I had the distinct honor and pleasure of presenting a workshop on prototyping with Teresa Slobuski at ELD2016. Paper Prototyping Games for Engaged Investigations and Fun in any Subject was my most recent foray into the conference circuit, and I really enjoyed working with Teresa. It helped that the presentation was an abbreviation of an exercise that I do with my Art/CS 108 class but it was also useful to see how the exercise played out in a different circumstance and with different goals.
“Empower student learning thru game development!” We say in our overview. We ended up having a good crowd including the students who designed the conference game, and we made a bunch of games.
I enjoy practicing these skills partially because I think I need the practice and partially because the results always seem to surprise me. In this case we had five playable prototypes come out of the different groups.
Pretty much all of the groups held to the idea of incorporating a learning theme into the game, with the possible exception of my own group which ended up focusing more on the mechanics. It ended up being an interesting experience regardless because it was pretty easy to see how it was connected to our conversation, and the idea of gathering resources.
This first prototyping part is sometimes hard, and sometimes hard for my students. All of these games were made in the 90 minute workshop, and began surfacing a system. A few of our participants were thinking of using the prototyping strategies for themselves to develop games for students where others were thinking about using the prototyping exercise to help students collaborate and understand systems better.
In the end it was impressive to hear everyone talking about their games and what they did end up getting into them, everyone succeeded and I think everyone had fun. I plan to post the session wrapup info, perhaps as an update to this post.
If you are interested in our resources are here: http://bit.ly/paper-prototype-sjsu
and our slide deck is here: http://bit.ly/paper-prototype-slides-sjsu