Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Taking it apart and rebuilding it again

Good morning everyone!

Day 2 of Pro Vita is well underway.  I am reviewing the Presenter's Guide for ENTER THE CAVE, getting the animatic hooked up to Amy's white board, putting up list names on the board and awaiting my 7 students!

I just looked at the many post titles I have accumulated over the past several years.  It has been a journey getting to this point, and this is just one of many jumping off points.  This specific jumping off point is particularly exciting.

I feel different.
What I have accomplished is worth talking about.
If things do not work perfectly, or as expected, it is an invitation to do it another way or to stick to my guns because I know it will work.
My games will not work for everyone.

Going into today's class, I will talk about what I have accomplished but this class will be involved just as much as I am talking.
Things are not perfect, and that is the purpose of this class -- DESIGN is about the good fit.
I know some of what works and will learn more.

More later!

Okay, so here is how the class went today:

One of seven listened to Jane McGonigol's TED talk.  But, the first exercise, which was writing the names of games and figuring out the objective of each game, was strongly connected to that talk so maybe the students will find the time to do it tonight.

This exercise was fascinating because teens do not think of games in terms of objectives.  They gave a "reason" for each game (such as CandyLand being a Race, Monopoly allowing players to be part of the 1% or FIFA being about scoring goals and winning).  Reason is connected to Objective.  I could almost see their minds moving around the concept.  Playing games is amusing, pleasurable but identifying an objective and building a game out of it is WORK.

I presented the development of ENTER THE CAVE, from concept to paper to box as a prelude to the Animatic.  Again, it seems like taking a toy--apart.

 Taking a toy apart and trying to figure out how it was made.  This is not as fun as playing with the toy.  Teens grow tired quickly of paper, questions and even three-D box models.  "Aren't you supposed to have a Computer Game?"

Everyone gathered around the white board to go through the animatic.

Everyone could see it well, I used the Presenter's Guide.  The presentation was good.  I kept the group involved, illustrating scenarios with members of the group at times.  SO MANY BLANK FACES!  But, when asked they said they were with me.   I am curious about how the surveys will end up.

Will they talk about the scenarios?  They seemed very frustrated with the lack of "realism" saying they couldn't believe students would be so passive/aggressive or unyielding.
I hope they comment on the Art Assets.  They said the opening screen was blurry, where I thought it was mysterious.  Hhmmm.

I encouraged throughout the session to think of themselves as a "team" and about what roles they want to have in the redesign.  I wonder who will choose each of the areas?

I believe this is a good tool, and that designing it has been HARD FUN.  I am looking forward to the rest of the week.  I am so, so, so curious about how this group will redesign this game.  Can they?  Or, are they just kids who want to play?

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