• Sarah

Phase 3- Week 6: End of week review

Updated: May 5, 2019

This week I researched two different ideas that could persuade our game creation process.

Nudges (Folder and sketchbook)

The first was behavioural change nudges which make the better option easier to do and we therefore are more likely to do that. It can be seen with automatic opt-in organ donation, where you must formally opt-out. This is because we are reluctant to pull out of a process. It made me think about how we could utilise this idea of reduced technology use by making the player unaware they are doing so. It could be achieved by potentially engaging them in a different objective without directly telling them to get off their phone. Creating that objective would be the gameplay itself, but we need to find out what engages our audience.

Digital-Physical play (Folder and sketchbook)

I then looked at examples that did the opposite, they engaged the player with the digital in ways that were not detrimental and proved a positive side to digital gameplay. Of particular note was Beasts of Balance which myself and Rubi played through to understand better. We found the game to be really engaging with its tactile play, with heightened elements such as the race should the tower fall down. The utilisation of digital and physical play was excellent and we were really intrigued by the idea of a companion app and the touch-tap action. The game required the companion app to be played as the game itself beyond stacking, yet the gameplay itself was still focused on physical input. Its made us think about how we can utilise physical action, technology recognition and further digital output.

This led to us discussing the route we wanted to take the project creation in. We both want to show a positive side of familial technology use and want our games to utilise the device to add experience in a local co-operative manner.

Lean UX (Folder and sketchbook)

Before our first team ideation session on Friday, I explored user experience methodology to see if it can help us with game creation. I did this as our project resolves around a problem- parents and children don't connect with each other as family as they are consumed by devices. I researched the lean UX process finding that it helps to form quick ideas, which is something we want to do. It creates assumptions about the users in order to identify the most important assumptions to develop ideas. I put this in to practice with UsTwo's UX process, creating a family members pronta persona and assumptions to our problem. However upon mapping the assumptions I found that they would not be influencers of game creation, they were just further problems to consider. It demonstrated to me that as I've created a large body of research through phases 1 & 2, lean UX is not appropriate in this case.

The Lean UX model didn't work for us how I thought it would, but it did identify something further for me. We already have a key approach to our designing - utilising the technology in a local co-operative manner. We need to think about the play element. After looking at 3 'Dandelion' we feel that creating an experience that both child and adult alike can enjoy is also a key element. This led to our methodology on Friday. We utilised the parental like of nostalgia and the child's desire for fun gameplay by looking at traditional games. We then thought about how these games could be enhanced by local operative play. This led to the creation of our first ideas.

Emma Reay- Kideogames and feedback

Myself and Rubi were keen to talk to Emma after her lecture 'Kideogames'. Her focus on the child in video games, for them and in portrayal, links well to our topic of families technology us. We were interested in how she explained that constructs of childhood and childhood experience should be the focus in all areas of game design, such as in aesthetics, mechanics and emotional eviction. It gives the player a nostalgic feel and acts as a selling point. We've seen this idea in practice with Sennep's 'Dandelion'.

When we spoke to Emma we highlighted our idea of connecting the multi-generational family through gameplay. She suggested to use to look at fiction such as picture books and wordless books. As further topics of research she suggested to engage the differing members of the family we should look at topics they'll all like and engage in. She went on to explain the curb cut effect with design that has accessibility in mind but in effect benefits more than just the intended source. This can be seen with drop curbs where the were intended to help those in wheelchairs cross the road, however it further benefited mothers with prams and cyclists. I did some further research on this to fully understand, so we can potentially apply to our game. The scale and use of type is something that we can consider in terms of accessibility and benefiting all, especially if we create a card game.

Emma also suggested creating shared goals to connect parent and child. She also expanded and said that we could apply dual address. Which is where the media addresses the needs of both the child and the parent at the same time.

Survey creation

Later in the week me and Rubi finalised the familial habits survey questions. We hope to learn from this primary research about familial play. We have submitted them to ERGO and will wait for the response for approval and then post. These are the questions for each one:

Young gamers and the nature of children’s play

A study to be filled out by children 12 and under with parents on their play habits. Research conducted by students of BA Games Design and Art at University of Southampton.

1) Please indicate your child's age

1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12

2) How does your child identify?




