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7:32am on Tuesday, 5th June, 2018:



For the Gotland Game Conference, we on the jury have to play the games the students have made. There's well over 30 such games, of which I managed 23 yesterday. I would have played more but the sun got low and started shining on screens and in eyes; it turned out that what I thought was maybe 6:30 had somehow become 8:15. Time passes quickly when you're having fun!

The first-year students have to make games using an unusual control interface. Some of the games are victims of their interfaces and would be better using a regular controller. Others are only playable using the interface they have, such as the one that involves shovelling coal (black balls) into a furnace (box) to drive steam engine in a race. Most of these have zero commercial future (I certainly wouldn't want to hold a fluffy toy that a snotty kid had just used), but that's not the point: it's about innovation. In that respect, it works remarkably well.

Thesecond-year games are more conventional. Many use XBox controllers, which I'm hopeless with so always end up embarrassing myself, but the quality is amazing given the students only have two months to make the games. They're not doing anything else in those 2 months, but still... At least one is of such a high standard that if you'd told me it was a professional game I'd have believed you. I was useless at it because of the controller, but even then it was entertaining to see the physics handle my loss of control.

Everyone else went out drinking last night, but I marked CE217 assignments instead. I actually finished them, too, which is a relief. The question people did best at was, surprisingly, the killer one that combined running the numbers with balancing a pay-off matrix. It seems that frightening the students causes revision. Now all I have to do is figure out a way to frighten them about the rest of the module too.

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Copyright © 2018 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).