Where we we finish our creation, and send it off for everyone to play! This Week you will:
Get your creation ready to go out there!
Share it through a variety of channels!
Welcome to Week Six, where we conclude our course and set our creations free for everyone to play! We realise it might be hard to stop working on your creation, as we discussed last week. You might never feel like you have playtested enough, and there will always be that nagging feeling of “I can make it better”…
Still, here’s a good criterion: remember a few weeks ago, when we asked ourselves what story do we want to tell, and what do we intend to make happen with our creation?
Well, let’s say that, throughout your playtest, the narrative you have in mind actually happened, and it involved at least three members of your target audience who were happy, or satisfied, or engrossed with how they were involved in your story. If this happens, well, consider yourself ready to get out there!
And anyway, what better way of getting more feedback than hearing it from the world at large?
What will you need?
A more or less finalised version of your creation
A lot of guts to put it out there!
Good connectivity to share your creation with #gchangers and beyond
Stuff we Recommend to Watch/Read/Play
There are a number of resources available to help you think about the topics we will be covering. Have a browse!
Now, how to best send it out there? We need to “package” your creation to make it ready for the whole world to see, but also easy to disseminate, especially through digital channels that will give it a lot of reach.
If your creation is itself digital, this is of course quite straightforward: a simple zipped folder shared through any cloud service could suffice, though the nature of the “packaging” might change depending on how you want to share it (see the next Mission).
If you have created some kind of board game, try to create a “Print and Play” version, that is, something that people anywhere might be able to easily build in their own houses, libraries and workplaces using everyday materials.
If your creation is a toy, of course it’s a bit more complicated. Still, if at all possible, provide any schematics for 3D printing, if you used such technology, or at least a thorough explanation of the materials used, and the process of building it. Collecting your posts throughout this Course might be a good way of doing this.
If your creation is some other kind of playful experience, you should at least circulate the handbook that you created last week, together with enough documentation (written or multimedia) that complete strangers would be confident in adapting and running the experience themselves. Again, collating the posts where you describe its creation will go a long way toward this.
Whatever form your creation takes, we also need to touch on matters of rights and ownership. You don’t want to hog all the playfulness for yourself, do you? The quickest, easiest way to truly and properly share your creation is to have a look at Creative Commons Licenses, a set of public copyright licenses that enable free distribution, protecting your work from unintended uses and exploitation. Of course you are free to choose whatever license you deem most appropriate, however, in line with the ethos of this course, which is strongly built on remixing and adapting existing games and ways of playing we suggest that you adopt a license that, while guaranteeing that you will be recognised as the original creator, will also enable other playful creators to remix and mod it to their needs. I am sure you’d be happy to see your work further remixed and adapted for new contexts and audiences!
If you accept this suggestion, just have the line “This work is licensed under a Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License” and this image somewhere on your creation. You might want to add a Non Commercial (NC) clause, if you don’t want other people to build something that can be sold using your creation, but again this is for you to choose.
Once you have finished packaging it and attributing it a proper license, share your “packaged” creation through #gchangers, we’ll do our best to make it known and loved! Speaking of which…
The very last Mission of this course is at the same time the easiest and the most difficult: bring your creation in the world, and have it played everywhere! Of course the quickest way of reaching out is through online communities, and you now should have a “web friendly” package to enable this. There are online spaces such Itch.io and Good Little Games that can provide visibility and a huge outreach to your creation. Depending on the specific tool that you used, all the communities I pointed you at last week can also provide a suitable “home” for it.
However, we must never discount the power and the possibilities that lie in acting locally, especially since we have been trying to create something that can make a difference in the real world, and by now you should have established a good relationship with your intended audience on a local level. So try and find ways for your creation to be played where you live, and use it to re-shape the perception of the local community around the issues that you tackled in your creation. It’s also a good way to involve new people in the #gchangers community!
Here are just a few suggestions about how to do this:
Organise a showcase or a public engagement event for your creation through local associations (especially those that are linked with your intended audience). It can be for them an opportunity to raise awareness of their core issues in a completely innovative manner!
If you can’t find any, set up a game club of your own! People interested in play are plenty, but often still feel a bit marginalised. Build a safe space for them, and they will come!
Donate your creation (or a copy of it, or the documentation needed to play it) to your city’s Friendly Local Game Shops. This a great way to get further, “game literate” feedback and refine your creation into something that could be a worldwide hit!
Link with public libraries, which very often are also local community hubs, including local game communities. Since your creation is designed to address a real world issue, they might add it to the library resources related to that theme, making it possible for other people to “stumble” into your creation.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, play with your creation in public spaces. This is not something that happens too often, given the still strong stigma on adult play. Just seeing a group of people playing something in public will raise the attention. And isn’t it what we want, both for the specific themes we have tackled and playfulness in general?
Whatever you choose to, document your effort in using your creation locally on #gchangers, and we’ll be sure to amplify them as much as we can!
So we have reached the end of our course, and we do hope you enjoyed it throughout, that you are happy with what you created, and that, maybe most importantly, you made a few new playful friends along the way.
We built the course in a way that you can go through the activities in approximately six weeks, but the resource will remain available anytime, so please do invite others to participate at you own pace.
A couple times per year, we’ll be animating another “Six Playful Creation Weeks” and update the Course section of the website with bonus Missions and events, giving you new opportunities to onboard more people in the practice of playful design. And this is the most important part: this whole course is a tool for you to be used and tackle any kind of issues, but you will have realised by now that it’s much easier to do it together.
So don’t be a stranger, and get in touch through our website, or via #gchangers!
We will link together all the playful creators, and change the world through play!