Last weekend was all about playful exploration at Exeter’s beautiful Royal Albert Memorial Museum. Calvium’s Jo Morrison joined the museum’s Rick Lawrence and Sophia as a GameJam mentor to students from the Games Development and Design course at nearby Exeter College.
The students have been challenged to make video games inspired by the museum’s outstanding Roman collection. The games will be unveiled at Gamerama Day in April 2018, when museum visitors will be able to play them within the stunning galleries.
The GameJam challenge provides an opportunity for the students to create stories that haven’t been told before, or create relationships between visitors and the museum that weren’t previously there. At the weekend we explored some factors for creating successful games for museum visitors, including:
- Emotional connection: By focusing on the overall emotional experience of the game, playful projects can create magic moments that will stay with visitors long after they leave the game and the museum.
- Compelling stories and storytelling: create games that inspire, engage and most of all, entertain the museum’s player-visitors.
- Clear and engaging player journeys: give the players as much information as they need to understand the purpose of the game, but as much autonomy as possible to keep them interested.
To illustrate how a player’s emotional connection could be understood we looked at Flickr and saw some glorious examples of indy and commercial video games which had clearly been appreciated and embraced by their players:
This project is a unique opportunity for the students to develop their game thinking and design skills in the specific context of a museum. For Calvium, it is an opportunity to help the students explore ‘play’ through material and multisensory lenses as well as encouraging a person-centred design approach to game design.
The Gamerama Day will be held at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery in April 2018. We’ll let you know precise details nearer the time.