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Defining the Mechanisms for Engagement Design Protocol Towards the Development of Analogue and Hybrid Serious Games: Learning from FlavourGame

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Serious Games (JCSG 2021)

Abstract

There are no perfect recipes to develop a game, even less for creating an effective serious game. Nevertheless, it is crucial to employ methods and protocols to that ensure certain criteria and goals are met during their development. For that intention, we propose the Mechanics for Engagement Design Protocol (MEDP), a procedure that emerges from the need to consider the mechanisms explored through the Design, Play and Experience (DPE) framework’s dimensions to meet a serious game’s goals, while considering the player profiles according to the Engagement Model. This protocol was implemented and tested during the development of FlavourGame (FG), a serious game that aims to promote discussion and awareness about nutrition for children. The exploration and testing process also allowed to support the MEDP for other serious game projects, as well as to consider the state of the art of current analogue and hybrid games related to food, the theme of FG.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Between stages 3 and 4, facilitators and debriefing processes play major roles in analysing the quality and efficiency of the game [8, 9, 51]. In analogue games, with no automatization of the game system [52, 53] and limited progressive learning to help new players [54], the facilitator presence is mandatory to teach the players [22]. This is fundamental for FG.

  2. 2.

    Games enter the BGG ranking with at least 30 evaluations from users. The ranking is established through “Bayesian averaging”, which prevents games with less evaluation to climb the tops [14]. When a game reaches the top, it was played and appreciated by many users.

  3. 3.

    Available at http://flavourgame.web.ua.pt/docs/Games_and_Mechanisms_Table.xlsx.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge POCI-FEDER and FCT for funding this Project, under the Grant Agreement No. POCI-01–0145-FEDER-031024.

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Correspondence to Ana Patrícia Oliveira .

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Sousa, M., Oliveira, A.P., Cardoso, P., Zagalo, N., Vairinhos, M. (2021). Defining the Mechanisms for Engagement Design Protocol Towards the Development of Analogue and Hybrid Serious Games: Learning from FlavourGame. In: Fletcher, B., Ma, M., Göbel, S., Baalsrud Hauge, J., Marsh, T. (eds) Serious Games. JCSG 2021. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 12945. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-88272-3_3

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