Games for Good: Max 5

Our research group developed an online multi-player game designed to teach bioinformatics during gameplay. We focused on understanding the socio-emotional aspects of gameplay and how affect impacts learning.

My contribution included:

  • Building a Unity 3D game element
  • Researching emotion and chat in online gameplay
  • Observing 2 sessions of gameplay with high school students

Design

There were many factors that went into designing the game, including:

  • Creating parts of the gameplay story
  • Designing and developing Unity 3D game elements

Research

With a few levels built out, we brought the game to a high school biology class on two separate occasions. Between each session we iterated and improved the design of the game. We collected survey data from the students, chat logs during gameplay and observations of their behavior during gameplay. Our goal was to understand how affect impacts gameplay in collaborative learning environments, specifically for science based games. We’ve compiled our user research into a paper which was presented at ChileCHI November 2013.

Reflect

I dedicated much of my time in the research group working in Unity 3D developing game elements. While it was rewarding to learn a new skill, I was new to the development environment and developed small parts of the game. I enjoyed the research we conducted with the high school students and would have liked to have split my time more evenly between development and research to gain more experience in each area.

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