Onboarding with Game Manuals & Open-Source Inspirations

This week we dive back into the area of finding inspiration.  Last week my students finished the year strong with Clothespin Bumper Cars, the Egg Dash Challenge, and an epic final Boss Battle against Rene Belloq!  

As we wrapped up, my students completed their end of the year reflection on my class and game, and one of the big pieces of feedback was that my game needed clearer guidance on how items and badges could be earned and what they did.  While I provided some guidance on this, most students learned simply through playing the game, but others struggled to get into the game without some more in-depth guidance.

So, I did what I usually do.  I went on Twitter and discovered Jordan Loughlin, who had mentioned he was working on a game manual for his students to use, and I knew I had found what I needed.  I set to work designing it to be a quick overview, with a little better explanation of how the items and badges worked, along with an overview of some of the other elements & mechanics I use in my game.  I followed Alice Keeler’s advice about changing the size of a Google Slides presentation to be more like a book, and styled it after the old Nintendo Power magazines I read as a kid while trying to figure out how to beat various old NES 8-bit games.

I’m pretty pleased with the result, which you can see by clicking on this link for the web-version (which is also embedded below).  I wanted to take it one step further, however. John Meehan has made so much of his resources open for use by other teachers by allowing them to make copies and edit them, so I’m including a view-only link to the file.  If you are interested in doing something similar in your gamified class, feel free to make a copy and edit it to suit your needs!

That’s all for this week!  If you aren’t quite at summer, keep tapping into student energy these last days/weeks so you can really have some fun with the learning process.  If you are at summer, enjoy it! Relax, recover, and find some inspiration for the next year!

Keep Climbing!

Summit Seeker(s) of the Week: Shouting out the man who inspired this week’s post: Jordan Loughlin (AKA King Loughlin). Jordan is junior high social studies, religion, and health teacher in Canada (BTW: Our first international Summit Seeker! Congrats!).  Jordan has an amazing gamified experience in his class, combining digital and physical elements to create an immersive adventure. His map based battle boards have been impressive to see, and his idea for a game manual, combined with similar feedback from students encouraged me to write my own!  Thanks for being such an awesome educator & Summit Seeker! You can follow His Majesty, Jordan on Twitter @jloughlin23