15:00 Opening Remarks: H.Aslam and J.A.Brown
15:10 Keynote: Board Games as a Gesamtkunstwerk
Brenna Noonan, Co-Founder, Quillsilver Studio
Board game creation necessitates the unification of many disparate art forms and methods, from design, to development, to worldbuilding, to art direction, to illustration, to graphic design, to production, to marketing, and more. How do these parts combine in harmonious and innovative ways to create a complete experience? In this talk we will explore the board game creation process through the lens of the Wagnerian Gesamtkunstwerk, resulting in games that are an integrated, holistic work.
15:45 Ideas Session
16:00Using Ant Colony Optimisation for map generation and improving game balance in the Terra Mystica
and Settlers of Catan board games
Rommel Dias Saraiva, Alexandr Grichshenko, Luiz Jonata Pires de Araujo, Bonfim Amaro Junior,
Guilherme Nepomuceno de Carvalho
Game balancing is one of the most challenging features to be implemented in a typical game design process. Approaches for evaluating and achieving game balancing include extensive playtesting - which typically requires several iterations of games with subtle adjustments in the components and adopted strategies that resemble brute force - and algorithmic solutions that use qualitative and measurable design goals when developing game components. The literature contains examples of methods that employ artificial intelligence to generate maps in computer games that offer balanced and fairness of starting conditions for the players. The use of such methods for tabletop games, however, has been scarce in the academic literature, for the best of the authors' knowledge. This paper investigates the application of the ant colony optimisation metaheuristic to generate content and improving game balance for two well-known tabletop games, namely, Terra Mystica and Settlers of Catan. The resultant configurations satisfy complex game-dependent requirements while optimising a model for game balancing. Moreover, the results showed to be promising when compared with existing game maps and setup.
16:20Refugeoly Building a Serious Game through refugee testimonies
Refugeoly is a Serious Game which it main purpose is not just playing for fun but playing to understand a humanitarian crisis. This board game is designed to experience based in real facts the dramatic journey of refugees trying to get into a country that can give them asylum. Playing Refugeoly turns the player into a refugee and becomes conscience of the real circumstances that a refugee has to go through in the journey to safety. Refugeoly has been built into a game with the testimonies of refugees and NGO volunteers in refugee camps of Greece, Turkey, Spain and France and with information from different organisations. This paper aims to explain the design process, the game mechanics, the different tested game formats, the feedback from the general public, academics and students that have played it and it future development.
16:40Boardgames and Computational Thinking: how to identify games with potential to support CT in the
Marco Scirea, Andrea Valente
Boardgames exist that explicitly address Computational Thinking (CT for short) concepts and practices. Some are actual games, while others are more akin to gamified learning activities. And since CT has been formalized only recently, many existing boardgames unknowingly might support aspects of CT. To help educators and game practitioners navigate this complex landscape, we analyze a selected sample of analog games, and propose to categorize their features with respect to CT concepts and practices. The main contribution of this paper is a novel way to identify potential CT-relevant games, that leverages on the authors' experience with digital and analog games, playful and game-based learning. Although limited, this approach appears promising and practical for CT teachers and game designers interested in adapting existing games to the classroom or developing better CT-supporting boardgames.
17:00The making of La Mancha: Games as Literary Criticism
This paper considers the ways in which game making may be a means for deeply analyzing literary and artistic works. This work is done through a game design postmortem of La Mancha, a storytelling card game based on Miguel de Cervantes' 1605 novel Don Quixote. The game allows players to interact with and reshape moments from the novel through guided storytelling using quotes from books that influenced Cervantes. This postmortem describes two approaches to design: design precedents and the "collected work theory" of game analysis; that were integral to La Mancha's creation. To accomplish this, this postmortem describes previous efforts to translate literary works into tabletop design and the different ways those efforts allow players to interact with their source material's content and themes. It also describes how individual moments from Don Quixote, its themes, and critical analysis were used to design not only the overall game, but individual interactions, cards, and even pieces of artwork for the game. Finally, the role of these concepts in La Mancha's Kickstarter funding campaign and commercial release will be described, including ways which the lessons learned will be incorporated into future works.
17:20 Ideas Session