Design Sprint: Fun

Group 5
Chris Wootton
Alexander Elkins
Spencer Perry
Ian Davidson

 For this design sprint, we created a game in Unity in which the player controls a skeeball and guides it towards some floating targets. The difficulty stems from the need for momentum, control of speed and direction prove crucial to getting through the target rings.


VIDEO DEMO:



As computer science students we are primarily taught skills in and around programming. Throughout classes we have been introduced and expected to do some design work before going ahead and implementing code. With that being said, the process we go through for each design sprint allows us to spend more time discussing how exactly we want our project to go. This means we had time to learn the Unity game engine, and listening to lectures on the characteristics of a simple interactive game before starting to work on our project. 

 If the game we created had been made without the context of this class, where we went straight to programming, the finished product would definitely be different. First off, the shared idea of the game, or how our group thinks about the game, would most definitely be simplified. This of course is due to the sheer lack of time spent developing and thinking through the concept of the game. Additionally, the “primer” consisting of readings and lectures, helped point out some of the subtletees and characteristics of fun simple games.

The task is to take the user of the game to a different experience that is convenient and not able to do in real life. Fun games give experiences that go beyond what is possible in the world. Designing for fun can be difficult, because fun is a term that has many meaning but as long as the game follows one of the definitions, the game should be fun for an audience. If we were to take a programing only approach, the game would have a feel of just mechanics and not much fun involved in the game. We found while coding the game and using fun properties that we learned, the game started to form around a more fun idea.


In this image below, it shows our design sprint in the Maker’s Space at Sonoma State. We were tasked to create a game with what we had around us. Goal of the sprint was to create a game that had fun experiences.


 One approach that we took was to start with an example project or template. Using that, try to understand the different elements, what settings or scripts dictate their behavior, and how the separate pieces interact with each other to create a whole experience. This way, you can quickly pick up and start to tinker with the elements much faster than trying to learn each component from scratch.

 The evaluation done in class let us see how other people would approach and understand our game with a fresh perspective. Some people tried different paths and strategies for getting the ball to the goal. We really appreciated the suggestions for enhancements, such as different ball types and more obstacles along the ramp.




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