Game Design Principles: Creating Powerful Scenario-Based Learning

Conference Archive

FocusOn Learning 2017 Conference & Expo - June 22, 2017

Doug Nelson

President & CEO

Instructional designers and writers are increasingly turning to branching scenarios as a way to embrace experiential learning and move beyond page-turners. But authoring an effective scenario is challenging, as the branches can become overwhelming. Moreover, if you don’t apply good game-design principles, the scenarios can turn out to be as flat, boring, and ineffective as a series of multiple-choice questions.

In this hands-on session, you will play, deconstruct, and discuss branching scenarios as a full group and in small teams. You’ll experience what makes branching scenarios work well. You’ll play the highly cited “Haji Kamal” branching scenario as a group, and learn how the design team used Jesse Schell’s Art of Game Design lenses in designing the scenario’s story, structure, and media. Then you’ll play another scenario in a print-and-play format, in small groups. You will discuss the design principles applied to that scenario and explore how paper-based scenarios can be used for team training. You’ll leave this session with a cheat sheet for taming scenario structures, as well as reflection prompts to help you apply the design principles to your own learning challenges.

In this session, you will learn:

  • What game design lenses are helpful in designing branching scenarios
  • Which core techniques can help you keep your branching structure under control
  • About approaches that can improve your branching scenario storytelling
  • How to apply these principles to your own projects

Novice to advanced designers, developers, and managers.

Technology discussed in this session:
Branching scenarios.



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