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  • Writer's pictureDaniel J. King

Dissertation Blog #19

First Citation of the Day

Abeele, Vero Vanden, Bob De Schutter, Luc Geurts, Stef Desmet, Jeroen Wauters, Jelle Husson, Lieven Van den Audenaeren, Frederik Van Broeckhoven, Jan-Henk Annema, and David Geerts. "P-III: A Player-centered, Iterative, Interdisciplinary and Integrated Framework for Serious Game Design and Development." Communications in Computer and Information Science 280 (2012): 82-86.

P-III is a serious game design framework that stands for

  • Player-centered design

  • Iterative development

    • Interdisciplinary teamwork

  • Integration of play and learning

It breaks the process for designing and developing a serious game into the following phases:

Concept Design Phase

  • user & task analysis

  • participatory design

  • game concept definition

  • outsider expert discussion

Game Design Phase

  • storyboards & focus groups

  • paper prototypes and play tests

  • game design document

  • outsider expert review

Game Development Phase

  • art & software development

  • lo-fi to hi-fi prototypes & play tests

  • final prototype

  • outsider expert testing

Second Citation of the Day

Mitgutsch, Konstantin, and Narda Alvarado. “Purposeful by Design? A Serious Game Design Assessment Framework.” In Proceedings of the International Conference on the foundations of digital games (pp. 121-128), 2012.

This articles provides the Serious Game Design Assessment (SGDA) Framework as a way to evaluate serious games based on their formal conceptual design and the interaction of their design elements, rather than how much publicity they generate. Mitgutsch and Alvarado point out that all the following elements in a serious game must be cohesive for the game to be effective:

  • Purpose

  • Content and information

  • Mechanics

  • Fiction and narrative

  • Aesthetics and graphics

  • Audience framing

Holistic serious game design assessment should include these questions:

  1. How is the game’s purpose reflected in the purpose, content, mechanics, fiction, aesthetics, and framing of the game?

  2. Do the game’s content and its fictional contextualization and mechanics fit with one another?

  3. Does the design ensure coherence and cohesiveness between the narrative and the mechanics?

Design and Mechanics

Due to the limitations imposed by the pandemic, my design project will not be as player-centered or interdisciplinary as I had hoped. In the spirit of P-III, I will do as much playtesting as possible, even if mostly informally, and I will do background research into the content I am exploring in the game. Iterative development and integration of play and learning remain firmly at the center of my methods.

At each iteration going forward, I will use Mitgutsch and Alvarado's SGDA Framework to check myself before proceeding from design to development.

Current Events

I have a sore throat, which is a bummer. On the bright side, the first brisk morning of fall is here for us to enjoy. Max barely fits into the koala suit we got him when he was a puppy -- it looks like it will simply explode off his body if he flexes his muscles.

Today is bound to be an interesting day at work, as nearly every developer at the company is now trying to figure out how to finish our massive site rebuild/migration before the end of the year. The fact that they are all stressing out about it is actually a relief to me. Now they see what I see.

I refused to watch the presidential debate last night, and I was validated this morning by reports that it was a pointless train wreck. There is no point in trying to have a reasonable conversation with a incompetent wannabe fascist like President Idiot.

For a while, I had been on the brink of a nervous breakdown. I took a half-day on Friday to pull myself back from the edge. I started making polearms out of PVC pipe and foam again, so I can have a hobby away from screens and the internet. This past weekend was nice. So far, I've been in a generally good state of mind this week.

I need to get out in front of my candidacy exams to make sure they don't break my spirit. The most strategic move is to tailor my lists so I can predict what the questions will be and prepare to write answers that can be recycled into my dissertation or a journal article. One mustn't let any effort go to waste.

I have work, homework, exams to prepare for, a dissertation to plan and propose, and all the while, in the back of my mind, I am cognizant that I will probably have to go marching through clouds of tear gas in early November to protest a rightwing power-grab. I ordered some sweet eye protection, so that's good. I should think about getting a telescoping flag pole for my Earthican flag as well, like the one I used back at March for Science.

Wish me luck, Dear Reader.

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