VIDEO GAME DESIGN RESEARCH
As part of my final year university project, GLITCH, I designed and facilitated a workshop titled Flip the Script. Given that the project centred around a video game environment and I am interested but far from an expert on video games, inviting participants with a particular passion for gaming allowed for insightful research to be gathered. Three age groups were targeted: teenagers, young adults and adults, thus ensuring that various relevant perspectives were incorporated instead of relying solely on my own.
I began to plan the various elements 2 weeks prior to the workshop. Constructed to gain feedback on gameplay elements, a design was selected that involved a central double-sided apparatus that could display an environment on one side and, when flipped, a contrasting environment on the opposing side. By crafting a functional centrepiece, a space for participants to congregate and collaborate was created; additionally, the rotational aspect of the apparatus mirrors the ‘flip’ mechanic within GLITCH.
Technical drawings were sketched and, with some trial and error, the first flip board was constructed. Comprising of a triangular plywood stand, a sheet of craft foam bordered by plywood and wooden dowels to act as handles, the simple design accommodates enough space for at least 2 participants to gather around while remaining stable and turning in a fluid motion.
Both the utopian and dystopian versions of the Penthouse, Church and Tunnel environments were sketched on sheets of A1 mount board. These were then transferred onto tracing paper that could be firmly fastened to the flip-boards using pins, ready for the workshop.
Post-workshop, the tracings are covered by ideas and suggestions of the workshop participants. In order to aid the creative process various materials were supplied, including a selection of inspirational images, laser cut words of locations and actions, pens and post-it notes. The participants were given a time limit for each location and were encouraged to write/draw anything they felt relevant to the scene.