20.11.11: Final Slides / Speaker Notes for Summative Presentation

These are the slides that I have made and will present for the summative presentation with bullet points to prompt my speaker part.

Speaker Note: Prompted by the points on slide

Speaker Note: Prompted by the points on slide

Speaker notes:

1. The heart will be the 5th level in Inside Out

2. The free roaming game play section will follow the If / Then story structure with four different events that will guide your way through this section.

Speaker Notes:

1. The heart free roaming game play will have a feedback loop that shows your position in the body. This will aid educational element of the game by always informing children of where the organs are situated in relation to each other.

Speaker Notes:

1. An animated sequence brings the spaceship to the lungs through the pulmonary vein, into the left side of the heart which processes and pumps oxygenated blood.

2. On arrival in the right atrium, the spaceship runs into the first trigger. This triggers a display that brings up an educational fact about the heart.

3. After reading the fact pop up, the spaceship enters free roam game play. You must find the second trigger in order to open the valve in order to progress into the right ventricle.

4. The third trigger brings up more information about how to keep a healthy heart.

5. The heart is divided into halves. The spaceship must find a secret portal that can transport it from right ventricle to the left atrium in order to continue game play.

6. Trigger 4, will indicate that the spaceship is heading in the wrong direct. A pop up will say that the spaceship is experiencing an electrical fault and must turn back.

7. Trigger 5 must be found to open the valve between the right ventricle and atrium.

8. Trigger 6 triggers the minigame which will be held in the coronary artery.

9. On successful completion of the mini game the spaceship will progress up the aorta and will enter the brain through the blood stream.

Speaker Notes:

An example of the heart fact given to the user on entering free roaming game play.

Speaker Notes:

Example of a healthy heart fact.

Speaker Notes:

Introducing the mini game which will be set in the coronary artery which is responsible for pumping oxygenated blood to the heart itself.

1. One of the main problems that the heart suffers is heart disease and the build up of cholesterol in the arteries.

2. In the mini game you will zap cholesterol particles to stop the blood pressure (the feedback loop in the game) from getting dangerously high.

3. Introduce images on slide.

Speaker Notes:

This is a mock up picture of the game. The game can be played at Beat The Pressure.

Speaker Notes:

We have been looking at other games in order to inform our game design. The End, an educational game produced by channel 4 education was our main focus.

1. A game that aims to create discussion around philosophy, morality and death.

Positives:

1. Great graphics

2. Bold subject matter for a game

Negatives:

1. Games don’t seem to have any continuity.

2. Game play actually trivialises the educational purpose of the game.

Speaker Notes:

Prompted by the points on slide

Speaker Notes:
Prompted by the points on slide

Speaker Part:

1. Mini games will be made in a variety of media: Flash, html5 and javascript.

Hopefully it’s all going to go really well.

18.11.11:Realizing Mistakes

With a few days left to go until summative presentation, I look through the slides that i made for formative and make sure that they make sense. Since formative presentation i’ve been looking further into the functions of the heart and noticed that some of the information that I used to make the inital walkthrough might be wrong, so I do some more research.

I find two really good websites that teach about how blood flows into and out of the heart and general anatomy. Blood flow through the heart and the second on general knowledge of the heart .

I also managed to find an interesting anatomy of the Heart video:

All really informative for my project but they also confirm that my previous walkthrough was incorrect:

In this diagram I have the spaceship entering through a tube that I’ve called the pulmonary artery in my notes when in fact it’s the superior vena cava. I’ve also insinuated that the spaceship would enter this way as blood drains through the pulmonary artery from the lungs. In fact this is false. The deoxygenated blood that enters the heart through the superior vena cava drains from all over the body and is not nessesarily associated with blood from the lungs. I will need to find another path for the spaceship if it’s going to be educationally correct.

In this diagram, I’ve amended the path of the spaceship so that it enters through the pulmonary vien on the right hand side of the heart. This vein feeds oxygenated blood from the lungs back into the heart, the perfect route from the lungs to the heart for our spaceship. The spaceship will still need to exit through the aorta which supplies oxygenated blood to the brain, so the game play and triggers have also been re-arranged to accomodate the new entry points into free roam gameplay.

