Posted by Christopher Kerr on Sep 15, 2019
BostonFIGs annual festival took over two buildings in Harvard's athletic complex on September the 14th, exhibiting some of the most creative game development minds within New England.  CT CSTA Secretary, avid game player and designer Christopher Kerr was on hand to capture the action and take a few lessons back to the classroom.   What did he learn this year and what was uncovered that YOU use in your classroom?  Find out after the jump!
From video game design to board game design there's a lot that can be learned about the process of product design, to the psychology behind the decisions made whilst designing the product and Boston FIG shares it all.  
"I feel it's very important I simulate the real world as much as possible my own Game Development classes, we have our own 'expo' at the end of the year and I find a lot of best practices and mistakes to be exhibited at the expo.  It's a great place to find exemplars, make connections to industry SMEs, and of course ~play some games!"
Minimum Viable Product
MVP is... creating a product complete enough to satisfy the minimum requirements and able to gather accurate feedback from users.  "It's a key term I use in my classes to help students begin their iterative development cycles and I'm always looking for great examples at the Expo, this year a simple balancing game using the gyroscope on a smartphone earned my nod as an exemplar.  It's a simple, raw game, with no added lipstick to obfuscate the player and designer from identifying the defects and enhancement opportunities.  Beyond this, it's simply FUN."
Good & Bad Booth Design
The way you pull in visitors to your booth is with information, flash, and a little bit of extroversion.  You have to sell your presence without pushing away potential visitors.  In the past the expos has provided MANY GOOD examples of BAD booths!  Things to watch out for with a bad booth:
  • Are you on your cell phone or not engaging with people?  Bad!
  • Does your booth space look like it was put together using paper and crayons?  Bad!
  • Is it just you and your laptop?  Bad!
How does your booth invite people in?  Do you have displays up showing the controls or rules for your game?  A couple giant banners highlighting the characters or aesthetic?  Is it clear who the person responsible for the booth is present and welcoming?
Take a look at the next few booth photos and consider why Chris posted them:
Have you figured it out?  If not comes see Chris at our next chapter meeting to learn more!