Game Design is a fun and creative endeavor, but it is as much a professional discipline as are programming and art. Creating engaging game requires knowing the rules and guidelines of game design as well as applying good playtesting methodology to ensure that your game is as fun for players as you think it will be.
I run day-long workshops that begin with a lecture about these concepts and end with participants doing hands-on acitvities. Topics I cover include game mechanics, user interface design, level design, narrative design, prototyping and playtesting. I will custom tailor workshops to cover the topics you are most interested in developing.
My workshops are based on my three decades of success as a game designer as well as my experience in teaching game design both at the college level as well as to teens and tweens earning the Boy Scouts Game Design merit badge (see below).
Gamification is the integration of game design technicques into non-games enviornments (e.g., work, marketing, education) to improve engagment, loyalty and learning. Gamification techniques strive to leverage people's natural desires for competition, achievement, status, self-expression, altruism, and closure. My own study of gamification has earned me the honor of being rated at the Gamification World Congress held in Barcelona in 2014 as the 14th ranked "Gamification Guru in Social Media."
I run half-day workshops teaching the Marczewski Method of Gamification, based on the works of gamification thought leader Andrzej Marczewski. Topics I cover include the history and examples of gamification, user types and the game mechanics that appeal to each, the EEEE (Enrol, Enthuse, Engage, Endear) framework of user experience, adn the GAME (Gather, Act, Measure, Enrich) framework of gamified system design. Workshops include hands-on activities in which users solve a business problem using gamification.
Boy Scout Merit Badge
Games are an important element in every culture around the globe. Simple games give structure to children’s playtime and help enforce basic social skills like courtesy, sharing, and taking turns, and more intricate games can help children hone their logic, strategy, and even mathematics skills. Recognizing this, the Boy Scouts of America introduced the Game Design Merit Badge in 2013.
I am a member of the team that created the Game Design Merit Badge and answer scout's questions about game design on the Boy's Life website. As a registered Game Design merit badge counsellor in the Western Los Angeles County Council, I regularly run game design workshops at merit badge midways in the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys and would be happy to assist local Boy Scout troops in earning the merit badge. I will also gladly advise other Game Design Merit Badge counsellors in setting up their own workshops.