17.11.11: The Heart Mini Game

With only a few days until our presentation, I need to make a working example of the hearts mini game. This will be set in the coronary artery and will involve shooting cholesterol particles that enter the blood stream and try to stick to the walls of the artery. First thing first, I must design the colestoral particle. With some help from some medical diagrams and some image search I manage to come up with a basic design:

Example: Cholesterol Particle / bady for my mini game:

Now to put this into the javascript game that I’ve been modifying with andrew:

You can play this example / mock up level here.

With the background added this is looking pretty good for a mock up. The score board and game structure in themselves are not ideal for the game but it’s a representation of the type of minigame Inside Out would have situated between organ free roaming.

For a final touch, I need to make a diagram of the heart and where the coronary arteries can be found on it to maintain some consistant educational content. Something that can be achieved by modifying my heart walk through diagram in illustrator:

15.11.11: Planning for Summative

Having just received official feedback from James about formative assessment, it’s important to go over all the comments and make sure that all of the points mentioned have been covered and modified for the summative presentation.

Main points from tutor feedback:

1. The game flow chart needs to be made less confusing and clearer to explain.

2. The suggestion that shooting the values in the heart to make them open was a little contradictory to the rest of the game.

3. We need to add a sense of achievement for passing the levels (leveling up) or give a stronger sense of progression in feedback throughout the game.

Other points from my notes taken at assessment:

1. How would the game be marketed? To schools?

2. Develop info on target audience (everyone else seemed to have this??)

3. What is the point of getting past the minigames? Does the spaceship get better / man get healthier?

Addressing these points:

Game Flow Charts:

I’ve already talked through the issue of the flow chart being hard to understand with Jermain (who made up the charts) and we’ve agreed that the charts should be split up and talked about individually in relation to each organ. So rather than having them all together like this:

Each organ would have a slide that would explain the individual options for that level. Like this:

Hopefully this will also encourage everyone to talk a little about how the spaceship will travel into and out of their organ as well as making the game structure easier to understand.

Modified Flow Chart for the Heart:

Shooting the Values in the Heart:

This was a really valid criticism. For our analysis of another educational game, I’d picked up on the fact that The End was inconsistant in that it’s game play was often contradictory to it’s educational purpose and then I managed to do something very similar by suggesting that the values of the heart should be shot open by our spaceship in a game that aims to teach about maintaining a healthy body.

Diagram showing walkthrough for the heart (formative assessment) with shooting valves suggestion:

This can be easily solved. Instead of firing at the valves to make them open I can plan to have secret triggers in the free roaming section that open the valves instead. This kind of trigger is used regularly in examples on the Impact gaming engine, so it shouldn’t be difficult to achieve with the technology we’re using and it will add an element of difficulty to the heart’s free roaming which is beneficial because it’s one of the last organs to be played and therefore should be the harder than the previous levels.

Modified Diagram of game walkthrough ( summative assessment).

14.11.11: Last Workshop Before Summative

With only a week to go to our final presentations, the group comes together to talk about the previous presentation and to pull all of the work together that we have so far, make final modifications and to talk about any ways of furthering the project in the final week.

Jermaine and I raise the issue that the spaceship design is in pink and so are all of the background layers and the group decides that the colour should be changed to blue so that the spaceship is more easily distinguishable. Jamie changes the design in Illustrator.

Example of the mini game background:

Example of the original spaceship:

Example of the modified spaceship:

This modification means that the animation sheets that I made for impact have to be changed to be in keeping with the rest of the project. I colourize the designs quickly in photoshop, to achieve this.

Example of Blue Animation Sheets for Impact:

We agree that the second minigame should be taken out of the structure of the free roam game play and that this should replaced by some more educational content on how to keep the organ healthy. This will help maintain a good fun to educational content balance within the game.

We also felt that the last presentation could have been more consistant in content for each of the organ levels, so we all agree on a sequence of presentation for this assessment.

Each person has an organ that they will present and an order of slides to create and talk about.

1. A title card for the organ with a graphic of that organ.

2. A walkthrough of that organs free roaming game play with a description of how the spaceship travels to and from the organ to the next level.

3. A game play flow chart, showing the If / then structure for that organ.

4. A slide presenting the fact about the organ in mock up of a pop up window.

5. A slide presenting the fact about how to maintain a healthy organ in mock up of a pop up window.

6. A slide presenting the minigame for that organ.

If all goes smoothly, the summative presentation will have dramatically improved on formative.

14.11.11: Last Afternoon Workshop Before Summative

The afternoon session is very quite but Andrew (the tutor) stays and is available for questions and / to help progress our game design. I stay and show him that I’ve managed to place an animation into the Impact gaming engine to start designing the free roaming part of the Heart level.

