Created outline of SMART objectives to ensure task completed to best of ability in necessary time frame
Objective: To create a learning resource for children aged 5-11
S – Create a card based learning resource story game in which the children can interact with the story, supplying an example of 6 monster encounter cards, 6 spell/equipment cards, 1 example story sheet, example of 3 question cards, 3 blank question cards and an instruction sheet on how to create own campaign.
M – Yes, can receive feedback from children and parents
A – Yes by following time management and taking advantage of skills of illustrator and discussing with him I am able to easily work out and follow weekly tasks to ensure achieved on time.
R – Yes, will include questions to entertain children, will be marketed towards parents but use artwork and setting to encourage children to play with friends. Retains relevance by using friends and family for surveys and interviews.
T – by 10th of November have all the illustrations done using my colleague. By 1st of December have all pieces of game finalised and examples created giving time to evaluate and make any final changes in the last week.
Naming of product
The product is related to the fantasy genre and should therefore reference this. Good examples of this are the card game Munchkin. The name is simple and short and therefore easy to remember. Therefore I should find a way to reference the game to the fantasy genre but also interest parents, as it is a learning resource the name should reflect this. I will be brain storming several ideas and then doing another survey to create a measurable chart to see which name the children aged 5-11 prefer and which the parents prefer (as they will be who would be purchasing the learning resource).
I also had peers in my class brainstorm the ideas with me and took their suggestions as well.
After the lecture I had this week I have taken into account the idea of having a more artistic text for the card titles. Any descriptions would be simple plain text (sans serif style). As part of the survey I have included several fonts that I think would look good for the card designs and asked the children which ones they think look the best. The fonts are all more artistic in style and one in particular looks as if it has been painted. I feel these would resonate well with the children.
(From left to right) Monster artwork for mimic, demon eye, troll, spell artwork for fireball spell, monster artwork for slime.
Interview with a child
After explaining the premise of the game to a child of the age of 9 I asked them some questions relating to the game and whether it would be something they would be interested in.
Interview with a parent and researcher
After interviewing the child I took some time to talk to the mother who is a professional researcher. The mother gave me some very important factors to consider in terms of the game. Firstly distribution, how would his be distributed and could it be downloadable as well as a physical project? I have decided as the game is fairly simple and could be easily made available for download as a PDF that a cheaper version could be sold as a digital download where parents/teachers pay a smaller fee to access the PDF files and print for themselves. However, there would still be a physical boxed version available to purchase also. This has been something many Kickstarter (a crowd funding website) campaigns have used as perks for cheaper pledge rewards (Kickstarter, 2012)
Another aspect I was informed to take into account is what would happen if the children keep getting the questions wrong. However, this is rectified by the child then trying a different question. This led me to thinking about discussion question cards where there is no right or wrong answer, as well as adding blank cards so the parent could write their own questions that could be used for specific weeks where the child has spellings etc…
There was also the questioning of age range and questions, this was solved quickly through my explanation that the game would have various cards of different age ranges such as 5-7 8-9 and 10-11. This means you can have one question pack for a 5 year old and another for an 11 year old. Therefore all the ages in the range of 5-11 can play unhindered together. This also means older children could help younger children and encourages working together.
The variety of the cards and age ranges as well as the nature of the choose your own adventure aspect went down very well with the parent who stated “he [her son] gets bored after about 10 minutes of one set of flash cards and then I’ve got to get different ones out”. She also was very pleased with the idea of the game being different every time and the ability for there to be expansion packs with additional questions and story lines.
Transcript of interview with child – 9 year old boy
Transcript has been summerised in order to only include relevant information
<in regards to original concept art drawings by hand>
Child: Yeah I think that’s a bit scary
Me: So you think this design is something you’d prefer not to see in the game?
Child: Yeah I think it would scare younger children
Child: *points to eyeball design* That’s a good one I like that one
*Looks at concept art of other drawn goblin* This one is cool
Me: So we took this design and made this *shows design of pixel artwork
Child: That’s actually kinda cool
Me: Do you like the design?
Me: And then we’ve got the different versions of it
Child: Oh yeah you can get a helmet with it and stuff that’s good
Me: So do you like this design?
Child: Yeah it’s cool and it’s funny *short laugh*
Me: So you don’t find them too scary?
Child: No they’re not too scary except for the first picture (The original concept art of the goblin)
<Shows photoshop version>
Me:So we took the drawings and changed them on photoshop, so do you prefer this style or the pixel style?
Child: It looks quite good like that (in regards to photoshop image). I like the pixel ones because if you did it online you could have them move.
<Shows moodboard of card games from previous week>
Me: Out of these which design of cards do you like the best?
Child: Probably Pokemon because I like the picture at the top, actually like this. *points to munchkin card* I like the big picture in the middle and then the name at the top.
<Shows image of goblin in armour pixel art and mimic artwork>
Child: The goblin’s cool, the only thing I wouldn’t like about the chest is the legs are a bit scary. I like the graphics and the chest could eat your money if you get damaged and then when you beat it you can get the money back.
Me: That’s a good idea, so if you get a question wrong you lose some of your gold when you fight the chest.
<looks at eyeball artwork again>
Child: I really like the eyeball, it’s like half squid half eyeball it looks cool.
<Shows troll image>
Child: *excitedly* I like that one
Me: He is going to have clothes
Child: Like a stripy thing *motions a tunic shape with his hands*
Me: Yeah like a tunic
Child: Yeah yeah a tunic. You could have different ones with like different coloured beards and horns
Me: So with the story element, do you like the idea of being able to be a part of the story and make decisions in the story?
Child: Yeah like picking which character you get. And you could unlock other characters like have pack where you can play as the monsters.
Me: Do you like the idea of being able to pick a character at the start of the game?
Child: Yeah, so it comes up as a choice at the start.
Child: Do you get powers and stuff like that?
Me: There’s going to be spells that you can buy when you get to certain parts of the story with gold you get throughout the story.
Child: But like you can’t have more then three because then you could skip too many fights.
Me: Yeah that’s what we were thinking of going with.
<After explaining how the game is played through answering questions>
Me: So is this something you’d like playing in school?
Child: Yeah or with mum
Me: And the answering questions don’t put you off?
Child: No, that’s the point of the game to learn things isn’t it.
Me: And you like the idea that you can learn in a different way?
Child: Yeah I’d like it if we played it at school
Child: I really like the design, it’s kinda like Minecraft and it looks like video games.
Me: So it doesn’t look boring or anything?
Child: No it looks really fun to play.
Discussion of game play and art with illustrator
Kickstarter. (2012). Evil Baby Orphanage. [online] Available at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1334239018/evil-baby-orphanage-0/description [Accessed 12 Oct. 2016].