Yesterday’s work on clarifying what experiences I want the participants in my game to have means that I now have a reasonably clear problem statement from which to start my development of a game which will bring about those experiences.
“How can I create an face-to-face experience which can be run by one or two facilitators, which will allow people to learn to use business financial records and metrics to aid decision making for success in a new business start up?”
Hmmm… feels a bit wordy at the moment, but I think it captures the essence of what I want to do and the constraint which means it will be a viable solution.
I am reading “The Art of Game Design – A Book of Lenses” by Jesse Schell as I go through this process. I can recommend this book highly as a way of clarifying the design process. It has certainly helped me to make a start on this project. The book proposes viewing the process through a number of ‘lenses’. Your project must be able to stand the scrutiny of each of these lenses if it is to be feasible. The lens I am currently using is # 12; The Lens of the Problem Statement, which is about gaining clarity of purpose.
Schell suggests that the game designer should ask herself the following questions:
I went through this process and came up with the following:
OK – so I think my work has survived the scrutiny of Lens #12. There are many others. Yesterday, for example, I was using Lens # 1: The Lens of Essential Experience. In the next few days and weeks as I document the process of development through this blog, I will detail how I have used other lenses.
The other lens I will look at today is # 7: The Lens of the Elemental Tetrad. It may be a little early for me to use this lens, as I don’t have anything even approaching a design yet, but I will use it as a way of starting to think about the elements which will make up my game. The four elements of the Elemental Tetrad are:
All of these elements must work together to support the Theme of the game. So let’s start by clarifying my theme.
As a starting point I will say that my theme is:
“Interpreting financial data and metrics for decision making to drive business success .”
The questions which Schell recommends we ask for this lens are:
So, my problem statement, my theme, the work I did yesterday on Experience, and the questions posed by this lens, taken together, give me a basis for today’s work.
Today I will start to think about (and list) the technology, mechanics, story elements and aesthetics which will solve my stated problem by delivering the required experience within the constraint I have identified.