capital Games Newsletter #1 – 8/31/2012

Project Synopsis

Capital Games is focused on the rapid prototyping of gameplay mechanics and playable demos of educational games for impact. As a research project, we’re primarily interested on best- and worstcase practices in a rapid, iterative development environment. At the end of the semester, our final deliverables will include this log, our lessons learned and playtest findings, as well as our playable prototypes themselves company.

Initial Direction

Tentatively, we’re looking at rhetoric and logic as the subject matter of our first prototype. While many members of the general public may or may not be skilled in the art of debate, very few adults have an actual working knowledge of the structure of valid arguments or fallacies.

We feel that this knowledge can be readily applied to a game mechanic – game systems are built on logic, after all. Further, we believe that this is an area where everyone (our team included) could stand to have a better working understanding of the underlying concepts. We may also have been inspired by our name, potential client, and the fact that we’re in an election year.


Originally, this project was likely to focus on 3rd-5th grade math and science, but a change in our potential clients has changed that focus. We’re moving ahead as if we’re a self-directed project, but are also following a promising lead with the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.

We’ve looked at multiple documents, presentations and games coming out of the OSTP and its affiliated personnel. In the process, we’ve found that we’ve become more interested in general public education (as opposed to primary or secondary school education). While many ETC projects have dealt with younger school education, and there have been projects devoted to delivering one game or simulation with a specific field targeted at adults, there haven’t been any projects that have looked at the actual process for developing an adult-oriented educational game

The Week Ahead

Whether or not we have a client, we’ll be starting our first sprint next week, starting in earnest on our first game prototype. We plan to develop our games in staggered two-week sprints, with a first week focused more on paper prototypes and iteration, and the second week focused on taking a solid game idea to a finished prototype. Because we have a 6-person team with some overlapping skillsets, we feel that our pipeline could work well with individuals splitting time between two games at two different points in development. For example, where a texture artist is waiting on a model in the 2 nd week of development on Game A, that could be the perfect time to help out with concept sketches for Game B – still in its 1st week.

We’re all excited to be working on this project and with such a solid team. Here’s to a capital semester!