We continue working on some of the code behind that game so that it’s modified to suit the free roaming game play that I have in mind. We change the code that controls the gravity setting in the game (the spaceship fell with gravity before and we want it to hover). We also find and modify the key commands so that the spaceship will move up and down with the arrow keys as well as left and right.

27.10.11: Graphics For Inside Out

Having had a little time to think formative assessment over, one of the things that was weak about our project was the graphical design of the organs, especially the heart (mine). Time to start learning illustrator and try to make some mock ups of the heart for summative:

Progression of my heart graphic:

Image with stomach lining background.

24.10.11: Formative Assessment

Despite trying to get people to hand in their slide the weekend before a presentation, a lot of my team seem to be unwilling. In the end most of the members agree that the best way forward will be to put the presentation together the morning of the assessment. I arrive at 8.45 to make sure that there is time of put everything together before the presentation. The majority of the group arrive at 9.30 and we start to put the pieces together. Others arrive late and without any work so I add the extra slides that I’ve made (in case of emergency) to the reel to fill in the gaps.

Extra Slides made for the presentation:

Hopefully this idea of placing the same background will unify the mock ups of each organ on our presentation as well as the graphic of the the heart looking a lot more professional.

Not the most exciting slides in the world but they will have to do.

After we finish presenting the tutors offer some feedback on the work that we’ve done. It’s seems to have gone pretty well considering.

Notes Made from Oral Feedback (possible improvements and observations):

1. How would the game be marketed? To schools?

2. Develop info on target audience (everyone else seemed to have this??)

3. What is the point of getting past the minigames? Does the spaceship get better / man get healthier?

4. What happens when you fail the mini games?

5. Consistency of graphics? Other groups seem to have a similar look and feel from one slide to the next. Should we make a similar effort?

21.10.11: Friday Before Formative Assessment

The remaining parts of the group come and ask what needs to be done for formative assessment. We try to split up the slides that are necessary between everyone so that everyone has contributed something to the presentation.

17.10.11: Afternoon Workshop

The afternoon session is pretty quite and Alex (the tutor) has time to visit groups and go over the foundations of the project which is great as I need to take some notes on how to improve the project for formative assessment next week. We talk about how our project can be developed and strengthened.

Important points from this session:

1. Projects need to be well informed. Contextual analysis of other games is key to this process as other games weaknesses can shed light on similar problems within your project. We need to demonstrate that this has been done for assessment. Why are other games successful or unsuccessful? Use this critique to inform the build of our environment.

2. It’s important to get the balance of education to fun right in the game. How will we ensure that this is maintained?

3. You must have a clear idea of what the educational purpose is. Does our game have one or multiple ways of educating? What are the parameters of education within the game?

4. It’s important to define your age group / audience.

5. How will we feed educational information into the game? Multimedia? Text?

This is all really good feedback and will help inform that slides that we make for the presentation for next week.

Addressing these Points / Thinking about slides for Formative:

Research / Analysis of The End (A Channel 4 Educational Game):

Earlier in the unit, I was checking the course twitter feed for information about games and Html5 and came across link to The End which I’ve been playing with over the duration of the unit. I’ve really enjoyed playing and have read a little about the company that made it and a few of the review and so this seemed like a natural place to start building some contextual analysis.

To enable me to achieve this and make sure that the points I make have relevant cross analysis to Inside Out, I start by making a list of positives and negatives about The End both from personal observation and research of written reviews.

Positives:

The game has a well designed character creator with loads of options that easy and fun to use.

The games graphics are really wonderful.

The game has a really nice, unique gaming element where shadows can be used to create temporary walkways.

Negatives:

The game in total is made up of three different types of game. A platform game, a mini game (puzzle) and a kind of quiz. All of which are quite good fun to be a part of. However, they all seem to be quite out of context. The platform game has no relevance to the mini game nor the quiz. The design here lacks the elegance of the graphics and has a feeling of being thrown together without any consistant thought.

Example of the minigame:

The intention of the game is educate about death, belief and science and to get people to spark up debate about these issues. This is great but the platform game seems to undermine this message by making the character disappear into a puff of smoke when it meats it’s end in the game. Contradictory at least, disruptive to the whole game philosophy at most.

I plan to continue developing my critique of the End and then liken some of the points drawn out to Inside Out’s game play in order to make up our critical analysis section of our presentation.

