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It’s been a long wait, but our report “Changing Faces of Game Innovation” is now available at University of Tampere digital library. The report is a whopping 376 pages of articles covering almost the whole 2,5 year research journey. We decided to share our thoughts and results on wide variety of issues, even when some thought processes are not yet in a final form. We also included descriptions of the tools and methods we developed or looked at during this time. We hope you enjoy the package!

If you are not that keen on reading or just busy, check out the “comic book” version “Questions and Answers (on Game Innovation)”. It introduces the research questions and conclusions of our articles, each as a one-page comic.

There is also a limited edition of physical copies available at Granum virtual book store. Order your copy of “Questions and Answers (on Game Innovation)” or “Changing Faces of Game Innovation” before they run out! They ship internationally!

It’s been a great project! Big Thank You belongs to the people and the companies who have helped us during this journey! Hopefully we’ll get to elaborate these issues in the future as well, as the project has raised at least as many new questions as it has answered. We also encourage others to pick up from where we left off and continue the work. There is so much to do!

GaIn project has officially ended and we are currently working on the publications and the final report, which will be available online during 2011. It’s been a busy spring: we got extended funding, have been finalizing the tools and methods and organizing the second Finnish Game Jam. It’s been a great project! Watch this space for follow-ups!

We began our ethnographic research phase with our industry partners at the end of the last year and will continue it during the winter.

In order to grasp a better view on real-life game design our researchers will be spending a few weeks with some of our partners, actively participating in their daily work. The researchers will be reflecting and observing the game design processes of the companies and keeping a detailed diary during their stay.

In addition to understanding the daily life of a game designer, we are particularly looking at how the companies nurture and support creativity.

During last autumn, GaIn has been busy on running two sets of workshops with our industry partners.

First round was a blue-sky ideation workshop with 2 to 3 ideation methods per workshop. The methods included GameSpace methods such as VNA, GameSeekers, GameBoard and some other methods such as ThinkCube.

The other round included restriction-based ideation, where the companies could propose a restriction for their session. We developed new prototypes that try to facilitate more focused ideation sessions. The results have not yet been overly promising as this “idea game” design challenge is more demanding. The restrictions used in workshops varied from platform, theme and social aspects to old concepts.

In both rounds the ideas were documented, and the best ones were introduced and talked about. We also gathered the experiences by conducting a group interview about previous experiences, thoughts about the workshop, methods and ideas as well as what restrictions means in general level to the developers.

GameSpace project methods are available here:  http://gamelab.uta.fi/gamespacetool/

GaIn team has enjoyed Christmas holidays and is ready for the second year of our project. The year 2010 brings more workshops, participatory observation periods, surveys, writing loads of articles and travelling once more! On the behalf of the whole team, Happy New Year 2010, Have fun!