Rapid Game Prototyping Workshop #gls7
Today I attended the hands-on workshop portion of the third annual GLS Educator Symposium. In my case, this consisted of “Rapid Game Prototyping,” presented by Kevin Harris, Matt Gaydos, and Ryan Martinez of the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
At the beginning of the workshop we had a minute to come up with topic ideas, then one was picked out of a hat for everyone to work on. Teams of 2-4 people developed games to help with vocabulary. Rather than using computers, we were provided with paper, pens, post-its, play-doh, dice, tokens, and other artifacts. This helped us concentrate on game mechanics instead of technology.
After each group came up with basic ideas and tested them, then we played each other’s games and provided feedback. We all got a fun experience with the first step in an iterative process of game design. For follow-up, the organizers recommended two books: Game Design Workshop and Challenges for Game Designers.
This “game jam” technique is something the UW-M folks have run many times – and they did a great job (there is even an annual Global game jam). It was an awesome way to spend two hours and I can totally see myself using this technique with a group in the future.