Melissa Milloway

I Created This Prototype For The Play To Learn Book Tour

When Karl Kapp approached me about being a stop on he and Sharon Boller's Play to Learn virtual book tour, I was immediately thrilled but I was also a bit hesitant.

I love playing games. I spent most of my nights and weekends in college raiding with my guild in World of Warcraft and my boyfriend can attest that I gleefully beat him (by a lot) at Big Buck Hunter last weekend. However, when it comes to making games, well... it's been awhile.

In the learning community, I am a huge advocate for practicing what you preach and I preach applying what you learn. So, it was only fair that I create a prototype for a game that is based off the book. When I say, prototype, I'm talking a really rough prototype that is based off of the first chapter of their book. You should also check out the third chapter in the book for more on prototyping games.

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The idea of the unconscious bias game series

A few months ago, I had an idea to create a 5-minute game series about unconscious bias. Each game would focus on a different scenario regarding unconscious bias.

In the game's prototype, you are forced to make choices that reveal potential unconscious biases. The biases in the game may not be your unconscious biases. The scenarios are meant to raise awareness about specific unconscious biases.

Building the prototype also gave me the opportunity to test out xAPI reporting with Twine. So, any interactions in the prototype are recorded using a randomized test email address. Check out the Prototype below and scroll down to learn more about how I designed prototype based on what I learned from the first chapter of the book.

Will you play?
Click here to play the prototype now.
Will you play?
An example of xAPI statements from users interacting with the prototype.

What's in the current game design:

  1. Core Dynamic

    After reading the first chapter of the book, I knew I would easily be able to choose a Core Dynamic that fit my design.

    The book defines the Core Dynamic as, “What the players must do to achieve the win state or accomplish the goal; it is tightly linked to the game goal.”

    The Core Dynamic that is used in my game is the Core Dynamic of escape. Players need to escape the game in order to reach a win state. The goal of the game will be to get through the work day or “escape” and to make good decisions for your team while doing so.

  2. Game Elements

    The Game Elements I use include:

    Story – The game takes you through a rather normal day at work where you make choices that also seem pretty normal.

    Theme – The theme of the game is, getting through the workday.

    Time – Although time has nothing to do with this unconscious bias scenario it plays a small factor. The urgency of needing to get to a meeting might make the player make a hasty choice without thinking through their selection.

Here's what should be added or elaborated on in the game prototype:

The game prototype has a long way to go but thankfully the Play to Learn book will help me to better structure my future prototypes. Here is what I would do differently.

  1. Game Goal

    Currently the game goal is to get through the workday and make good decisions but the game goal should be more specific and measurable based on their choices.

  2. Game Elements

    I would add more game elements to make the game more engaging and … I would definitely want to add an element of conflict, add rewards to give feedback, and create more strategy in terms of different choices to put the game more in the player's hands.

  3. Game Mechanics

    I should think about adding game mechanics or “rules” to the prototype. Currently the only real rule is that you have to make a choice in order to move forward.

Be on the lookout for my next post on how I created my prototype in Twine and in the meantime, grab a copy of Play to Learn with a special discount below. Also, be sure to visit the other blog stops on the virtual book tour!

Quick Links

  1. Learn more about Play to Learn
  2. Register for Sharon and Karl's webinar. In it, they will expand on some of the key learning game design steps covered in Play to Learn. The webinar will be held on Tuesday 3/28/17 at 1 pm.
  3. Buy the book from ATD Press. Use the promo code SPRINGBOOKS17 to receive 10% off.
  4. Buy the book from Amazon

Follow along with the book tour

Date(s)Event / Blog StopLocation
March 3rd“Play to Learn” available from ATD and AmazonATD / Amazon
March 3rdBottom-Line Performance Blog StopLessons on Learning
March 3rdKarl Kapp Blog StopKapp Notes
March 3rdATD Learning Technologies Blog StopATD Learning Technologies Blog
March 6thKnowledge Guru Blog StopKnowledge Guru
March 7theLearning Industry Blog StopeLearning Industry
March 8thConnie Malamed Blog StopThe eLearning Coach
March 9thDavid Kelly Blog StopMisadventures in Learning
March 10thLou Russell Blog StopRussell Martin & Associates Blog
March 13thATD Science of Learning Blog StopATD Science of Learning Blog
March 14thJulie Dirksen Blog StopUsable Learning
March 15thZsolt Olah Blog StopRabbitoreg
March 16thCammy Bean Blog StopCammy Bean's Learning Visions
March 17thMelissa Milloway Blog StopMel's Learning Lab
March 21stLearning Solutions ConferenceOrlando, FL
March 23rd-24thATD Core4 SessionLong Beach, CA
March 28thWebinar with Sharon and KarlBottom-Line Performance
March 30th-31stTexas Distance Learning Association 2017 ConferenceGalveston, TX
May 3rdLectora User ConferenceCincinnati, OH
May 22nd-23rdATD International ConferenceAtlanta, GA
June 20th-22ndFocusOn Learning ConferenceSan Diego, CA

— Mel