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104 Streamlining Serious Game Development with Modular Design

10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
Wednesday, April 12

Tracks: Games & Gamification

Serious games can be a great way to engage with learners. However, developing a serious game can be an extremely challenging and daunting task. Unlike traditional eLearning production, serious games add numerous game system mechanics, more detailed story-driven elements, expanded content functionality, and a much richer interaction potential. Fortunately, there are development tips and techniques that make the creation of serious games as much fun as playing them.

This session will explore the use of modular design to break serious game development down into manageable chunks. You will learn how to apply these techniques to effectively establish the core game mechanics, streamline the development process, and reduce complexity while also maximizing reusable resources and systems. Most importantly, we’ll explore ways to apply these techniques to any eLearning project, not just serious games.

The process begins with a definition of the learning objectives and choosing the core mechanics to establish the basic game framework. The next step involves developing the game flow diagram and game design document to define the learner’s path through the game and everything they’ll do or encounter along the way. Once the design is complete, the game’s various systems are broken down into manageable components. Finally, the reusable content, assets, functionality, and interactions that maximize implementation efficiency are created and assembled into a complete game. At the end of this session, you’ll will be able to break down complex projects into manageable systems and components, implement components, systems, and content in a reusable and efficient way and apply these concepts to your own eLearning projects

In this session you will learn:

  • Best practices for planning and designing a serious game
  • Tips for using modular design to break down complex development projects
  • Implementation strategies for reusable assets, interactions, and functionality
  • How to implement data-driven content to maximize flexibility and reduce complexity
  • Ideas for applying these techniques to your own eLearning applications

Technology discussed:

Articulate Storyline, general design software (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.)

Chris Loyd

Game Developer / Animator


Chris Loyd is a game developer and animator with nearly 30 years of professional experience that includes work for IBM, Namco, Merck, GSK, the State of NC, and more. His background includes degrees in scientific visualization & computer graphics, simulation & game development, and certifications in Quality Assurance, Business for Game Development, and Modeling & Art for Game Development, among others.