Yes, things turned out differently than what I expected. My first tester was very enthusiastic, was very experienced with the game Civilization, and offered to work on a scenario. The second tester was more ambivalent and had no experience with the game but did make an attempt to learn. My third tester had no experience whatsoever with gaming but really enjoyed the testing process. The same tester had expressed a dissatisfaction with the companion course to mine that I had not taught. Their experience confirmed the idea that if a student did not like the standard pedagogical approach the game could be very stimulating. The last tester was a very experienced gamer but was unfamiliar with Civilization. As a result, it was necessary to walk them through the testing process.
In summary, the previous experience or lack of experience with gaming did not determine how the tester reacted to my iteration process. Some experienced players really embraced the idea or some still struggled with it. On the other hand, those with little to no experience did really enjoy the new approach. I would have anticipated previous to the testing that the more experienced gamers would more readily embrace the new approach and the less experienced gamers would struggle.
Would you test your game the same way in the future?
The next time around I am better prepared with the readings and experience in this course to test in a more effective manner.
An overview of how you iterated your game based on feedback and observations
I took into consideration the feedback that I received. The issue with a scenario is how accurate does it need to be based on the learning objectives of a regular course. For example, the scenario is limited because I do not have Italy in the course; does it need to account for every, or only some of the key elements of the Renaissance. Or, do I favor the realistic nature of gameplay as opposed to the actual events of the past?
A brief explanation and list of the type of testers (no names please!) you engaged with
1. Very experienced gamer
2. No experience with Civilization but a fair amount of gaming
3. No gaming experience
4. Very experienced gamer.
The questions you used for testing and a few comments on why you picked certain questions
What was the concept of the game? How did you figure out how to play? How did the game make you feel? What was fun about the game? What was hard or challenging about the game? How could the game be better? How does the game compare to other Humanities, history, or general education classes you have taken? Which is more engaging: standard classes or game-based classes? In which type of class–standard or game-based–are you more active? Which game would you rather participate in based on your work and family schedule?
Because of my particular audience I asked questions that would address the key issues that they are concerned with. How does gaming technology contribute to the students being more active and engaged? I also wanted to compare their experience with gaming as opposed to traditional pedagogy.