Designing Fun: A Method to Identify Experiential Elements in Analog Abstract Games

Dhamelia Malay Dalvi Girish
2022 DiGRA ’22 – Proceedings of the 2022 DiGRA International Conference: Bringing Worlds Together

To play a game, players interact with the game system by following rules. Upon interaction, different properties emerge. The experience of fun is one of the fundamental emergent properties that players seek from a game. There are many conceptual viewpoints of fun; yet, little research on how a rule system’s qualities help create fun. We present a qualitative empirical method that connects the players’ fun experience in context to the rule system. We describe the protocol for the method and its rationales. Two case studies employing our method on abstract analog (non-digital) games are presented. Our method helps researchers identify experiential elements of games and design-attributes to modulate them. The design-attributes also aid in interpreting the conditions generated by the rule system for fun to emerge. Lastly, we discuss the method’s strengths in terms of findings and potential applications in research and practice.


Endogen: Framework for Designing Endogenous Educational Games

Athavale Sandeep Dalvi Girish
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

Cohesion between content and gameplay can lead to games that are educational and enjoyable at the same time, making them effective. Endogenous designs, wherein the game elements emerge from the content, lead to such cohesion. However, endogenous design is not commonly observed in practice. Lack of guidance on conceptualizing endogenous design is an important factor hampering production of effective educational games. In this paper, we present ‘Endogen’ framework for designing endogenous educational games. The framework synthesized using the ‘function-behavior-structure’ approach is composed of a set of design strategies that we discovered in our recent work. It is validated using a multi-method approach wherein designers use the framework to design games and then rate it on various parameters. Results indicate that Endogen achieves the stated objective of creating endogenous design, therefore offering exciting content integration possibilities for game designers.


Strategies for Endogenous Design of Educational Games

Athavale Sandeep Dalvi Girish
2019 DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix

Educational game designers strive to fulfill the promise of making learning fun. Games with endogenous design can fulfill this promise. In endogenous design, the gameplay emerges from the content, thus seamlessly integrating the act of playing with learning. However, a review of literature informs us of the lack of guidance on the endogenous design of educational games. There is a need to develop a framework which can aid designers achieve endogenous design. In this paper, we propose strategies for the endogenous design of educational games. We conduct in-situ studies using think-aloud protocol analysis to extract the tacit knowledge that designers discreetly use in practice. We synthesize the extracted knowledge into concise design strategies. The identification of these design strategies is a significant step towards building a framework for endogenous design of educational games.