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Adventure Author for Classroom Game Design

Adventure Author is a game-authoring tool designed to support interactive storytelling skills through the use of game technologies.

Adventure Author has been used in the classroom as a stimulus for creative writing activities, such as the World Builder Project.

  • It sllows young people to create their own interactive stories in the form of computer games
  • Provides targeted support for the creative process of game design
Dr. Judy Robertson, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, is pushing the boundaries on teaching creative communications in new venues such as games. Creating a good game involves creating realistic characters, developing interesting interactive plots, and writing compelling dialogues, descriptions and introductions. (Bateman, 2007, Handler Miller, 2004, Ince, 2007)

Additional experiences that can be enhanced with game design is the ability to develop awareness of your audience and reflecting on your creation. (Good and Robertson, 2006)

Educators took a look at the NWN2 toolset that makes commercial quality game creation possible, but found that the interface representations encourage a focus on other aspects of game creation, e.g. level design and combat related aspects of game. They took on the challenge of redesigning the interface to change representations that encourage a focus on commercial aspects of game creation, such as level design and combat related elements.

Four teachers pooled their input and postulated that there was clear potential for game creation to support development of writing skills, particularly in terms of: Motivation, Relevance to culture, Different level of feedback (peers care), and Ownership and responsibility.

Compositional skills, audience awareness and reflection are important contributions of game creation that involves strategic thinking, dialog, and other language practice such as timing, visual symbols, and imagination.

Game elements that encourage language develpment include introductory screens, descriptions, dialog, , diaries, character creation, scenes, and descriptive objects. "By writing about it they have to think about it!"

Adventure Author

The classroom writing tool created is designed to function as a complementary add-on to Adventure Author, and is evaluated in a school-based study with a view to discovering whether game creation activities can support the development of 11-14 year old pupils’ writing skills; how interface representations of a game under creation affect the skills which can be developed while creating games; and whether game creation can be geared towards specific skills development without losing the motivational affordances of the task.


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