Behind the Scenes ~ BCM300 Game Pitch Journal

Introduction

This assessment for BCM300 Game Experience Design allowed the opportunity to work collaboratively to develop a concept for a game. This process involved rapid ideation and the development of a basic prototype. In order to successfully conceptualise an original tabletop game, each member of the team had specific roles and areas to explore. Initially, we generated a group chat online which meant that we could remain in contact throughout the course of the project, discuss ideas, pose questions, receive answers and document our progress. This worked really well and each member of the group was reliable, continuously contactable and creative.

The idea for our game ‘Staying Alive-Ozzie Killers’ began in a class with Shayla, Laura and Molly. Jess and I joined the team as we really liked the project proposal for the game and believed we would work well collaboratively. Having had little to no experience in game production as a global niche, it was really interesting and especially rewarding to see our game come together.

Throughout this subject, we have explored autoethnographic analysis of game experience, genres, themes, setting, world-building, game mechanics, narratives, design and key game loops. It is through these learned concepts that as a group we were able to successfully navigate the experience of constructing an innovative game and understand the processes involved. 

Eva Brandt, Jorn Messeter and Thomas Binder journal article “Formatting design dialogues- game and participation” discusses what constitutes game and play, the use of games in a collaborative setting and the game format including challenges and characteristics. This resource was not only helpful in designing a game and producing a prototype but it developed my knowledge in the temporary settings that contribute to collaborative design efforts and the world of play. This research widened my perception of games and their operation beyond their generic use, simply for entertainment and enjoyment. Research suggests that games are directed towards exploring problems and possibilities (Buur and Soendergaard 2000).

Furthermore, “through observing gameplay, Habraken and Gross (1987) studied how designers manipulate and transform artifacts during the design process while making agreements and rules about how to go about their work”. Playing games became a tool for research. A way to enhance collaborative practices of design communities, like working on buildings and urban environments. These are the simulation of things within a game as they operate real-world processes or systems over time. The remainder of this blog post will highlight the division of labour involved in the collective process of designing, play testing and presenting a group game experience. Additionally, I will clarify my specific role and background research contributed in bringing the game to a prototype. 

Division of labour

The division of labour in society normally arises spontaneously. Adam Smith, in his book ‘The Wealth of Nations’ (1776), insists that “the division of labour was not itself the effect of any human wisdom or foresight, rather, it was the necessary albeit, very slow and gradual consequence of a certain propensity in human nature”. However, in this case, although the division of labour is compelled to be a separation of work processes and tasks, it also must be achieved promptly, like an assembly line. This was due to the reality that we had a strict timeframe for completion. 

I believe that our group divided the parts involved in the concept and ideation of our game really well. We covered the criteria listed on the subject outline equitably and therefore each member had a fair function and responsibility to cooperate. Laura produced the game overview, including genre and intended audience. She also designed the playing cards. Molly managed the evidence of background research and potential in the marketplace through a comparable analysis of other games. Jess was responsible for the rules, key game loops and mechanics. Shayla completed the presentation by editing audio recordings, writing the playtesting experience and highlighting responses to feedback through iteration. 

Role & background research

My focus for this game production involved identifying the theme, game world, narrative and emergent player story. Amongst this research, I also produced the Canva presentation, primarily the theme or design of the chosen template and the elements involved. This underwent alteration as our project evolved. I organised and prepared this in the early stages of the game design so as a group we had access to a shared platform that we could each edit and add our independent work. We found Canva worked really well, despite a few minor technical issues that we experienced. Essentially, this allowed the processes involved in the game production to run smoothly and afforded each of us enough time to add our writing and visuals. It also gave Shayla a sufficient duration to edit the audio and integrate it into the presentation slides. By the end, we amalgamated enough information to fit 24 slides under 10 minutes. 

Our group contributed varying information into a document that assisted in our independent research. We ensured that each of us managed our time well as a group by completing the major components of the presentation a couple days before submission so we could proofread, merge, identify errors and do any final touch-ups.

If you prefer to listen to my specific role and responsibility in the game design and presentation, you can do so here…

In case you missed it, you can watch our game pitch here…

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