Design Decisions for Indie Development of Educational Video Games : A Case Study

University essay from Luleå tekniska universitet/Institutionen för system- och rymdteknik

Abstract: Educational video games – especially for the PC market – do not seem to perform as well commercially as games from other genres. We argue that there is room for independent – ’indie’ – developers to break into the marketplace, by identifying certain niches and innovating on the genre. This would generate commercial value for such actors and knowledge value for the players. Design decisions of high importance made during development of an educational video game demo at the small Swedish company Toleap Consulting AB were analysed in the pursuit of contributing to effective indie development of such games. Three main problems that arose during development were identified, and three design decisions where implemented to combat these respective problems; (1) Interpreted educational game pattern utilising XML, (2) Function-based game views and (3) Community created assets, open source, and no costly dependencies. In our case, the formulated design decisions effectively solved our problems, and we argue that they generalise. If a developer creating a similar game (educational video game) in a similar situation (independent development with limited resources) encounters one or more of these problems, the suggested design decisions may help the developer solve the problems, in turn making more educational video games available on the market, generating the aforementioned commercial and knowledge values.

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