Post-workshop Outcomes

The workshop featured the following seven submissions:

Methods, History, and Impact – Directions in Game Design Research

Hartmut Koenitz, Christian Roth, Elisa D. Mekler, Staffan Björk, Petri Lankoski, Mirjam Palosaari Eladhari, Annakaisa Kultima, & Ben Medler
Research into the design aspect of games has proliferated since the early 1970s. Currently, early historical overviews appear and categorical divisions within the field become more pronounced. It is therefore timely to reflect on the development until today, take stock of the current landscape, and consider future topics. This position paper does so by bringing together seasoned and emerging scholars, as well as practitioners and industry insiders. Together, they consider which topics are already engaged, and what new ones might be necessary. In addition, the paper will discuss the relationship between game design research and independent/ industry practices as well as implications for game design education.

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Visualizing Your Personal Framework Principles, Methods, Programs (PMP)

Ryan Bown, Suzanne Freyjadis, & Roger Altizer
University game programs tend to be viewed as modular units that can be measured using a standard set of metrics by both the groups that evaluate university game programs (i.e. Princeton Review) as well as the first International Game Developer Association (IGDA) Framework (2003). This was very useful in the early 2000’s as games programs were being developed. It was a top down/ practice/ industry focused approach that we are calling a product model, which leaned heavily on deductive thinking and scientific approaches towards education. We argue that an inductive/process model is a more (relevant or modern or timely) approach for both existing as well as developing game programs around the world. Rather than relying on modules that reflect industry practice, there is enough literature, faculty, and professionals teaching games that units can go back to exploring what the values, skills, and areas of velocity are for their individual units. While modules are still useful, we believe that rather than a recipe that can be modified, that the principles of how to bake your own games program can be better served by a different approach in a field and community that is more mature than when games programs first started.

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Development Streaming as a Pedagogical and Community Strategy for Games Education

Andrew Phelps, Mia Consalvo, & Christopher A. Egert
Modern game design and development programs continue to innovate and have recognized the need for enhanced tools and processes to facilitate collaboration and information exchange as part of the development process. One such technology that has gained popularity in gamer culture is streaming. While typically associated with eSports, streaming can be used in a number of contexts, including student streaming of final content and development process, use of streams as a content, curation and review mechanism for instructors, as well as understanding how streaming can serve as a community function for students. In this way, it may be highly impactful as a pedagogical tool and community aid within game design and development programs.

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Petri Net based Game Design and Development

Farooq Ahmad, Ayesha Sadiq, Sher Afzal Khan, & Muhammad Waqas Anwar
This paper connects Petri net based formalism for game design, to specify the static and dynamic game aspects and to formalize the game rules and events. The Petri net based model of the game not only creates interest towards formal approaches but also provides understanding of Petri nets to use it in any domain. A colored Petri net based formal model of famous Snakes and Ladder game is developed as a case study. Two different versions of the game can be developed which can directly be used to play the game and to have fun with it. A basic version of the game is fixed for four players and the interface of the game uses different colors to distinguish between the players. Behavior of the game is also presented by generating the state-space in the form of occurrence graphs.

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Exploring Interactive Systems for Algebra Learning in School

Dmitry Alexandrovsky, Tanja Döring, Stefan Bollen, Anke Reinschlüssel, Angelika Bikner-Ahsbahs, & Rainer Malaka
Interactive Systems for learning offer great potentials for the use in school classes as they allow supporting teachers in addressing students at different knowledge levels at the same time, the systems can provide valuable and individual feedback and are motivating and entertaining for the students using it due to gamification elements. Nevertheless, developing learning systems for schools is demanding, as many different stakeholders need to be involved. In this workshop paper, we report from a transdisciplinary research project with computer scientists, mathematics educators and a textbook publisher, in which we investigate the potentials of using tangible user interfaces for algebra learning. In this paper, we particularly present insights from a comparative study in school, in which 22 students (grade 7) used either a touch-based or a tangible-based algebra learning system on a tablet. Our results show that both system versions generally work well and that the tangible system received higher user experience.

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Gamification of first introductory course for Applied Immersive Game Design

Simon Hoermann, Nikita Mae Harris, Zoë Platt-Young, & Robert W. Lindeman
The newly opened School of Product Design at the University of Canterbury offers a major in Applied Immersive Game Design. The “Game Development Process” introductory course was gamified by introducing elements typical in Role Playing Games such as an experience point system, badges and leveling as well as the use of game specific terminology for learning and assessment activities. In this paper, we report about technical details of the integration in our learning management system, our experience as teachers of the course and the formal and informal feedback that we have received from student. We also discuss technical challenges and improvement suggestions.

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Embracing Student Variability in Graduate Game Programming Curriculum

Tom Carbone
Given the variability of worldwide technical education at the undergraduate level, graduate game development programs attract a wide range of student programmers with massive variability in programming skill. Creating a curriculum that services the group in an efficient way has been a challenge that Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA) has struggled with since the school was opened in 2005. Recently, some fundamental changes to the course content has resulted in better results in both student outcomes and perception. Competitive assignments, in-class code reviews, faculty one-on-ones and student collaboration have all be utilized to improve the programming curriculum at FIEA. This article covers these topics and discusses important insights gained along the way, along with a discussion of how the change is implemented in the curriculum.

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We would like to acknowledge the efforts of everyone who contributed to the workshop (including those who were unable to attend). You can find photos taken at the event here (74 MB .zip), and the original workshop submission here.

(updated 20 December 2018)

Educators tasked with constructing foundational game design and development curricula face substantial challenges. Educators must consider the varied expectations, skills, and interests of enrolling students, select materials and methods that support successful learning experiences, and develop strategies to enable successful transition to the workplace. We invite submissions from educators, researchers, and practitioners interested in research related to these challenges.

Workshop Format

The workshop will be run as a single day event, split into four 1.5 hour sessions. During the morning session, participants will give a short overview of their position paper. The second session is devoted to working in small groups to explore key ideas that emerge in the first session. The session will focus on gaps in existing research and challenges in game education. Groups will share their outcomes at the end of this session.

In the session after lunch, groups will work on solution-focused idea generation. During this session, participants may use the materials/resources that they’ve brought to the workshop to facilitate discussion and stimulate the ideation process. Once again, outcomes will be documented and shared. The final session will involve workshop participants working together to develop a roadmap that defines the key elements to be considered in a model of successful games education practice. A collaborative research agenda related to each of these elements will be developed. Participants are encouraged to continue informal community development and networking by attending the optional dinner in the evening.

Workshop Outcomes

The outcomes from the workshop will include an archive (accessible through this website) of participants’ initial position papers, along with the materials created during the workshop. The result will be a roadmap to games education, focusing on how best to support active and engaged learning and teaching processes that create work-ready graduates, identifying the challenges that need to be addressed in order to do so.

We hope to demonstrate the ideas generated in the workshop at the conference Poster and Demo sessions. We will also consider plans for a special issue related to the workshop topic, and discuss the possibility of related workshops and collaborative research projects in the future.