Educational Game Production at TPT

Any videogame can face a variety of pitfalls such as bad concepts, bad gameplay, bad time estimates, and lack of funding all of which can ruin or severely impact a project. While traditional game studios sometimes have a bit of flexibility when it comes to release dates (some games are delayed in the hopes of creating a better product), educational games often do not have this luxury. Delays in design and development can impact testing which affects the recruitment of participants, dissemination of information, the ability to secure funding, and meeting research deadlines/goals. Thankfully, advancements in game production techniques have resulted in good practices that can be modified to also address the unique concerns of developing educational games.

Attendee Takeaways
This session provides a possible approach to the development of an educational games and aims to be familiar to those who have experience in game production, while friendly enough to be useful to newcomers who have never created a game. The following suggestions for production of educational games follows The USC Game Production Method and has been modified to include information from the author’s work in the educational games field.

Dennis Ramirez is the Digital Program Manager at TPT PBS, and an award winning educational game designer. Dennis has worked on games sponsored by OLPC, NIH, NSF, and the DoD. Prior to working at TPT PBS, Dennis was the Technical Director of USC’s Interactive Media & Games Division. Dennis received his doctorate from the department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, MA in Learning Design and technology from Stanford University, and BS in Computer Science from the University of New Mexico.

Dennis has given talks around the world including venues such as the LEGO headquarters in Denmark, Arhus University Denmark, Hilversum The Netherlands, Stanford University, The University of Wisconsin Madison, the University of New Mexico and many others.

Dennis Ramirez

Digital Program Manager, Twin Cities PBS