Effective Serious Game Development

Designing Digitally


Effective Serious Game Development

Games are meant to be fun. It isn’t difficult to create an activity that’s entertaining. It gets a bit harder when the discussion turns to serious games for corporate training. Serious games definitely have a fun factor, but in order to be effective, they have to be about much more.

Well-designed games have revolutionized the learning experience. They have the ability to engage learners as they acquire the knowledge necessary to be highly effective in their role. The key is in the design. A game that isn’t well-developed or properly thought out won’t deliver the desired results.

It’s all in the details

People are much more likely to give up on a learning activity if it isn’t fun. The other side of that coin is that a very entertaining activity isn’t worth much educationally, if the content isn’t meeting the educational objectives.

These are some elements that need to be included in a game to ensure it is  educationally sound:

  • The right kind of engagement is the key to success. What does “the right kind” mean? The level of difficulty shouldn’t be too easy or too difficult. If the activity tends to be either one of these extremes, the user quickly becomes frustrated or loses interest. Learners enjoy a challenge, but not one that seems impossible to achieve.
  • Specify clear-cut educational objectives. It’s vitally important that the users be very aware of their learning goals. The game should be designed in a way that the objectives aren’t muddled in the playing. Always keep in mind that the purpose first and foremost is about learning a concept or concepts.
  • Keep the content relevant. All aspects of the game must have relevance to the duties that the learner performs in the course of their job. All the decision-making required in the activities must be in line with the learning objectives and context of the employee’s position. Extraneous information can leave the employee confused and frustrated. 
  • Make sure the game has direct value for the player. The employee should finish the game having successfully learned what they set out to accomplish. Knowing that completing the activity will result in learning something specific that will aid them in doing their job can truly motivate a learner.

Provide continual, prompt responses. Swift feedback gives the learner a chance to assess their decisions and make changes as necessary. The feedback should be relevant and meaningful, allowing the player to pull significance from their mistakes and successes. Being able to analyze their decisions, in this way provides employees with a greater depth to the learning process.

Consider unknown variables

There are always factors that are out of the control of a designer, but there are a few variables to keep in mind.

  • When will the game be played?
  • How frequently will the game be played?
  • Who will the players be?
  • What environment will the game be played in?

Giving serious consideration  to these questions guides the development of effective serious games that is beneficial to the employees and provides them an advantage, as they perform their job duties.

Designing Digitally, Inc. can assist your organization to develop effective serious games to meet your training needs that results in greater employee retention, high productivity, and improves the bottom line.

Contact us today!