Rules! Drama! Action! – A game design approach to mapping, designing, and communicating experiences
Saturday, 28 Sep. 9:00–12:30
A make-to-learn, hands-on workshop that teaches how to break down and conceptualize complex digital / physical experiences using a straightforward methodology adapted from game design theory and resting on information architecture principles. Sounds terrible? Ok, let me rephrase that: come to the workshop, and you’ll learn how to describe, model and explain experiences as if they were games by breaking them down into their formal, spatial, and dramatic elements. That is the rules they follow, the environment they create and inhabit, and the narratives they weave. The workshop introduces a revised, extended version of Fullerton’s well-known framework for disassembling games into manageable components for the purpose of design, and maps these to a coherent information architecture model for a better user experience. During the workshop, we discuss video games, card and board games, reflect on how they simulate complex environments while presenting players with a closed system and no external influences, and use the framework principles and methods to identify what elements we need to focus on, what are they (rules, resources, or mechanics; spatial elements; story elements), their relationships, and their role within the system. We discuss how to turn these insights into IA and UX concepts that capture and represent both the interplay between the elements and the systemic nature of experiences that travel across digital and physical spaces, and what benefits this understanding brings to day-to-day design practice. We sketch, we reflect, we learn. Ok. We also “play” games.
Andrea Resmini is an information architect, a teacher, and a researcher. He’s currently a senior lecturer at Jönköping International Business School where he heads the Master’s in Information Architecture and Innovation. Andrea is a compulsive reader, a pensive writer, an architect, and a terrible piano player. The author of “Pervasive Information Architecture” and “Reframing Information Architecture”, he knows way too much for his own good about WWII submarine warfare, videogames, Tolkien, Jack the Ripper, and the Titanic.