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Understanding the Underlying Patterns: Teaching Scientific Thinking through Building Games. Dr. Magy Seif El-Nasr Simon Fraser University, Canada Dr. Tony Maygoli New Media Research and Education, Canada , Canada. Website is http://www.gamedevcamp.com.

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understanding the underlying patterns teaching scientific thinking through building games
Understanding theUnderlying Patterns: Teaching Scientific Thinking through Building Games

Dr. MagySeif El-Nasr

Simon Fraser University, Canada

Dr. Tony Maygoli

New Media Research and Education, Canada, Canada

slide2

Website is

  • http://www.gamedevcamp.com
  • Delivered Workshops since 2004 for High School and Middle School kids (11 total workshops)
  • Taught 13 courses on game design at College Level
slide3

Managed by NMRAE: New Media Research and Education

  • Delivered Workshops since 2004 for High School and Middle School kids
    • Penn State University (US)
    • 3 Schools Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)
    • Simon Fraser University (Canada)
    • Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    • Laguna College of Art and Design (US)
    • Willamette University, Oregon (US)
slide4

In this talk

    • Scientific thinking through workshops
    • Scientific Game Design
    • Workshops
slide6

Learning by doing

  • By building games they learn:
    • Science of game design
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Art
    • Physics
slide7

Play

Fostering Creative and Collaborative Skills

slide9

Concept Development and Critique

Game Design and Programming Process

slide11

Few courses that I have been teaching:

  • Math Finance
  • Physics Business
  • Chemistry Real Estate
  • Critical thinking Stocks
  • Guitar Forex
  • Bass guitar Kung fu
  • Piano Karate
  • Keyboard Budo
  • Music theory Judo
  • Painting Kendo
  • Poetry Swimming
  • Calligraphy Chess
  • Cooking Badminton
  • Renovation Game design
  • ESL Early retirement
slide12

Few Important Facts and Conclusions:

Teacher Knowledge

System Student

slide13

Few Important Facts:

  • Science is NOT tangible for students
  • We (teachers) have no LEVERAGE
what do we teach them

What do we teach them?

Critical Thinking

Math

Geometry

Physics

Programming

Storytelling

Art

slide15

Mathematical Thinking: Math, Geometry, Animation

-y

X=624,y=0

X=0,y=0

ROOM

X=0,y=464

X=624,y=464

-x

x

y

slide16

X=624y=0

X=0

y=0

ROOM

0,464

X=0

y=464

X=624

y=464

slide17

X=624y=0

X=0

y=0

ROOM

?,?

300,464

X=0

y=464

X=624

y=464

slide18

X=624y=0

X=0

y=0

ROOM

0,464

X=0

y=464

X=624

y=464

slide19

X=624y=0

X=0

y=0

ROOM

d=√(x12 + y12 )

b

?

y1

X=0

y=464

a

x1

X=624

y=464

Move the dog step by step in the game for the distance (d)

slide20

X=624y=0

X=0

y=0

ROOM

X=0

y=464

X=624

y=464

slide21

X=624y=0

X=0

y=0

ROOM

v = g * t

X=0

y=464

X=624

y=464

velocity v of a falling object from the falling time point

slide22

The tools and Programming:

In 400-level college classes:

  • Wildtangent (1)
  • WarCraftIII (2)
  • Unreal Tournament 2003/4 (10)

For high/middle-school Workshops:

  • WarCraftIII (4)
  • Game Maker (5)
  • RPG Maker (1)
slide23

Computer Science:Programming

    • Statements
    • Variables
    • Conditionals
    • Functions
    • Loops
    • Events
slide24

Computer Science: Parallel processing, event programming, Object Oriented Programming

slide28

Game Mechanics:

    • Operant conditioning
    • Creating drama
    • Directing attention
    • Navigation
    • Preparing the users for interaction
slide29

Skinner (Operant Conditioning):

The process of learning behaviors from the environment through consequences.

  • Positive reinforcement
  • Negative reinforcement
  • Punishment
  • Chaining and shaping
  • Reward schedule systems

reinforcement is the chances of increasing probability of behavior occurrence.

slide30

C. Fabricatore. 2007 . Gameplay and Game mechanics design: a key to quality in video games. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

slide31

Game Designers use the same techniques to teach the player what to do in game environments

  • Game Level Designers use Variable Ratio for rewards
slide32

At the beginning: things are easy, “you make level 2 in about 5 kills.”

By the time you make level 3 half an hour later, you understand the system

Gradually, it takes longer and longer to get to the next level. It is the rewards that motivate you to continue “trivial tasks are no longer rewarded. The one-click reward disappears, and is gradually replaced by rewards that take more and more clicks to get. And suddenly, some of us find ourselves clicking away for hours in front of a forge or jewellery kit.”

slide33

Uses random ratio schedule. “Both melee and trade skill points increase after a random number of attempts. You know you won’t get skill points unless you practice the skill, but you don’t know how many attempts it will take to get another skill point.”

“A completely transparent experience points system would be a fixed ratio schedule because you have a very good grasp of how many more solo kills it takes to gain a level.” – would that work?

creating drama in games le blanc

Drama is tension, created through conflict

  • Conflict in games is created:
    • Uncertainty of outcome: you don’t know if you are going to win or who is going to win
    • Inevitability of resolution: you know there is an end
Creating Drama in Games (Le Blanc):
systems for producing uncertainty

Feedback systems

    • Negative: make score between players closer to zero
    • Positive: make score between players as large as possible
Systems for producing Uncertainty
systems for producing uncertainty1

Escalation: more points towards the end (e.g., Jeopardy)

Hidden energy

Fog of War (not everything is revealed)

Decelerator: an obstacle that slows player down late in the game

Cashing out:reset to zero, e.g. rounds in fighting games

Systems for producing Uncertainty
industry involvement

Industry Involvement

Increase Motivation and Knowledge Seeking

slide39

For Camps hosted in cities away from Vancouver,

we bring professionals to talk to kids through skype

slide40

“making the experience immersive, sounds lighting, everything. I also have a much greater respect for the difficult process of game design/creation”

“Coding and style of coding because nothing works if you can't code correctly”

“How to program and produce something in a group”

“Game design concepts in general”

questions

Questions?

Dr. MagySeif El-Nasr: magy@sfu.ca

Dr. Tony Maygoli: tony@nmrae.com