10.3 Creating Choice Points

Big Ideas
Guiding Questions          
Recommended Games     
Games that offer players the opportunity to make choices are often more interesting and engaging that those that do not.

Games with choice points can lead to different outcomes when replayed.
How can you design games that encourage players to develop strategies?

How can you create choice points for players?
You Choose

Quest - Addison Joins the Rogue:

Rooftop Running, Episode 3 Build 2

What's on for today:

Players love having choices in a game. As a result, the design of choice is a key skill needed by a game designer. In this lesson students will learn how to create choice points for players and to design games that are replayable.

What you need:

-A few copies of “Sample Choose-Your-Own- Adventure Story” to pass around
-One copy of “Map making worksheet” per student

What's attached:

-Sample Choose-Your-Own-Adventure story
-Map making worksheet


Total: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Warm Up - 15 minutes
Design - 20 minutes
Circle Up - 15 minutes
Design - 20 minutes

Warm Up
15 minutes

1. Divide students into pairs and play a rapid round or two of Rock-Paper-Scissors.

2. In discussion after play, ask the students what choices the game designer designed for the players. They should identify some of the following choices:

    Throw a rock, paper, or scissor.

    Throw a new item each round, or keep the same one as in the previous round.

3. Ask the students to think about how a small set of designed choices leads to a game that has been replayed hundreds of millions of times, if not more! The design of choice is the essence of the game designer’s task.

4. Introduce your class to the concept of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure stories (sample included). Explain that these kinds of stories work by giving readers the choice to determine how the story unfolds. Be sure to also explain that these stories often have different ending scenarios or conclu- sions, which allow them to be read differently each time.

20 minutes

1. Based on the concept of a Choose-Your-Own- Adventure story, have the class draw a maze that offers several choice points for the player (worksheet provided). Some choice points should lead to a dead end, while others might lead backward or forward through the space.

2. If you want to give specific parameters, try the following:
Two different end points: one good, one bad. 6-8 choice points. 2-3 dead ends.

3. Once students have completed their maze drawings, ask them to exchange the maze with another student and challenge that student to complete the maze in the shortest amount of time possible.

Circle Up
15 minutes

1. Gather your class together and have them present their maze designs.

2. Consider the following as jumping off points for discussion:

Describe the concept of your maze.

What choice points did you create? Why did you place them where you did?

What did your player find fun or challenging about the design?

20 minutes

1. Now have the students reconstruct their mazes in Gamestar Mechanic, either as a single level (single screen or scrolling space) or across multiple levels.

2. Advanced students can explore how to turn their top-down maze into a side-scrolling maze with gravity. Allow time for playtesting and revision.

3. End the class with a games festival, where students have the opportunity to play everyone else’s games. You can have students vote on the top game or group of games.

How did it go?

Did student learn to create choice points?

Were they able to create games that were replayable?

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Jan 4, 2011, 8:25 AM