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Informant Design Workshop 3

The prototype (version 1) of Voyage to the Age of Dinosaurs (VAD) was developed focusing on the content related the volcanoes. The third design workshop thus was held at one of the schools to test the first version and elicit students’ ideas on game design. Students played the prototype and discussed with their group members what they would like to see in the next prototype. They basically wanted more complexity, challenge, and advanced weapons in the game to make it comparable to commercial games. They were given a chance to evaluate two existing commercial games featuring dinosaurs as characters, and to come up with their own “hottest game in town.” During the sharing session, students as well as researchers walked around among the groups to hear their ideas and provide feedback. Unlike when we first held the workshop last year, students were voicing out their ideas without being concerned too much about what adults (i.e., teachers and researchers present in the workshop) would think about their ideas, and were not looking for confirmation from adults. They were more critical of each other: one student gave feedback to the sharing group by saying, “hey, the game is supposed to be educational. You have too much killing going on!”

Overall, first-person shooter genre, multi-missions/quests and
various skills for characters were reflected in their descriptions of the “hottest” games. For example, one of the teams anthropomorphized dinosaur characters, making them intelligent enough to develop a time machine and attack people in the future. They also discussed systems of levels, punishments & rewards (e.g., money and experience points as reward), and various weapons (e.g., FireGun, IceGun, WindGun, FreezeGun, Rocket Launcher, Bombs, Big Nets, etc.).