but overall, I think our outline is pretty much done.
We still have a couple of things to finish up. We had decided on having three district (region) choices for gamers to choose when deciding on an avatar. We figured we would choose three U.S. regions and then come up with advantages and disadvantages for a tribute from each region. This would give gamers some variety to choose from. I think Leslie was assigned this task through email because she was not at the meeting.
Most importantly, we need to come up with a name. In all the excitement – and stress – of conceptualizing the game, we forgot to name it. I wonder how many authors of books and games leave the title for last. I honestly think this is going to be the hardest task of all!