Sketchnote/Response: The Mechanic is the Magic

This reading made me truly appreciate how interdisciplinary the art of game making is. From needing to interface with subject matter experts to doing formal assessment, the task is so much more than just coding up a video game (or making a board game). 


Personally, this helped me reflect on the projects I’ve done in class and where they come from. For the in class projects, we generally each came up with our own subject area by thinking about what we or about group wanted to talk about. However, the reading described how a needfinding processing involving subject matter experts may be the best way to find a message to convey. This leads me to realize that while everyone knows that needfinding is important to forming a really good idea in making a startup company or app of some sort, people seem to think of making games as a bit different, more like making a painting where the inspiration comes from within.


Perhaps both methods have value, as a game is in many ways more reflective of a designer’s self than something like a business. However, I wonder if we can integrate needfinding more tightly into our iterative process, adding a step before playtesting where we are just looking for a good message to convey. It seems, for example, that some of the games we’ve made in class focus on topics that maybe aren’t actually as impactful as we think they are.


I’d like to in the future try a more traditional iteration method including needfinding to make a game, starting without knowing what I’ll be making at all.

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