MIT 595 - "Lego NC History: An Educational Game"

Lego NC History: The Battle for Fort Fisher

Lego NC History: An Educational Gamewas designed and developed as a partial requirement for MIT 595: Games, Simulations, and Virtual Worlds. The project was supervised in the spring of 2009 by Dr. Albert Ritzhaupt. The project consisted of three parts: designing and storyboarding an educational game, developing 3D models using Milkshape 3D, and then designing and developing an educational game rubric to help with the evaluation of educational games.

This project was completed in stages throughout the semester. To complete this project, some of the tasks required me to work collaboratively with group members to design and develop an educational game. The 3D modeling assignment was generated independently. Lastly, I independently created an educational game rubric. Each of these artifacts provided me with an understanding of the game design and development process.

To complete these assignments, first our project team was given specific criteria that guided us in the designing and developing process. The educational game proposal that our group generated provided me with a better understanding of all the details surrounding the development of games and simulations. Our project team aligned the Lego NC History: the Battle at Fort Fisher game with both history and technology NC Standard Course of Study goals and objectives. The 3D modeling activity provided me with an insight into the time, effort, and detail needed to design and develop artwork that can be used in the creation of an educational game.  The game evaluation rubric helped me understand the process that instructional designers go through to effectively design evaluation instruments. The specified dimensions on the game evaluation rubric were developed after researching existing evaluation tools. After completing the research, I determined ten dimensions for my educational game rubric. A rating scale was determined to help quantify the results of the rubric to assist individuals with determining the appropriateness of educational games for classroom use.

For this project I worked both independently and collaboratively with a group of project team members. Independently, I served as instructional designer and developer for the 3D modeling and game evaluation rubric portions of this project. Working with the team, I used my creativity to help design a game that would be both educational and popular with the current gaming community (if it were to be fully developed). During the designing and developing of the game proposal, I created storyboards that demonstrated my ability sequence the materials to show the different levels and goals of the game.

For me, this project was one of the more challenging development projects that I completed while in the MIT program. This project was very time consuming, but I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect. This class was very enlightening in regards to the time, effort, and detail oriented tasks that are completed to successfully design and develop an educational game. I believe that the most important skill that I learned how to master during this process was time management. If I had to complete the project again, I would have spent more time developing the actual game that went along with the game proposal and the 3D models.