Today we got a new team and a new assignment. This time, we’re supposed to make a serious game using Unity. Like last time, I am the only producer with three engineers and two artists (one of whom is a technical artist).
The idea we came up with that we all seem pretty excited about and dedicated to is a game that teaches non-programmer high school students the concepts of debugging a program. To do that, players will help a band who’s instruments are coming from the factory totally messed up. Players will look at the instructions the factory is using for the instruments, find where it’s not working, and fix it so that the factory starts making awesome instruments for the awesome band.
This is actually the strongest concept coming out of the gate yet for me, I think. I feel like everyone is behind this one even more than my first two prototypes and as long as we stay flexible and work hard we should have a pretty solid prototype come four weeks.
One reason for this success is definitely the design box session we had. Roger taught us today how the design box works, writing the technology, audience, aesthetics, and problem/mechanic then pitching only ideas that satisfy all those restraints. It went really well in our team for it being our first time trying it out. Here’s the results:
It definitely helped us to understand we were targeting high school students and we knew we wanted to appeal equally to boys and girls, especially since coding is still so male-dominant and we don’t want to reinforce that. It also helped us a lot to figure out how we wanted the user to feel–challenged, but empowered and smart when they succeed, included, accepted, and smart. I think if we can just keep this work we did on the design box in mind (part of my job as the producer, for sure), it’ll guide us to a much better game than we would have had otherwise.