Computational Thinking

Design activity #3: Final prototypes

In today’s design activity, we finishing the first prototype and readying it for the first testing in school. We will present the prototype to the teachers, that have volunteered to participate in testing the game in their classroom.

Decisions and discussions on materiality
Lene and I have been discussing the materialities of different solutions and whether the first prototypes should be made in e.g. cardboard or wood, the consistency in the graphical expression of the single pieces of the game, the correlation between the analogue and digital part of the game and how to balance the game in order to both constrain the students into a specific fictional genre and afford openness to let the students’ imagination and creativity flourish.

Our considerations on materialities are also based on which kind of feedback we want to get from the teachers. For us, this concerns the balance between presenting a prototype, that looks done but not as a completely finished design. We don’t want the teacher to be concerned with the time and work put into the prototypes and thereby eventually limiting their evaluation. our hypothesis here is, that if the teachers think we have too much ownership or put to much work into it, then that will limit their evaluation and honesty towards concerns or critique of the design.

Lene checking the quality of the pieces and preparing them for the final finish

Lene and I have chosen to make the pieces in wood – and we used a laser cutter to cut and engrave the pieces. We created four sets of the game. The choice of material is bot aesthetic, but also from a thought on the robustness of the material. Since we will use it in fifth-grade classrooms we believe, that a cardboard solution would quickly result in broken or dirty pieces. By choosing wood we believe the pieces will in a better we withstand the usage over a longer period of time. Another consideration involves aesthetics. We find that since we chose a quite limited graphical expression, engraving the outlines into wood follows through on that concept. As mentioned above, we have chosen this “primitive design” to enable the children to create their own pictures of the different elements – thus expanding the possibility to create their own stories. (I will get into more detail on the design principles in the next post).