Making Games for Impact
Designing games for learning: case studies show how to incorporate impact goals, build a team, and work with experts to create an effective game.
Digital games for learning are now commonplace, used in settings that range from K–12 education to advanced medical training. In this book, Kurt Squire examines the ways that games make an impact on learning, investigating how designers and developers incorporate authentic social impact goals, build a team, and work with experts in order to make games that are effective and marketable. Because there is no one design process for making games for impact—specific processes arise in response to local needs and conditions—Squire presents a series of case studies that range from a small, playable game created by a few programmers and an artist to a multimillion-dollar project with funders, outside experts, and external constraints.
These cases, drawn from the Games + Learning + Society Center at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, show designers tackling such key issues as choosing platforms, using data analytics to guide development, and designing for new markets. Although not a how-to guide, the book offers developers, researchers, and students real-world lessons in greenlighting a project, scaling up design teams, game-based assessment, and more. The final chapter examines the commercial development of an impact game in detail, describing the creation of an astronomy game, At Play in the Cosmos, that ships with an introductory college textbook.
About the Author
Kurt Squire is a Professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine, where he directs the Participatory Learning Group within the Connected Learning Lab. He previously Codirected the Games + Learning + Society Center at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Praise for Making Games for Impact
“This thoughtful, insightful book illuminates the process of building effective games that achieve a desired impact.”
—E. Bertozzi, CHOICE
“A must read for designers and administrators interested in integrating commercial game production into institutional research agendas.”
—David Murphy, American Journal of Play