The Design Board: An Important Scaffold for Student Design Studios

Students in my undergraduate class Local Games in ABQ work in groups to produce their AR games in September, 2012.

Students in my undergraduate class Local Games in ABQ work in groups to test each others’ games in September, 2012.

This summer at GLS I headed a panel of educators who do mobile game design with students. Some of these educators work on a short schedule, maybe a couple weeks during a summer camp, but many work with students over a longer time frame.

This post is about one issue that comes up in these design studios: defining and maintaining teamwork in working on a design. The aid I want to discuss today is not itself a design process, but an artifact that serves this role and can be applied to many design processes: the Design Board. I use Design Boards in my classes, game jams, and when working directly with groups to produce games.

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First Look at ARIS Editor 2.0

We’re just around the corner from a pretty big update to ARIS, both the Client app and most importantly, the Editor. Big thanks to Phil, Kevin, Dave, Sarah, and everyone else who put a ton of work into making this happen. The current Editor is a Flash environment, pretty terrible to work in at this point, and has been neglected for some time since a total redesign and recode in HTML and javascript has been in the works.

By next month, we should all have a brand new editor to work with. It’s not functionally complete yet, but I’ve been playing around with a mostly functional prototype this week. I’m pretty excited and wanted to share, so I made a video tour for you.

This first tour doesn’t yet get to all the features, and the UI is bound to change a bit, but this video still should serve as a tutorial, getting you up to speed on how to use the new editor to make ARIS games/stories. As I get more time and new features get implemented, I’ll share more. If you’d also like to start playing around with ARIS Editor 2.0, we’re happy to include you. Below is my script for the video.

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