Action!



Patti Cheney
Janet Dahle
Stuart Grossman
Heike Pfeifle

Instructional Objective Given a simplified model of the video production process, the learner will be able to make and evaluate production decisions affecting budget and deadlines.


Learners/Context The learners are students in the Telecommunications and Film Department at San Diego State University.

This board game is designed to be used by the student after class discussions of the Video Production Process. Up to four students can play the game between classes as a fun way to learn the steps in the video production process as well as see examples of unexpected events that may occur during the process.


Rationale We have chosen a race game format because of the movement-through-time nature of video production. The board is divided into three parts - Pre-Production, Production, and Post-Production - to mirror the actual process as closely as possible.


Game Design 4 players maximum

Board:

The fields on the game board are icon-coded:

* for "Draw a card"

* for "Make a decision on the Decisions-sheet"

* for "Draw a card and mark the outcome on the Decisions-sheet"

Cards:

* Script cards (on board)

* Event cards (on board): Prod. - Studio

Prod. - On location

Post-Production

* "Lose a day" and "Win a day" cards (stored in the bank)

"Decisions"-sheets

Money (stored in the bank: $ 100, $ 500, $ 1,000, $ 5,000, $ 10,000)

4 Game pieces

1 Die

Calculator

Rules The goal of Action! is to finish the game with the most money left. The decisions the players have to make and the event cards they have to draw during the game will affect their budget.

1. Each player receives a game piece and a Decisions-sheet. The various card stacks (Script and Event cards) are put face-down on the corresponding fields on the game board.

2. To determine which player goes first, each player rolls the die. The player with the highest number goes first.

3. The first player becomes bank manager.

4. The first player also rolls the die to determine the scenario (see section Scenarios). The scenario describes the type of video that the players will be "producing" during the game.

5. Each player rolls the die to determine his/her budget (see section Budget) and receives the corresponding amount of money from the bank.

6. Based on the scenario and the rates on the Decisions-sheet (page 1), each player hires staff and rents equipment.

The players mark their choices on their Decision-sheets and pay the total fees to the bank.

7. The players put their game pieces on the "Start" field. The player who goes first rolls the die and advances the corresponding number of spaces in the direction of the arrows. The player performs the Action! specified on the space to which s/he moved:

* On "Draw a card" spaces (indicated by ), the player draws a card from the corresponding pile and performs the Action! specified on the card. The player puts the card back in its pile.

* On passing a "Make a decision" space (indicated by ), the player marks his/her choice on the Decisions-sheet (page 2).

* On "Draw a card and mark the outcome on the Decisions-sheet" spaces (indicated by ), the player draws a card and marks the outcome on his/her Decisions-sheet (page 2).

8. The next player is the player to the first player's left.

9. If a player runs out of money during the game, s/he receives a loan of $ 10,000 from the bank. However, that player loses a day for negotiations with the bank manager (thus receives a "Lose a day" card from the bank which, at the end of the game, will cost the player $ 5,000). If, at the end of the game, the player is able to pay the full amount of the loan back (i.e. by selling the Oscar to the bank), s/he wins a day.

10. The game is over when the first player reaches the space "The Oscar."

The player in second place receives one "Lose a day" card, the player in third place receives two "Lose a day" cards, and the player in fourth place receives three "Lose a day" cards.

11. The Oscar is awarded to the player who spent the most money on staff/equipment. The Oscar is worth $ 10,000. If more than one player spent the most on staff/equipment, the Oscar prize money is split equally.

12. At the end of the game, each player counts his/her remaining money. Each player also calculates his/her "Lose a day"

(- $ 5,000) and "Win a day" (+ $ 5,000) cards.

The player with the most money left wins the game. If all players end the game without any money left, the player closest to his/her budget wins the game.


Scenarios

An industrial roofing materials company has asked you to produce a marketing video. Your client wants to be able to mail a 7-minute video presentation of the company to prospects and to include the tape when submitting proposals.

Thus, the client orders 2,000 copies.

Your client needs a training video to accompany a new product that they are introducing.

Since the video will be delivered to all stores selling the new product, your client needs 1,000 copies.

A major international corporation has asked you to produce a corporate capabilities video - a live action version of their brochure.

To be able to send a videotape to all their branches around the world, your client orders 700 copies.

A major cereal company asks you to develop a marketing video for their new kids' cereal. The client wants as many kids in the video as possible.

To launch their introduction campaign, the client orders 500 copies.

A leader in multimedia instruction for elementary education needs you to produce the video portion of their first grade math curricula. Your client wants to show actual students in the video to make it as lively as possible.

The client needs 200 copies.

Sharp Memorial Hospital wants you to do an instructional video on crutch walking.

Your client needs 100 copies.

Budget

Receive $ 90,000 from the bank.

Receive $ 80,000 from the bank.

Receive $ 70,000 from the bank.

Receive $ 60,000 from the bank.

Receive $ 50,000 from the bank.

Receive $ 40,000 from the bank.


Design Process We have attempted to include motivational principles within the design of Action!

Keller's ARCS model provides a framework for elements of our game which we hope will add to its enjoyment. We intended for the layout and graphic design of the board to be interesting and intriguing - to gain attention. The board layout represents a reel of film or video tape, and includes bright, fun-looking "markers" (for sync sound) placed along the way to indicate where the cards need to be placed on the board. We have made every effort to keep the attention of the players by insuring the game will move along, yet present an appropriate level of challenge for the learners.

Relevance is important to any learning experience and has been incorporated into our game throughout. The scenarios at the beginning of the game present real-world production challenges (simplified of course) to get the player started. Along the way, the learners are making production decisions and are repeatedly "tested" on their judgement of the situation.

Confidence is also a part of what we have designed into the game by creating events allowing the learner to choose and by creating good as well as bad events - but none that are overwhelmingly devastating. We also used humor in some cases to encourage.

At the end of the game, there is a reward - the OSCAR - as an element of our game. Completion of the game and the possible acquisition of the OSCAR provide satisfaction for the learners.