I. Approach to Serious Game Design

The Game Development Process

Research shows that serious games promote increased student engagement and motivation for learning in higher education (e.g., Arnab et al., 2015; Iten and Petko, 2016; Hamari et al., 2016). Ideally, serious game development teams will include subject matter experts (faculty, instructors, industry experts), instructional designers, game developers, script writers and graphic designers. However, the diversity of viewpoints and experiences among these design team members may present challenges during the design process.

The game development process consists of three phases (see Figure 1 below):

  • The pre-production phase, during which brainstorming among team members takes place, leading to the design of a paper prototype of the game;
  • The production phase, when the game is developed; and
  • The post-production phase, during which the game is tested and refined before being offered to learners.

The three phases within the game development process: pre-production, production, and post-production,

Figure 1. The three phases within the game development process.

This facilitator guide focuses on the pre-production phase, identified by the research team as one of the most under-investigated and challenging areas of serious game design (e.g., Aleem et al. 2016).


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The Art of Serious Game Design Copyright © by Digital Education Strategies, The Chang School of Continuing Education, Ryerson University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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