Week Five of the Summer 2011 GAMBIT Summer Program featured two successful events, The GAMBIT Summer Summit and the GAMBIT Open House Focus Test! A huge crowd packed the US GAMBIT Lab this past Thursday to try the games our interns have created and the feedback was so helpful. Visiting Singaporean Lecturer, Andrew Tan, gives you his view of the fourth week of the 2011 GAMBIT Summer Program. From June 6th to August 8th, 2011, the US Lab of Singapore-MIT GAMBIT welcomes over 40 interns from various Singaporean Universities as well as interns from Berklee College of Music, Rhode Island School of Design and of course, MIT to participate in a nine week intensive program creating videogames from research begun at MIT and in various Singapore universities. We have also invited mentors from Singapore to assist and observe the interns so during this summer's program we can update you on the intern's progress through their notes and photographs.
GAMBIT's Week Five by Andrew Tan, Lecturer, School of InfoComm Technology :
An exciting 5th week has passed with 2 major events taking place, the Gambit Summer Summit and the Gambit Open House Focus Test.
Wednesday's Summer Summit went really well, kudos to Konstantin and Owen for their efforts. There were some really interesting talks; Scott on his views on serious games, Jeff Orkins on the future of AI, Konstantin about his research on learning and Jason about the failure of iCue, amongst many others. I felt that the talks were very insightful and enlightening, with the speakers sharing their personal experiences. It was just a pity that the students could not be at the Summit due to time constraints.
Now on to Thursday's Open House Focus Test. Frankly, I was surprised at the turnout! There were easily 60 - 80 people, or more. The teams had spend quite a bit of time to update their games and figure out what were the required observations and feedback required from the testers. What amazed me was that in taking pride in their work, they found time to beautify their work environment to ensure the testers were impressed and knew what the game was about.
I felt that this Open House was really useful. It allowed the teams to test their game mechanics, and the overall look and feel of the game. It also gave the teams confidence; some in knowing that they are on the right track while others in knowing that they have been doing something wrong. I saw a lot of emotions from the testers where they were trying to figure the gameplay. Some were very excited hammering the keys away, while others had bewildered looks trying to figure out what to do next. All in all, a fun day for testers and the teams.
Feedback are always good, be it positive or negative. With the feedback taken from Thursday, the teams spent Friday morning analyzing and planning for their next sprint.
Some worried frowns, some smiling faces, some anguished looks; a mixed bag of emotions. Quoting Winston Churchill, Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. I don't think any team has loss their enthusiasm but rather affirmed their will to produce a successful game.