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Subject: Game design in a university rss

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matheus cohen
Brazil
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Hi you all,
First i would like to start apologizing for any grammar error or wrong/weird use of words as english is not my native language. Bear with me while i try to explain my idea.


I never posted on this part of the forum before but i hope to reach the right audience for some advice/opnions on a project of mine.

Currently i'm a teacher/student in a good and famous local engineers university; i teach basic programming to first years, and have been doing a good amount of research works.

And most often, students ask why they are learning something (programming) that they probably won't ever use (that's indeed true for some of them, at least in here). I always and still do belive that they are learning that for 2 reasons.

1. You never know what you might use.

2. It helps developing a person logical thinking.


But as a game designer, i always felt that programming and desining had many common 'thinking' fields.
I'm not sure if this is a common practice anywhere (unless specific places like game designer university, we even have famous 'normal' high-schools here that teach game design half their class time) but if it is, please tell me your experiences with it as i would really like to hear it.

So after all, my idea is:

I will create a project on my university (a engineers-only university) to gsther people and design a board-game togheter. Not a educational board-game, and not just do it for fun as a side project.

It is pretty common people doing this kind of project with robotics and things like that, but gaming would step outside of the normal projects we have here.

I intend to use it to help people develop logic, mostly first years, in a fun way.
Try to always figure out a way to deal with some limitation by using other limitations. To make mechanics into something fluid.
Something that is harder to do in a virtual game, that's why i'm going for board games.

Probably they will never use 'game-desining' in the future, but they will use the 'designing' part, the 'problem-solver' part (that is the main point of a engineer around here), the logic thinking as well. And hey, they will have fun.


So here it is guys. A big-fat text wall, that could have been a lot shorter. But i want to hear your opnions on this.

I know is nothing new, but is something that we don't have here and i would love tk hear more about it.
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Charles Ward
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Sounds great. If you can bring your personal experiences of participating in previous boardgame making workshops, you will do well.
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matheus cohen
Brazil
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ex1st wrote:
Sounds great. If you can bring your personal experiences of participating in previous boardgame making workshops, you will do well.
Can you picture yourself going for something like that in college? Lol

Still, i have no experiences in things like that. I have in designing with a small team where everyone has its own tasks,by myself, or big groups but other activities (like teaching!). It will be a first for me.
 
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Jonathan Rollings
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Westerville
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You idea sounds interesting to me, and I thought I'd share some thoughts. One challenge will likely be engaging students who do not already have some interest in game design. For those who fall into this category, if you can demonstrate relevancy to practical real-world work, then I think you will have a better chance for a successful learning experience. If you are teaching/exercising logic, then you might consider outlining the various types of logic that you feel game design utilizes and build your activities around these. In other words, the objective of the project would be exercising logic through game design, so whatever design activities you undergo should be setup to do just that.

Is there a specific reason why you don't want the game to be educational? If this were not a limitation, then you could perhaps pose an actual engineering problem as the theme and use game design as a means of simulating solutions. Given your field, this would add a modicum of authenticity to the project. You might consider a dexterity game for such a purpose. If you are leaving the project open to games for entertainment for the purpose of creative flexibility, then perhaps you can ask students to come up with themes that would best be addressed by a specific type of logic.

If you are exercising the logic of game design, then your idea of posing limitations on the game mechanisms might work well as long as it's not too scripted or narrow. In this case, you might provide students with a general theme or desired outcome of the game (e.g. recreate the battle of Waterloo, simulate a chariot race, or collect resources for accomplishing tasks). Then, ask them to come up with multiple design approaches to create such a game.

For example, if you were setting out to make Robot Turtles, you might ask your students, "How can we simulate programming in a children's game?" Then they could brainstorm possible game logic to address such a goal. You could even expand this into an exercise on design thinking.

At any rate, I think the idea is a fun one, and hopefully it will work out for you. Best of luck!
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matheus cohen
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rollingsj wrote:
You idea sounds interesting to me, and I thought I'd share some thoughts. One challenge will likely be engaging students who do not already have some interest in game design. For those who fall into this category, if you can demonstrate relevancy to practical real-world work, then I think you will have a better chance for a successful learning experience. If you are teaching/exercising logic, then you might consider outlining the various types of logic that you feel game design utilizes and build your activities around these. In other words, the objective of the project would be exercising logic through game design, so whatever design activities you undergo should be setup to do just that.

Is there a specific reason why you don't want the game to be educational? If this were not a limitation, then you could perhaps pose an actual engineering problem as the theme and use game design as a means of simulating solutions. Given your field, this would add a modicum of authenticity to the project. You might consider a dexterity game for such a purpose. If you are leaving the project open to games for entertainment for the purpose of creative flexibility, then perhaps you can ask students to come up with themes that would best be addressed by a specific type of logic.

If you are exercising the logic of game design, then your idea of posing limitations on the game mechanisms might work well as long as it's not too scripted or narrow. In this case, you might provide students with a general theme or desired outcome of the game (e.g. recreate the battle of Waterloo, simulate a chariot race, or collect resources for accomplishing tasks). Then, ask them to come up with multiple design approaches to create such a game.

For example, if you were setting out to make Robot Turtles, you might ask your students, "How can we simulate programming in a children's game?" Then they could brainstorm possible game logic to address such a goal. You could even expand this into an exercise on design thinking.

At any rate, I think the idea is a fun one, and hopefully it will work out for you. Best of luck!
Hey man! Thnx for the reply!

About engaging the students...well, as its a optional project, only those interested on it would look for it...but yeah, i have to think of ways to apeal to those who didn't get interested at first!

Well, i don't have any restrictions about the kind of game...yeah i always felt like educational games usually miss the point or a just plain out boring.

Of course proposing for them to create a fun educational game is not out of questions...

But they way you put it is exactly what i was looking for, you did just helped me get things clear in my head.
I don't plan to focus on a single kind of game. Free theme, educational, engineer focused. Whatever we want. But using games to recreate real life problems is a very good way and it does make it a little more 'acceptable' as a teaching tool.


I wasn't planning on restricting then in any way unless there is a challenge in mind. My idea is to get all the resources needed: kinds of paper, wood cubs, dice, anything, brainstorm the game and theme and go all the way out from sketches to concept to everything else, so that they learn what developing something is.

The limitations i mentioned where the limitations we have as board gamers. We can't really track a whole world of things as pc games right?


Thnx for your time and comment! I really aprecciate
 
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Charles Ward
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Do the participants LOVE boardgames?
 
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matheus cohen
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ex1st wrote:
Do the participants LOVE boardgames?
I don't know.. anyone can participate as long as i have room left.

Well, i'm sure they don't hate lol
 
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Charles Ward
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I would keep it simple. Very simple. That said, designing a new simple idea is rather hard. You could try combining ideas from simple games you played.

Simple being: UNO, No Thanks!, Hey, That's My Fish!...
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Joe Graham
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As a teacher I have found that sometimes if I give the students too much freedom they have no idea where to start or where to end. I think one important thing is to make sure the end goal is clear to everyone. You might let them make any kind of game they want, but you should have a rubric of some kind to show them how you will "grade" their games. I like the idea and think this kind of project is good for many different levels of students. Just make sure the students know what you are hoping for, or you will have students turn in things that are the exact same as other games or turn in nothing.
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