Hard Work and Hollywood Stars

The ETCH Team and EM Studios had a very successful first workshop. When we weren’t plowing through potential game attributes to address the learning objectives we were rubbing shoulders with Hollywood stars…but more about that later.

You may have noted from the previous post that we had a rather ambitious list of objectives for the two days, so how far did we get with each one?

  • Have a final list of components that need to be in the game, e.g. map, entomology reports etc.

As there are so many different elements that interact with each other in a vector control programme, such as the vectors, weather, test methods, insecticides, communities etc. at this stage we can state that we have a very long list that is close to complete but no doubt we will think of a few more components before the end of the month. The final list of components will be released in the game design document, due to be completed mid-October.

We are now working on a data structure to assist the developers in understanding how the components will interact with each other in the game.

  • Finalise indicators for each learning objective, determining exactly what the player needs to do in the game to give us confidence that the learning objective has been achieved.

Until the components, player input and game outputs are finalised the indicators can not be finalised. We have noted that the back-end game metrics will likely only give us half a picture, telling us whether the player got the right answer and if they took the correct path to the answer, but not telling us why they got it right. To fully understand the game’s impact, multiple measurement tools will be required.

We discussed what data we would gather in the back end metrics and how that data could be managed to give stakeholders an instant picture of the game/ users performance.

  • Determine how the current ‘game model’ produced by Andy South, will be adapted to fit into the game code.

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As mentioned above we are currently working on a data structure for all of the different game components, we will note when a component or part of a component relates to a parameter in the ‘game model.’ Andy South also plans to develop the current prototype so we can play out potential scenarios/ player inputs.

  • and finally decide on the overall look and feel of the game art.

We currently plan to use a two-tier map and allow the player to drill down into each district from the region level. Each district will be designed to complement it’s environment profile, for example if it’s a rural area the player will see villages, if it’s mountainous district they will see mountains and so on and so forth. We are also looking to use a brighter and lighter colour scheme than the pilot game.

As always keep an eye on the blog in the upcoming weeks, we will be sharing, notes, concept art and new ‘game model’ prototypes.

And finally, what’s all this about a Hollywood star I hear you say? Well, no ETCH workshop would be complete without at least one story to tell. During a well-deserved dinner, a few of the more sharper members of the group noted a rather famous face on the next table. Upon leaving the restaurant, the rest of the group was informed that they had missed an opportunity to meet legendary actor Tim Roth. Needless to say Marlize Coleman had to be restrained to prevent her from running back into the restaurant for a hug.

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Resistance: Development Update

Next week will be the first workshop with the ETCH Team and EM Studios to kick start the next phase of development for the Resistance game. It’s now time to turn the endless number of documents, workshop notes and pilot analysis into something tangible and let the games begin.

So what’s going to be on our agenda?

Hopefully by the end of our two day workshop we’ll:

  • have a final list of components that need to be in the game, e.g. map, entomology reports etc.
  • finalize indicators for each learning objective, determining exactly what the player needs to do in the game to give us confidence that the learning objective has been achieved.
  • determine how the current ‘game model’ produced by Andy South, will be adapted to fit into the game code.
  • and finally decide on the overall look and feel of the game art.

We’ll keep you posted in the following weeks on how much we achieve from our rather ambitious list.

In the meantime, to give you an idea of all the dots we now need to connect, here’s the teaching models we will be using to ensure each learning objective is addressed during game and scenario design. Examples on how we will apply each model have been given. (The examples provided may be subject to change)

Game Design

Learning model

Game Analysis

indicator