James Wallis levels with you

Workshop till you drop

Runnning a game-design workshop at the Virgin Media Game Space, September 2013

Runnning a game-design workshop at the Virgin Media Game Space, September 2013. Pic by David Hayward

I run a half-day games-design workshop. It started about six years ago as a one-off that transformed into a regular lecturing gig at the University of Westminster, and has become a centre-piece of my games-consultancy portfolio. So far in 2013 I’ve run it for students (quite a lot of students), for corporate clients, at an academic conference, at games events, in the Virgin Media Game Space, and on an island in a fjord.

It’s not just one workshop, it’s one of three or four depending on who I’m running it for and what they want to learn and practise. At its most basic it’s a three-hour crash course in concepting, developing, testing and iterating a design for a creative project. The more advanced version is about learning core methodologies behind paper prototyping and rapid iteration, and the thought processes needed to use them properly. The top-dollar level is about team-structuring and nurturing, negotiation, managing creatives and creative energy, and learning how to build on failure to succeed. All through the medium of engineering a tabletop game from scratch in three hours.

(For reasons I’ll describe in a future post, I believe that games are the perfect medium for this kind of exercise. I’d do it here but I’m trying to keep this focused. But games are unusually responsive to rapid change, and it’s easy to make interations in the design on the fly and evaluate those designs quickly and effectively. Also they’re fun.)

If you’re interested in any of this—at any of the levels described above—then I’m running the workshop on the evening of Tuesday 15th October, at Hub Westminster in central London. It’s called ‘Finding the Fun: Game Design & Iteration at High-speed‘ and it’s a three-hour session, after which we will go for a drink. This one is ticketed (it’s being run by the splendid people at Event Handler, who are also organising the awesome-looking Geeky in November) but because you’re the kind of person who reads my blog, if you enter the special mate-of-James code ‘ilovegames’ at the checkout you’ll get 20% off the workshop ticket price. We tight? We tight.

If you’ve got any questions about the workshop, how it runs, its learning objectives and so on, or you want to nudge me about that post on why games are the best test-bed for rapid prototyping methodologies, or you’d like to book me to run the workshop for you, please drop me a line.


Categorised as: consultancy | game design | Spaaace | workshop

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