We find games and simulations incredibly valuable in our coaching and training. Given the number of times we’ve seen ‘Does anyone have a game or simulation to. . . ?’ on the mail lists, we know we’re not alone. While there’s leverage in using games that others create, it’s even better to create your own games to address your specific teaching points. In this session, we will introduce some essential elements of game design and demonstrate a process for designing a game starting with a learning objective. Participants will then use materials we supply to create their own Agile games.
Learning games are exponentially effective because they engage across all four of the key learning styles:
Because they operate at so many different levels, learning games are highly effective at conveying complex concepts like those involved in agile development methodologies.
We will introduce a simple process for creating games and simulations:
- Choose a learning objective or concept to explore.
- Identify important logistical requirements and constraints such as the number of players, the time frame, and the expected skill level of the players.
- Choose a mechanism (board game, card game, building challenge, open ended simulation, etc.) that fits for the intended use.
- Choose a set of design elements to employ (or intentionally omit) that lend themselves to the learning objectives. (The presence or absence of Collaboration in a game can lend itself to lessons around teamwork, for example.)
- Draft the rules by which players will play the game.
- Play the game, discuss, and iterate. Keep iterating, tweaking the rules, until the game feels solid and fun, with lots of opportunities for insight.
We will introduce and explain key game design elements including: Strategy, Chance, Choice, Collaboration, Competition, Interference, Balance, Secrecy, Roles, and Turns. And we will demonstrate how to use these game design elements by suggesting ways they could be used to design games around learning objectives suggested by participants.