Students from ROC Midden Nederland, HKU University of the Arts Utrecht and Saxion University of Applied Sciences, worked together with experts in the field of game design, mathematics and education, to create a math game in the span of 48 hours. The theme was Math: The Final Countdown and was organised in the context of JamToday, an European network aimed at sharing knowledge and expertise about applied game design. The team Knights of Pi was the winner of both the audience and jury award. They developed an applied game prototype where you use your computational skills to build a village.
After the City Council Member of the City of Utrecht Jeroen Kreijkamp kicked-off the event, the teams dove into the wondrous world of mathematics with the help of from Leontien Kragten, Mehmet Baba and his colleagues who provided examples and first-hand accounts of the challenges teachers face in secondary education and the types of math games already on the market from Deviant Publishers. After pitching their first ideas to coaches, they were provided with further tips and knowledge from Giel Hanraets who is a trainer and specialist in the field of mathematics and digital teaching methods.
JamToday Utrecht chose the theme ‘Math: The Final Countdown’ as mathematics is something which many students find boring, difficult to tackle, or are less motivated to excel at due to fear of failure, and a lack of awareness of math’s added value. The students focused on computation, as this is something that students with a vocational educational background have difficulties with, and these skills are fundamental in an educational setting and in daily life.
After two and a half days of research, prototyping, concept development and playtesting, the teams were ready for the jury. The jury was a combination of experts in the educational field, applied game industry, publishers, and regional government. The jury members included: Leontien Kragten (Strategic Educational partner ROC Midden Nederland), Marianne van der Horst (Municipality of Utrecht), Willem-Jan Renger (HKU), Eric Holtman (ROC Midden-Nederland), teachers and students from Globe College, a student from ROC Midden Nederland, Hans de Zeeuw (ROC Noord Holland), staff from Deviant Publishers ranging from a designer, programmer, and editorial staff specialised in computation, and Tommie Wildschut (Edutainment Games). Jury members were divided in teams and rated three different applied game prototypes after a pitch from the three teams (Knights of Pi, Noob Technologies, and Math Mates) and a chance to play the game.
The winner of both the audience and the jury award was Knights op Pi who developed a prototype where computational skills were needed to build a village with different levels. It is designed so that players are subtly nudged to multiply, divide and use other computational methods. Gameplay difficulty increases per assignment.
Ina van der Brug (HKU): “Last week’s game jam chose a challenging theme where teams, jury members and other audience members and organisers became inspired…working together with students from different disciplinary backgrounds and experts combining the themes of teaching, mathematics and game design, which lead to beautiful concepts”.
The winners of the Game Jam have the chance to showcase their game in Florence and share experiences with other teams in front of a European JamToday Commission.
For a glimpse of the Game Jam 2016 please go to:
The prototypes of the three teams can be found via these links:
For a more in depth view of the game jam experience follow this Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/jamtodayutrecht2016/