Making Games for Impact

Making Games for Impact

By Kurt Squire

Designing games for learning: case studies show how to incorporate impact goals, build a team, and work with experts to create an effective game.

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Summary

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.

Pre-Order Paperback

$30.00 X ISBN: 9780262542173 252 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 40 b&w illus.

Endorsements

  • “Squire's experience developing games with diverse teams and unique theoretical foundations offers compelling tales from the field that will be of interest to researchers, designers, and practitioners interested in games for impact.”

    Eric Klopfer

    Professor/Director of the Scheller Teacher Education Program and the Education Arcade, MIT; coauthor of Resonant Games

  • The inside baseball for players, designers, and researchers of games for impact written by a leading player, scholar, designer, and game-design team leader.”

    James Paul Gee

    Presidential and Regents Professor, Arizona State University (Retired)

  • "For decades now, Squire has been at the forefront of how games can teach us and, accordingly, what they actually mean. The case studies presented here provide useful guidance to take advantage of what games offer us all."

    Soren Johnson

    Founder and Design Director, Mohawk Games, and designer of Civilization IV and Old World