We initiated our game idea generation study in October by pre-interviewing game designers and alike staff from our industry partner companies. Before the period of travelling between Tampere and Helsinki, interviewing people and presenting the package, I had to finish the final touches on the package. It was important to give the package a touch and feel of a real product to increase the appeal for use and to reduce the threshold for use, so I worked on a coherent visual layout with all the six techniques, instruction book, feedback cards and even the bag itself. The polishing phase took more time than I was expecting and the last piece, the instruction book, was actually delivered to press after staying up from 1pm to 1pm next day. Still a lot of typos and other mistakes were left in the book. One can do only so much.
The Package includes 1001 Game Ideas book, GameSpace feedback cards, materials for five techniques (one technique, Mecano, is only with instructions): VNA, MorF, GameSeekers, GameBoard and PieceBox. Also one commercial technique (Thinkpak) was included into the package.
Check out the contents of the package:
And the introduction slides:
In between my Seattle trip, I visited Canada for one day to give a workshop for Play New team at Nokia, Vancouver led by very nice dude, Dan Scott.
Play New team is divided to Vancouver and Espoo, so I started with the same presentation that I gave to Espoo Play New team earlier in September. After the basic info on our techniques, the team was divided into smaller groups and we started to play the GameSpace idea generation games. I got a lot of interesting feedback from Vancouver team and enjoyd the discussion with them, which also gave me some foretaste from the upcoming study of idea generation techniques that we are currently conducting.
Here some pics (mouseover for explanation):
During this first year of GameSpace project we have been, among other things, developing idea generation techniques for games to utilise at our research workshops. In these workshops we have discussed the limits and possibilities of casual, multiplayer and mobile games and expanding the game space with new game ideas produced with game specific idea generation techniques. From these workshops we have gathered the data of the use experiences and developed techniques based on the analysis of that data and ideas recorded.
On the last workshop (Workshop III on mobile games) I was giving a presentation on some theoretical issues lying behind the idea generation techniques and underlying som points that rises from our analysis. I also introduced new techniques that our team had been working on. Some of the techniques are based on brainstorming, some of them were more game-alike or computer aided techniques.
At the moment we are putting finishing touches to our techniques to conduct an extended study in real workplace situations. So far our findings have only concerned the first time uses of the techniques in a mixed company groups and workshop surroundings, which could be seen problematic. We are interested how they would be perceived as a normal part of the daily work in real game designing situations on a longer period of time. I am also working on a paper that would conclude some theoretical assumptions lying behind the creativity techniques to gain better understanding on the possible modification issues when it comes to the game specific ideation techniques. Comprehensive view on our findings on workshop uses of game specific idea generation techniques and the theoretical background I am also presenting at the Mobile Games Seminar in Los Angeles this September.
Here are the slides of my presentation on Creativity Techniques in Game Design held in GameSpace Workshop III in Helsinki this May: