Gamestar Mechanic Teacher Blog

Collaboration in Game Alley


Posted Jan. 09, 2012

CategoryGames by Kids


Game Alley is a community spot in Gamestar Mechanic where designers publish their games to share with the Gamestar network.  There are thousands of Game Alley games, and many of them are creative and special.  Today, I’d like to highlight a game that is doing something completely new:

The Alpha Collab: Part 1 by zenwarrior54

Here zenwarrior54 created the first two levels of a story.  zenwarrior54 set up the beginning of this adventure and purposefully did not design any further.  The outro of this game calls upon another designer to create the next chapter of the story.  This is how zenwarrior54 describes the premise:

“HELLO EVERYBODY! I had an idea for a series of games: I would make the first one in a series, then decide another player to make the next part, then when that player is done making that part, he/she would decide the next player to make the next part. And it goes on. Anyone can participate if they are called forth, so this will be a series that really belongs to the entire community.  So here we are! Now for the actual game: You are a young boy named Samuel . . “

And the game begins with the story of Samuel setting out on his quest.  I highly encourage you to play the game here – it’s a level about collecting information, no enemies and no chance to get hurt.

While Game Alley was not initially constructed for this kind of collaboration, the kids who make up are community are exceptional and invent new ways to share all the time.  Collaborative storytelling through game design is a real opportunity for learning (creative thinking, problem solving, expression).  This sounds like something I would assign in a class, but instead, it was born organically in Game Alley.  Now I’m waiting for Part 2!

2 Responses to “Collaboration in Game Alley”

Kevin HodgsonJanuary 10th, 2012 at 11:02 am

I love this idea — of students realizing some twist in the system that would allow for collaboration. I’ve seen some of this related to “contests” that kids create for others, but this idea of starting a game/story and then inviting others to join in is great.
I wonder: how will they keep track of the game variations? I guess you could leave a link in the comments or make them favorites .. just wondering about the logistics .. but I bet the kids will figure that out on their own.

KatyaJanuary 10th, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Hey Kevin, I too am interested in seeing how the designers keep track of the game series. Whenever kids in Game Alley create new functionality like this (including running contests for each other), we try to think about how to make this feature easier for them. So maybe, eventually, we will make a collaborative Game Alley feature based on the functionality that the kids come up with.

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