G-FMS Curriculum Development Journal – July 25, 2013

July 25th, 2013

We spent the morning reworking the games in order to perform some very serious playtesting in the afternoon with the faculty. I sat and played the Graphing Go Game with Bill, Jacqueline, and Elijah until Jacqueline had to go and was replaced by Catherine.

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In the image above, the game pieces used were cut from scraps of thin colored foam.  In the long run colored stones or beads will be used.  Here we see yellow (Jaqueline), black (myself), blue (Elijah), and red (Bill) replacing white neutral spaces on the board as the game play progresses.

In the image above, the game pieces used were cut from scraps of thin colored foam. In the long run colored stones or beads will be used. Here we see yellow (Jaqueline), black (myself), blue (Elijah), and red (Bill) replacing white neutral spaces on the board as the game play progresses.

Within moments of setting up the board, this iteration proved faulty in that the number-line numerals were obscured by the game pieces. It will be important to make the #s more visible. Jacqueline asked who’s perspective the game was laid out in and the board had been set up with the base of the graph facing Bill and I (so for our point of view). This meant that it was more confusing for the other players who had to plot points while also turning the board in their mind. We decided that a lazy susan would be helpful, but more likely cycling around the table (movement!) would be necessary.

The very first rolls plotted points, which exceeded the 16×16 point board, and it was discovered that extending the board to 24×24 places would be necessary.

Elijah and I had previously decided that a deck of five cards would be dealt for a gin like play, discard, draw sequence of card-based operation to take place. Upon first playing a card, we recognized that it would be important to roll the dice prior to selecting which situation/action card to pick from one’s hand.

We also quickly agreed that the neutral pieces were unnecessary. They just slowed down game play.

The first pulse card played took over a huge swatch of a single sector, and inspired the decision to limit pulses to either 1 or 2 places. These would be determined by either a smaller (9 point) or larger (16 point) pulse card, with the deck having less of the later.

On the ‘Vector Arrow’ cards, which we decided should be called ‘Walls’ from now on, > and < should be changed to ≤ and ≥ in order to avoid needing to round up or down when the dice rolled were corresponding numbers such as 4 and 5.

Bill felt that the cards were either large scale opportunities, or small coordinate moves. “You’ve got extremes in this game – single bayonet strikes or bombs, you need medium effect actions – like a tank.” This feedback led us to introduce the idea of a Long wall “Barricade” card that will sweep across an entire row on either the ‘x’ or the ‘y’ axis.

The pace of game play begins slowly, with only minor gains or acquisitions, but each successive round introduces marked changes in the board and an accelerated game. It was suggested that with four players a five round game would be timely and effective.

The first ‘Annul’ card (≠) was played by Elijah to thwart a move of mine, and his playing the card after my move was necessary, but it was not yet his turn. This brought on a discussion around the point that the card had no price. Elijah would still have his next turn coming, while also deflecting my attack. It was decided that playing the ‘Annul’ card should force the player dropping the card to forfeit their next turn.

Two final design suggestions were made about the game board. Since the scoring would still favor the all negative quadrant, the related areas should be labeled with low opacity numbers in each quadrant reflecting the scoring system (1x, 2x, 3x) . In addition, the X,Y bars should be strongly portrayed as significantly as the numbers on all adjacent points to the two lines.

Finally, Bill suggested that a later game module address an SLO for Mat 20 in which students work to “mastering the SLOPE. This is an issue with many of our students in MAT 20 as well as in MAT15.” Having no memory of this SLO from our lists or my own mathematics classes from high school (sorry to my 10th grade math teacher, Mr. Small), I asked Bill what he was talking about.

“Oh, you remember…and he drew out the following equation.

calculating a slope

I guess I didn’t respond quickly enough with a professional nod, because he then said, “you probably remember this as The slope is equal to rise over the run.” That I remembered, but not really all that clearly. I guess I have some more homework to do.

After the professors left the Hive helped me in reviewing the SLO charts for each class to work out what our final summer meeting with the professors might need to focus on.

We closed out the day working out the calendar for the next phase of the project. We will be having one more meeting with the professors on the 30th, and then off to a design lab intensive for the rest of the week and the following week where the Hive Cooperative (sans Dylan who is off to Grad school, but including Rocio Rayo who is back from her research trip to Nicaragua) join up at my home in upstate New York.
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