Title: Iterative game design in education

Authors: Philip Tan

Addresses: Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, MIT Bldg NE25-381, 5 Cambridge Center, 3rd Floor, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA

Abstract: Educators should impart principles of iterative game design to their students as a best practice. Iterative processes allow player feedback to systematically inform design decisions. However, the constraints and conventions of academic practices pose several challenges for the adoption of iterative processes. Many students lack the confidence in their own abilities and the discipline to work in short iterations. A constant stream of testers is necessary for iterative design and providing that stream requires advance planning. Misinterpreting tester feedback can badly hurt morale. Finally, the tendency of both game development and academia to focus on a finished product may actually distract students from practicing the habits needed to conduct effective iterative design. Based on the student projects of the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, this short paper looks into each of these challenges and proposes some potential solutions for introducing iterative game design in a higher education context.

Keywords: iterative design; game design; game development; Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab; curriculum development; design curriculum; best practices; higher education; mentorship; toy design education.

DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2010.030496

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2010 Vol.3 No.1, pp.118 - 123

Available online: 18 Dec 2009

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