Thursday, January 24, 2008

Library Arcade: Carnegie Mellon's ongoing gaming project

Since there has been some recent blog discussion and coverage of Carnegie Mellon’s Library Arcade by the LibrarianinBlack and other blogs here and here. And even some negative coverage on Joystiq. I wanted to share some of my discussions with Daniel Hood, one of the librarians who worked on Carnegie Mellon University’s library game. I talked with Dan at LOEX last spring and again in September right before the release of their games. The full conversation is posted here, but I wanted to share a little here as well.

One of the more interesting pieces is how the design and development of the project shifted over time.
The game was envisioned with five minigames, with specific learning objectives for each game. The four members of the design committee had envisioned Max’s narrative tying each of the minigames together, but budget and time constraints led to the decision to release “Library Arcade” as stand-alone games.

The lessons this project provides: challenges of student programmers, limitations of a $50,000 budget, flexibility in design - all are worthwhile for those planning their own library game projects.

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