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Meaningful Play 2016 at Michigan State University

Session Information

TitleMeaningful Play Game Postmortems
Presenter(s)Mars Ashton, Nathaniel Abernathy, Steven Sneed and Zack Sneed
TimeSaturday, October 22, 11:30a-12:30p
LocationSuperior Room
DescriptionThis panel will contain the following microtalks:

1) The Journey Behind Axis Descending

Look into the history of a solo project that began as a quick two week game jam and transformed into seven long years of development hell, an academic guide for graduate studies in Narrative delivery, and an inevitable PC release. See initial iterations, scrapped ideas, and the methodologies used and discovered during playtesting and learn what to do and what to avoid from a local independent developer and academic.

2) Forest Defender Postmortem

A look at the development process of creating a game to help teach players about the invasive Asian Longhorned Beetle. This talk focuses on the overall design of the game, but also how the scope was managed to deliver a direct, yet elegant solution to the objectives. With only four months of the development, I’ll show how the most important features were defined and polished. By focusing on the key elements of the game, the player experience could be streamlined to deliver vital information, and unimportant features could be removed or lessened.

3) Killing Zombies with Your GPU

Since 2005, father and son makers Steve and Zack Sneed have been making cool, interactive Halloween games in their laboratory for the trick-or-treaters that visit their house. Each year, the game is a complete ground-up build and gives the team the chance to hack together various fun technologies such as Wii remotes, pneumatics, servos, and computer vision. In this session, the Sneeds will show off such games as “The Monster Machine”, a game that allows kids to build a monster to attack their local school; “Battle on the High Seas”, a game where the kids are drafted to shoot at enemy pirate ships using “real” cannons; and “Showdown at Grimy Gulch”, a game where kids shoot at pneumatic targets in the real world with Wiimote pistols. Along the way, they will cover the design principles they follow when developing their games.

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