Terra Nova: An Educational October

Over at Terra Nova, they began the month with an update on the Shakespeare's Game which has some interesting applications for learning and libraries.

It's been a bumpy road. We've learned lots of lessons, mostly that this is very hard to do, and especially hard to do in an academic context. I have new layers of respect for the world-builders out there.

What now? Work continues, with an uncertain time frame. I really enjoy writing systems in NWN Script, so I will keep tinkering. But - there's no telling when there will be anything to report. Based on the current direction and progress of the project, I should downplay expectations.
I remember when this game/project was announced and was interested to see how it developed. Other academic projects have used the Never Winter Nights and the powerful toolset to create their projects. The use of NWN here seems like a manageable choice of platforms. I recently picked up the Diamond edition of NWN for a little over $10 and I'm looking forward to playing around in the toolset.

But this post also brings words of caution. Words that I've heard echoed from a multiple other library game projects. Long timeline, slow starts, and challenges at every step. Even with these challenges, those of us interested will continue to move forward and learn from those before us.

In addition, Terra Nova also discussed Jesper Juul's interesting book Half-Real. I read parts of Juul's book earlier this year and it is worthwhile for anyone interesting in starting out developing and designing an education game. It's based in game theory, but it is accessible. Terra Nova's discussion is worth the read if you missed it earlier.