Workshop: Making “Fun”
As I was prepping, I kept running into roadblocks while creating the workbook. All the focus became about thinking up a clever way to present each topic and not about actually TEACHING the topics.
Link to the slide deck:
What I decided to do was break the “Elements of Game Design” down into two separate worksheets.
This first picture with two characters was used to illustrate the Formal Elements of game design. Objects were added or labeled in respect to the element they were illustrating (ex. environmental hazards, a clock, etc.). This was a basic way to practice and discuss different element options from each student’s individual choices. Students were encouraged to not simply see the obvious game (boxing) but to think up their own given this starting point.
It was a 5/10 on the success scale. That was mainly due to my own going off track. I even felt it was more of a distraction from the actual discussion going on in class. Maybe it would have worked better placed after introducing the Formal Elements, rather than during.
For the Dramatic Elements, my plan was even more unsuccessful. I was hoping to use the abstract nature of the image below to let the student have more room in illustrating the elements.
The plan was to go through each element and add them to the drawing. Similar to the Formal Element exercise, but more open. Again, it was mainly a distraction that
The group game design portion at the end was definitely more successful. I almost didn’t start with a prompt but decided to go with “Design a game to advertise a product”.
Mithru chose chairs.
It was a great challenge! We were actively trying to subvert convention (ex. the player negotiated his way to success against the aliens instead of using guns). It led to great illustrations of how connected and interdependent the elements are upon each other. It also illustrated how checking off the boxes of each element led to insight that wouldn’t be so easy see without them.
-The feedback corroborated that the workshop improved during the actual group game design portion.
-The best and main feedback I got was to turn the workshop into a game. We started brainstorming and thought of either a board game or a tabletop RPG. Basically, a way to couch the theory and dry material (i.e. definitions of the elements) into something more engaging.