GLS Conf 2014: Day 1
I spent last week at GLS. It was an awesome conference. I took lots of notes. Here they are.
Below are my notes from Day 1. I went to the keynote (I was lured in by the free coffee!), a follow up chat to the keynote, a design workshop, lunch (surprisingly good!), a story-telling salon, and a panel on “massiveness in educational games.”
Then I left to go watch my friend play ultimate frisbee. It was a good (and long) day.
Keynote, by Drew Davidson:
- Drew is a funny man. Good choice to kick things off with him.
- The ETC seems like a cool place to make some games and learn some things about games. Unfortunately, I’d prefer not to be an undergraduate again.
- That same ETC studied how team diversity affects game making.
- Increased diversity was found to lead to more in-team conflicts.
- And better games, too.
- My team’s diversity could definitely be improved.
- Even if we can’t hire another full-time employee, I hope to get more contractors to help out with the next project.
- I personally could do a better job of seriously considering others’ opinions on the game and not dismissing them with a wave of my producer’s “THERE’S NO TIME!” wand.
- Making games exists on a three-axis field of Cost, Time, and Quality.
- Can only maximize two out of the three qualities- quick / cheap / good.
- Note to self: spend less dev time implementing art & animation.
- Implement new art in waves. Spend maybe a solid day or two putting in a bunch of changes, then wait to do another round.
- While waiting, work on non-art things: mechanics, balancing, etc.
- “All that glitters is not gold,” and all that jazz.
- Working Examples seems like a pretty cool project.
- Can use it to get feedback from devs & teachers while your game is in progress!
- Theoretically. Are there users giving feedback?
- Something called the Higher Education Video Game Alliance was introduced… TEASER!
Fireside Chat w/ Drew Davidson & the Higher Education Video Game Alliance crew
- HEVGA is essentially going to be a unified voice for studying and making learning games.
- It’s super new (not even a website yet) so the aims and goals aren’t especially clear.
- It should “legitimize” the idea of using games in classrooms / training / etc. hopefully.
Design Jam with Jolene Zywica,Courtney Francis, and Anna Roberts from WorkingExaples.org
- A really helpful workshop for me. It was presented as a series of questions which participants answered and then discussed with their neighbors.
- Q: What problem are you trying to solve?
- Focus on some else’s problem. Not your pre-formed idea of a solution.
- WHY does this need a solution?
- A: Kids’ identities are being stolen leading to massive debt and credit issues.
- Q: What do you know about your problem?
- Obstacles to solving:
- Parents may not be aware
- may not be checking credit
- Don’t know until it’s too late (applying for a job or credit card)
- Poor credit rating
- Possible causes?
- Kids are active online – may give out info unwittingly.
- But may be through no fault of the child victim
- SSN and other info provided to many organizations. Increases breach risk.
- Family members have access to personal info.
- Mail may be stolen.
- Obstacles to solving:
- Q: Are you making any assumptions around the problem?
- That child identity theft is preventable
- That kids have parents or invested guardians
- Q: What DON’T you know?
- Precise likely causes of child identity theft
- Precise likely effects (beyond “Debt! Poor credit!” – what else?)
- Q: Who is most affected by the problem?
- Kids and their parents who have to clean up the theft.
- Q: Who else is affected?
- Credit agencies
- Data collection organizations
Massiveness in Educational Games with Scot Osterweil, Dan Norton, Eric Klopfer, and Joel Levin
- Talking about Radix- an MMO math game
- 6,000 signups and 25,000 quests completed so far.
- Different sets of possible in-game communication methods for in-school and out-of-school players
- Moderate discussion boards to prevent trolling & duplicate threads / comments
- Need to build in opportunities for reflection – the space between high intensity play.
- Walking to a new area for example
- Ebbs and flows of activity
- MMOs use “loyalty” as a metric
- Sticking with something. Persisting.
- Not just “fun” or “engagement.”
- Hard to strike a balance between feeling part of a big world and feeling that you as a player are unique and special.