3) Please tick the devices you (child) you currently play on?

PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, Wii U, Switch

Nintendo DS (DS, DS Lite, DSi, 3DS), PC, Tablet, Mobile phone, LeapPad, None, Other

4) What type(s) of games do you (child) enjoy?

Shooter, Action, Craft, Adventure, Racing, Puzzle, Fighter, Strategy, Simulation

5) Do you prefer single player, two player, party (4+) or online multiplayer games?

Single player, Two player, Party 4+, Online multi-player

6) Please indicate your favourite game you've EVER played

7) What makes it your favourite?

8) Have you ever played a digital game which uses physical toys? I.e. Skylanders, Disney Infinity, Eye of judgement, Nintendo Labo etc.

Yes, No, Can't remember

9) Do you enjoy games which use physical toys in game?

Yes, No, Sometimes

10) Do you ever re-enact any games you play in real life? *

If so how and what games? I.e. Pretending to be the characters when you play with friends, pretending you're in the game

Parents/guardians and their play habits with children in their care

A study to be filled out by parents/guardians on the play habits in their household. Research conducted by students of BA Games Design and Art at University of Southampton.

1) How many adults (18+) are in your household?

Including yourself

1, 2, 3, 4, 5+

2) How many children (under 18) are in your household?

1, 2, 3, 4, 5+

3) Please indicate what aged children are in your household

1, 2, 3, 4, 5,6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17+

4) Do you play together in your household regularly?

Yes, No

5) How do you play with the children under your care?

6) Do you enjoy playing games with children under your care?

Yes, No

7) If yes, what makes it enjoyable?

8) Do you think it's important to play all together as a family?

Yes, No

9) During play does conflict occur?

Yes, No

10) If so, between who? and how is it resolved?

11) Do you ever struggle playing with your children?

Yes, No, Sometimes

12) If so, why?

13) Do you play any digital games in your household/with individual children?

Yes, No

14) If so, what games?

15) What is the next present you are planning to get for your children?

Game ideation (sketchbook)

Before starting ideation Rubi showed me her initial ideas which showed me her thoughts on the use of technology in process. During our tutorial me and Rubi began our first ideation session. We used the ideas of traditional childhood games as basis for this session. The ideas included; a 2 player, custom-build bubble bounce game where you attack or defend your zone, a digital jigsaw puzzle between local players that produces an animated scene, a digital version of drawing consequences and a pass-along-path game.

The latter, "speedy pathways" is the one that is jumping out at the moment. It originated from ideas from a childhood sports day game where you pass a bucket of water over and under your body to the next player's bucket. The idea of passing something along was interesting to use and we came up with the idea of a pre-determined path but the next player does not know when their turn is. The game is split between the individual players personal screen, in the latter half of the previous players 'turn', the next screen will appear and the player will have to get in position. The idea is that the players will be running round over time as the speed increases and different phone actions are required to get through the path. We think that its a unique idea, with the use of multiple phones and one determined animation.

Overall I'm not keen on the process we took here as I feel like the games generally are just digital versions of traditional games. If we're going to use technology I think its important that it is purposeful and can only be achieved that way.


After our ideation we had a tutorial with Adam. We showed him our ideas and although he understood our process of creation, I don't think he particularly understood speedy pathways. We think that through this game proposal in sketchbook, the games potential is not shown. We think that it would be a good idea to demonstrate this with a paper prototype. To help us with our creation of ideas he suggested that we narrow our target audience. Although the idea of multi-generational is interesting, targeting everyone is not appealing to anyone. He thinks that by focusing on the child, the parents will be interested in playing. We therefore need to refine the age range of the child to specifically meet the needs of a specific audience.

Audience decision and paper prototype

Following the tutorial we made a decision about the audience of our game. Although difficult to choose just a small age rage, we narrowed it down quite rapidly. We took the decision to focus on the age group 8-12 year olds, this is because it is the time right before adolescence. My previous research demonstrates how teenagers are becoming increasingly independent (case study- bedroom) and reliant on their phone. We therefore see an opportunity for the game, as an almost 'last hurrah' whilst children are still influenced by their parents and before teenagers become consumed by their phone

Our final part of this week saw us create this paper prototype to help explain the game. We think it does it quite well and fully shows the multi-screen pathway element.