Hi! If you've clicked here, it's likely because you were intrigued by the following Cambridge Science Festival event:
Do It Yourself Game Design
Saturday, April 28, 6-9pm
MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
Does your family game night need a boost? Join engineers from the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab for hands-on workshops about game design. Visitors of all ages can choose from four different sessions that will change the way you look at board games, video games, and more. Featuring Board Game Remix (middle school and older), Junkyard Track Meet (youth and family), Serious Games for Social Change (teen and adult), and Unity Basics (teen and adult, programming experience required).
Cost: $5. Pre-registration required.
Sound familiar? No matter, come anyway! We'll be running four activities at the same time, all to do with game design. Descriptions are below.
Once again, all of the following events will run at the same time, so unless you are a master of time travel, cloning, or otherwise can be at two places at once, you'll want to sign up for only one event. $5 a piece.
The Junkyard Track Meet: Tabletop Game Design for the Whole Family
Ages: Youth and family
In this workshop, participants will create and practice their own competitive sports and then compete in the sports created by others. But there isn't a need to train, as all the sports will be played on tabletops! This is a great workshop for families to attend together, as they can work together in both creation and play.
In the first part of the workshop, participants will visit The Junkyard to select items to use in the creation of their sporting event. They will practice the event and prepare a short presentation.
In the second part, each group will present and demonstrate their event to the others. Then, members from other groups will be able to compete in the event.
Finally, we will talk about the game design process. Participants will come away having learned about game design and play and may take home some new tabletop activities!
This workshop is facilitated by Dr. Scott Nicholson, visiting professor for the Comparative Media Studies program and visiting scholar at the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT game lab at MIT. Dr. Nicholson is an associate professor at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University and runs the blog, Because Play Matters, at http://becauseplaymatters.com
The Boardgame Remix Workshop
Ages: Middle school and older
Tired of playing the same old boardgames? Think you can do better? We're going to take the boardgames you know and hate and make them fun again. Let's play Monopoly on a Clue board! Trivial Pursuit using Scrabble tiles!
It is recommended you bring with you a boardgame you hate and don't mind if all the pieces are lost and gone forever. Better yet, you might already have incomplete boardgames in your home. Bring them!
This workshop is based on the book "Boardgame Remix Kit" http://boardgame-remix-kit.com/. In it, the authors have taken various known and popular boardgames and created modified versions and mash-ups to create new types of games. In this workshop, participants will make their own new boardgames, remixed from other games, and in doing so, learn a few key skills needed when designing games.
Serious Games for Social Change
Ages: Teen and Adult. Please bring a laptop.
Once upon a time games were played for enjoyment and to engage players in social, physical and cultural activities. But in the last years a new trend of serious games with "serious purposes" arose. These games claim to raise awareness about social and political issues such as inequity, injustice, poverty, racism, sexism, exploitation, oppression, teach about global problems, and reach specific purposes beyond pure entertainment (make donations, raise funds, sign petitions, form opinion and so on). Some of these games even aim at changing the world. In this workshop, best practice examples of serious games for social change will be played, discussed and analyzed. Furthermore ideas and sketches for proto-types will be developed and ways of realizing them will be discussed! The workshop gives the participants hands-on experiences and insights into the potential and limits of video games designed for social change. No pre-experiences are needed!
Ages: Teen and Adult. Programming experience required. Please bring a laptop.
Unity is a cross-platform engine for making 3D games. If you've never made a 3D
game before and want to learn how to get started, here's your chance! I'll be
explaining how to use the basic features, and maybe a few of the more
specialized ones if we have time.
This is intended to be a hands-on class, so please bring a laptop! You may wish
to install Unity ahead of time; a free version is available at
unity3d.com/unity/download. No experience with Unity or game development is
necessary, but you should have some programming knowledge coming in. I'll be
demoing code written in C#, but experience with any object-oriented language