U of I Idahonia Exploration

Had a great voyage to University of Idaho’s Idahonia Intrepid Healthy Lifestyle Hunter Simulation. The experience is logged here.


Sploderfest – What Makes a Good Game

What makes a good game? The class was tasked with creating our own games. First exploring articles, then discussing the qualities in a synchronous settings as a full class with a guest speaker, to discussing them in breakout groups set the stage for our own foray into game design. Sploder has a great tool for this, and all one has to choose is the type of game to design.

Time to explore the games my cohorts and I made for our project using Sploder. Please feel free to scroll through. My reflections on the experience follow at the bottom of this page. I created the table to help me offer feedback.

Game Title Liked Did Not Like Suggestions
Balloon LandingFeedback in Sploder and VT Great use of increasing difficulty. Challenges of rebound actions and spacebar use challenges. I was confused on the instructions and use of color. Discovered spacebar not only drops but turns magnet on and off. Want to try even more challenging levels. Wanted a reward for finishing fast w/all lives.
Grumpy SquaresNo Feedback avail in Sploder but left in VT I liked the challenge of the time limit.Great foundation for the game. That I could achieve mastery by simple placement of my “man” to beat the clock Wanted more levels/puzzles with increasing challenges based on the same theme.


Island Adventure 1
This one was my creation
 I liked the Talk, Walk, Run instructional format I used. I liked the sense of environment. Should have explored many more obstacles and challenges to increase difficulty and add to experience. Beta-test on a variety of players to gain feedback of the game draft. Explore all obstacles and game design tools to gauge use.
Counts Castle
Feedback in Sploder and VT
Different weapons, different challenges, rocket pack and loved the car! The second level was my nemesis. I thought some of the obstacles were too far apart and needlessly kept the player trying to find exactly the right method to overcome, without guidance. Loved the car and use of rocket pack, and would like to see some of that continue. Also, more challenges that are achievable by more of the masses.
Fairmont PlatformFeedback in Sploder and VT Engaging on many levels. Loved the variety of the weapons and vehicles The winning condition seemed arbitrary as I did not realize some of the vehicles “won” the level. If instructions were available I would like to see them. Not sure what else could be added. I found the game one of the most engaging.
JHGame1Feedback in Sploder and VT I liked the challenges and obstacles. Think a great foundation for an awesome game has been established. I thought it lacked other levels. Would like to see you offer levels of increasing difficulty.


Retro Arcade
MsTNo Feedback avail in Sploder but left in VT Lots of levels and different challenges Lack of instruction. Sometimes walking off the end of something would kill you but if you jumped off the same point you finished. Also did not like that I invested playing that many levels to die on what appeared to be the final game and no score was recorded. Shorten it just a bit as each level contains multiple games. See if adding instructions is possible.
RuthArcadeFeedback in Sploder and VT Liked the background and the music Lacked challenges/obstacles/bad guys/rewards Would like to see some challenges vs rewards and more levels.
Evil ForestFeedback in Sploder and VT Liked the rewards, baddies and challenges. Liked the music and background. Loved the tips as I went along. Needed more levels with increasing difficulty. Want more levels.
Edtech ProjectFeedback in Sploder and VT I liked the design. I loved the instructions describing obstacles and identifying the winning condition. Not enough levels for me. Want levels of increasing difficulty
Shewt SploderFeedback in Sploder and VT This was a fun game. Enjoyed the feeling of continuity between levels. There was just enough challenge to hook me into coming back. Needed instructions a few times to know what to grab and what to avoid.. Instructions would have make this a perfect experience for me.
SploderRMBGEFeedback in Sploder and VT I enjoyed the game but would have been lost had I not read the messages first.   I liked the pace and the varied challenges. Needed instructions at the outset of the game I wanted more levels/stages once I mastered this one.
Lonely IslandNo Feedback avail in Sploder but left in VT Intrigued that you connected the dots between Game and Educational Experience.The amount of detail (text, instructions, connecting to economics) was impressive. Text became distracting, particularly when levels needed to be repeated. Was not fond of the loss of health on the first drop. Seemed punitive for no purpose. Would like to see game-specific instructions and less text in the middle of the play.
Mother’s DayNo Feedback avail in Sploder but left in VT Liked the text reminders of the objective. Enjoyed the pacing and increasing challenges. Did not like discovering what was bad and would cause health loss. Would like instructions on birds
Steele’s ArcadeFeedback in Sploder and VT Great foundation for game. Liked the tokens and worms. Wanted more levels and increasing challenges. Would like to see use of instructions at start of level. Want more.
Can’t Catch A BreakCould not leave feedback in Sploder as game is private but left in VT Loved the levels and stages. Liked the rewards and challenges. I found your game captivating. Good sense of environment. Just wanted instructions Wanted instructions of how which are bad and which are friendly items.
First GameFeedback in Sploder and VT Loved the pace and the varied adversaries. Liked the obstacles. Great foundation for a game. Wanted more levels and increasing challenges on the future levels. Would have liked instructions at outset. Add instructions, and more levels.


Classic Shooter
Space ShooterFeedback in Sploder and VT Liked the instructions, the pace and the challenge. Great foundation for a game. Want another level. Want more challenges on the next level. Need more levels of increasing difficulty.
The Doctor EgonFeedback in Sploder and VT Variable pace. High intensity Lack of radar Would like an obvious way to access radar. Want more levels now.

Interesting trends, discoveries, or meaning you take away from the experience.  How did this change, fortify, expand, or contribute to your understanding of game designs?

Trends – Seems that product varies like in any class; but more so in a quest-based environment. Some simply posted a game. Others added layers and texture. Others still added a variety of levels and well-thought out ideas. And a few appeared to connect the dots to an educational environment through how they teach to what they teach.

Discoveries – One classmate stood out by connecting the game to an Economics lesson. Lonely Island by jmarconi attempted to teach through a game. Although there were parts that worked better than others, I thought this attempt demonstrated risk and impressed me even though I did not personally care for the game. That attempt made me value the game all the more and drew me to replay it so I could see the rest of the lesson.

Take aways – Many of my cohorts discovered or employed unique obstacles. Some I had decided for whatever reason would not work. I found most to be exciting and wished I had beta-tested more of them. I also wish I had beta-tested my completed game with others of varying ages and interests. Most of my work I do just that. Violating my own standard procedure when it comes to design would have increased the quality and offered me preliminary feedback to make the game interesting to more players.

Changes, fortifications, expansions or contributions to my understanding of game designs – My game/sim schema is increasing. Confidence in what I construct and what I value increases with each play. I notice and appreciate nuances in games and what to design quality work. Listening to my little voice and following good principles of instructional design and teaching increases quality. Also, seeing a variety of games in each category helped underscore the guiding principles of each. Most importantly, I can do it and can speak more of the language. As an administrator this process will help me listen, mentor and guide educators in the future.