10.10.11: Afternoon Workshop

The group comes together and discusses the narrative behind our game with reference to the three act structure.

We talk about the sequence of levels that we have worked out so far is a traditional / linear narrative and that this will not make very exciting game play:

Example of current game play structure:

We all look through the other narrative structres and decide that we could make part of our game play and If / Then structre to keep the players interest.

Example: Planner for game with If / Them structure:

Although this diagram in itself is unclear, it’s the start of a much better game structure. One which will hopefully make an engaging game.

07.10.11: Prep for the Next Session.

Although I think that the workshop sessions are going really well, on reviewing the story that we have so far, it needs tightening up and clarifying. and try to think about the type of story tree will lead our game. I print out the story tree’s form last years lecture notes and get people to think about the steps that the gameplay will take in the next couple of weeks.

03.10.11: Afternoon Workshop Session

In last weeks session we all discussed the theme or world that our game would be based in / around. By the end of the session a decision was made that space would be a good topic to explore and that it would offer a great opportunity to educate users about physics and astronomy. However, I was really concerned that educational games existed already that dealt with these topics in-depth and that the kind of exercises that were being suggested for gameplay (learning how to fly a spaceship) might not have a genuinely applicable educational purpose to most people who would be playing them (most people aren’t astronauts). I suggested that we rethink the educational motivations behind our project.

After some discussion, we all decided that it might be more beneficial to make a project that involved the body and health in some way as the target audience would be potentially much larger. However, we all still liked the idea of mixing in a fantasy element to the game and a spaceship was a feature of the previous idea that everyone felt added appeal to our project. Combining the two ideas of the body and spaceship travel we started to look at the three part story planner and hash out a narrative for our game.

Initial Story Plan:

A crazy inventor is working on a spaceship. He is close to completion and climbs inside to weld the finishing touches to the door. Lightning strikes / there is some sort of explosion and the spaceship is shrunk. The spaceship somehow makes it’s way into the human body (is inhaled, blown into a mouth by a gust of wind??) and must find it’s way out. This involves traveling through the viens of the body to the different organs. Only once completing all of the levels of the game ( all of the organs of the body) will the spaceship leave the body ( by being sneazed out / flying out of the mouth of a cough???)

26.09.11: Afternoon Workshop.

This afternoon we were split into our groups for this project. My group includes Hannah, Jamie, Jermaine and Matt. Jointly we decided that the first task should be to find an arena for the game to be set in and discuss what we wanted to teach with our game. Some early suggestions included something based around cooking, healthy eating, geography, survival skills or space.

One by one we went through the suggestions and thought about existing games / environments in the related fields and whether the skills that you could teach about the topic would have a wide ranging appeal and / or be useful to our audience.

Survival Skills:

Immediately a game based on teaching survival skills was ruled out as an option as the interested audience would be too narrow and the skills exclusive to those who choose to take part in a countryside outdoor lifestyle.

Cookery:

We all agreed that this would be a great basis for a game. The appeal could reach any age even if the graphics were simple by the addition of recipes that you could copy and follow at home, everyone has to eat so the fundamental appeal is universal and the opportunity to make a narrative around the game play is almost endless. However, even after only a few minutes of research in lesson we found that there were already a lot of existing cookery based games available.

Healthy Eating:

This is a great idea again but got dismissed ont the same grounds as cookery. It’s already been covered so many times.

Geography:

Again a really good idea but no-one was sure how to approach something with so much potential content. No-one could find a way in that we would teach something original about this topic.

Space:

The final topic and something that we thought would have great appeal and a wide variety of opportunity for games ideas. We all agree that this is the area that we’ll run with and that we should do some research about the possible aspects of space that we could teach through our game.

Research for Next week:

What kind of space simulations / games exist already?

Space Invaders:

Google Earth:

26.09.11: Serious Play Briefing: Morning Session.

Important points made in the lecture for our project work:

1. Use Linear and non-linear narratives to support this unit:

It’s going to be important that a story structure leads the game play. Early on we should think about the structure of a story and how our idea’s relate to the three act structure. This should help us to develop our story and add events into the game play that will keep the player interested. We should also investigate how our educational elements interact with the story and make sure that they are going to make sense in the context of the story.

2. What is the educational purpose of your game?

What are you trying to teach people by creating this environment. How will you get this across in your game play? Will there be mini games? Will the experience of being in the environment force the player to reconsider a commonly held preconception?

 

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