A short post on Gamasutra on the topic of learning with games and fail-and-retry.
I wrote a longish post on Gamasutra which they were so kind to feature on focusing attention on designing in-between spaces in games. See it here.
I have been recently working in defining a new applied game with the association Noi Per Voi, called Feel Better: the game will support kids and young adults in cancer therapy at the kids hospital Meyer in Florence.
It will be a tool used by the kids to learn more about their context and how to deal with it; it will be co-designed by medical therapy specialists and also by the kids themselves.
There is an open crowdfunding campaign for this tool here:
The campaign goal is 20.000 Euro, but it will reach its basic goal at 10.000 Euro funding (we are not far) as then the pledges will be doubled by a local foundation (Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze). Going beyond the basic goal will allow us building an application that could be used in a wider spectrum of situations.
Any help in pledging and / or sharing the news about our initiative would be great.
Recentemente ho lavorato al design di un nuovo gioco applicato con l’associazione Noi Per Voi: il gioco si chiama Feel Better ed è per bambini e giovani adulti malati di cancro in terapia presso l’ospedale Meyer di Firenze.
Sarà uno strumento utilizzato dai bambini per apprendere sul loro contesto e come gestirlo; sarà disegnato collaborativamente da medici, psicologi e dai bambini stessi.E’ ora attiva una campagna di crowdfunding per questo strumento:
L’obiettivo della campagna è di 20.000 Euro, ma l’obiettivo sarà raggiunto a 10.000 Euro dato che l’importo sarà raddoppiato dalla Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze.
Andare oltre l’obiettivo base ci permetterà di costruire una applicazione che possa essere usata in uno spettro più ampio di situazioni.
Dateci un aiuto economico e / o nel condividere la campagna! Grazie.
I am working on a book on applied games: “Explaining With Games”.
It will be a handbook, focused on the analysis of the applied games I have worked on in the last five years.
For information about the projects I worked on, here is a page dedicated to my projects and my profile.
Some images from the games I will examine:
This is how my draft of a book begins at the moment:
Games can be designed to teach and facilitate learning processes. In this book I present several real world cases where games have been applied as teaching tools, and through those cases I introduce concepts of game design used in applied games.
This book on applied games is a bit unique because it is mostly focused on teaching you on how to contribute creating such games.
The focus of this book is on how to create interactive experiences that facilitate learning. How can people with different skills contribute? How can the field experts and the game developers somehow work together?
It is easy to get lost in the field of game design and development: here I try to keep the focus on the projects I worked on as real world examples that should help in keeping things manageable.
Some of the questions that I try to (partially) answer along the way are:
How to use games to approach complexity and learning?
How can games be used for learning and teaching?
And why should one use games for that?
Any examples? What is the state of the art?
What is required for creating a game? Which expertise, tools?
How is the process managed? How are results measured?
How can I learn more beyond this book?
The book will be progressively released on LeanPub, which is a wonderful platform for collecting early feedback on the writing process.
I’ve just published a post on Gamasutra with some reflections and sources on creating depth in games via narrative research, and how I am trying to do that on Football Voodoom.
Can you use the pervasive media “videogame” and this field’s design techniques for communicating effectively with people? Can games be used for what you have in mind? How can a field specialist work effectively with a game development team to communicate know how more effectively? [Read more…]
In my frequent survey of games and research concerning learning through games, I’ve stumbled upon this cute post: Teacher Uses LEGOs To Explain Math To Schoolchildren, which actually is extracted from Using LEGO to Build Math Concepts. [Read more…]
How to create quickly a match 3 game in Unity? Or any kind of match game? I have been working on an original match 3 game (an applied game actually) together with Unity 2D guru Daniele Giardini and I took some notes, which I present in the video below. This is not a tutorial: I just point out some concepts you will probably need to deal with.
Consider also that this is all done with Unity 5, which by introducing 2D, sprites (and also new UI) has made it much simpler to create this kind of games. And as in all my games, its actually Unity plus Gamelogic Grids component, as in my models (and probably in games in general) grids are pervasive.
I started writing my tests from GameLogic match 3 sample project. The code project is based on GameLogic’s Grids for Unity component, and I’m using as much as possible the DOTween’ component for smoothing movements and effects.
Subtleties of match 3 game mechanics
Subtleties of game design mechanics emerge once you are creating a prototype: sequential matching, peculiarities of click / swipe matching, generative universe (no need of generational AI) … discrete / continuous matches … .
If you believe that game design is basically a formal activity, mainly to do with mechanics (which actually I believe to be too simplistic) you need to be a developer at least at some level, because in building the prototype you understand the mechanics, with all its possible variations.
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In this podcast Daniele Giardini and Pietro Polsinelli (myself) discuss story flow in games – and how game endings are told. We roam from The Witcher to Sunless Sea, crossing game genres. Hear us here:
At the end of the podcast we read and discuss a quote from If Games Were Like Game Stories…
My favourite moment from Papers, Please was when someone gave me a banner for a sports team named the Arstotzka Arskickers. I had a choice of whether to put it up on my wall, or not.
Compared to all the other decisions… taking bribes, separating families, conspiring to take down the Arstotzkan government… this was a small and silly decision. I put it up on my wall, of course.
But the reason this is so memorable to me, is because the game actively acknowledged this small act! A few people commented on the banner, some remarking it’s tacky, some cheering “Go Arskickers!” And then, of course, this decision bites me in the ass when the inspector comes by and tells me the decoration is against protocol, and fines me.
Games and books quoted:
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