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Logo: eduweb

Our Approach
LEARNING THROUGH GAMEPLAY!
WolfQuest wolf avatar

WolfQuest — Try to survive as a wild wolf in Yellowstone National Park, playing alone or with friends in online multiplayer missions.
Eduweb specializes in playful learning experiences, from game-based learning to creative play and design interactives. We develop custom web-based and exhibit games, as well as games and augmented reality apps for mobile devices.

Playing to Learn
Creation, experimentation, exploration, imagination—play is central to so many kinds of learning. Over the past decade, we have made play a central goal for our learning interactives as well. Create a beautiful artwork or an exciting movie. Design a desert house or a rainforest beetle. Spend a day as a wild wolf or colonial apprentice. Our efforts are borne out by our recent research, funded by the National Science Foundation, which found that play value is more important than other factors such as gender and learning style in predicting children's responses to an online interactive. Play is motivating, absorbing and inspiring. We believe it's an essential ingredient for compelling learning experiences.

Game-Based Learning
Games take "play" and wrap it in rules. Strangely, that only makes them more fun. Games engage the imagination, foster motivation, offer context, and provide scaffolding for effective learning. Digital technology lets us design games that recreate the rules of nature and society in a rich, contextual world for players to explore. As a recognized leader in the field of digital learning games for informal education, eduweb designs meaningful, enthralling games about the real world.

Development Process
We firmly believe in a collaborative development process with our clients, and find that such a process results in a superior end product and user learning experience. We usually have an initial face-to-face meeting for concept development, followed by frequent contact through email and conference calls throughout production. To facilitate collaboration, we set up a wiki for each project, which becomes the home for all design documentation as well as visual designs, scripts, and prototypes. Projects typically range in cost from $25,000 to $250,000 or more. Development time ranges from six to eighteen months.

Working almost exclusively with non-profit organizations and government agencies, we recognize the critical need for accurate budget estimates and efficient project management to ensure that we achieve project goals. We typically work on a fixed-fee basis, with all expenses included within that fee, and appreciate that there is rarely additional money available. Because most projects have a set budget from the very beginning, we work diligently in the planning phase to ensure the project can be accomplished within that budget. If the project parameters change during development, we discuss options with the client to find an agreeable solution. We have never surprised a client with a bill for unexpected expenses.

Design Process
We firmly believe in a collaborative development process with our clients, and find that such a process results in a superior end product and user learning experience. We usually have an initial face-to-face meeting for concept development, followed by frequent contact through email and conference calls throughout production. To facilitate collaboration, we set up a wiki for each project, which becomes the home for all design documentation as well as visual designs, scripts, and prototypes.

Building on established information architecture practices, we have developed a structured game and interactivity design process that produces a blueprint for production. The first step is to refine and make explicitly the project audience goals. The next step focuses on the core game mechanics. Through intensive discussion and brainstorming, we try to find the gameplay lurking deep within the subject matter. Weighing rules, actions, chance, and skill, we tease out the central interactivity of the game, finding ways to make it both meaningful and fun.

Step Three delves into more detail, outlining the game scenario and elements. Here we also review the content requirements in terms of specific assets (text, media, etc.) and make a plan for the necessary content development.

Step Four takes us from this outline to a full-fledged design document, including a detailed description of the gameplay as well as sample scripts. Finally, in Step Five, we tackle look and feel, thus ensuring that the visual presentation serves the functional and experiential needs of the project. Wireframe layout grids help us focus on interactivity and usability before we turn to the actual graphic design. Only after finalizing the wireframe layouts do we start work on design comps that will establish the look and feel of the game.

Approval of the design comps completes the planning process and results in a final Design Document that drives subsequent production of the game.


Testing
We are devout believers in the importance of user testing and have worked with top evaluators in the museum field, including Minda Borun, Selinda Research Associates, and the Institute for Learning Innovation. We also conduct user testing ourselves, applying what we have learned from the experts when the evaluation budget is limited. We have access to youth from several nearby schools and will test the game with these youth, as well as half a dozen adults, to identify usability issues that we can solve in the final versions of the game.




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