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Michael Eilers's Blog

 

I am a creator of videogames, serious games, games for medical therapy and educational games and was an educator and curriculum developer for higher education. I specialize in working with grant-funded projects and educational and medical professionals, but have also developed games for entertainment and recreation with teams as large as 30 members.

As an independent designer I've worked on games for the Discovery Channel, InstantAction and the Department of Defense. I am experienced with the production pipeline and am comfortable with many development tools as well as Scrum and Agile production methodology. I am an ardent believer in prototyping before production and during development.

As a designer for serious games and educational software, I am extremely wary of "gamification" that is just adding "gold stars" to a quiz or flash cards. Games excel at demonstrating systems, not delivering facts. My games give you a personal and compelling reason to keep playing, not superficial rewards.

During my years at the University of Advancing Technology I designed, developed and delivered over 30 courses and shaped the game program's deployment. 65% of the school's population takes courses I developed. I led or pioneered numerous student and staff projects, mentored hundreds of students through their program of study and helped to create one of the most complete, well-rounded "game degree" programs in education today, using the very latest APIs, tools and platform--all of it hands-on.

I created and delivered courses such as Rapid Game Prototyping, Writing for Interactive Environments, Evolution of Electronic Games, Game AI Concepts, Experimental Gameplay, Serious Game Design and Casual Game Design. All of these courses terminated in portfolio-level projects and were as grounded in industry practice as possible.

I'm also an accomplished writer and editor, at one time the Senior Editor of Inside Mac Games magazine, as well as a contributor to numerous publications.

 

Member Blogs

A well-designed game that properly educates the game audience can use micropay content and even pay-to-win strategies and not leave users feeling hurt, abused or left out. Players determine the boundaries of ethics, not designers.


Posted by Michael Eilers on Tue, 07 Jan 2014 11:14:00 EST in Design, Production, Serious, Indie
There are few standardized critical frameworks for discussing and analyzing the different styles and types of play lumped together under the “serious games” label. This is not an attempt to be definitive, but to think about the approaches to design.


Posted by Michael Eilers on Wed, 11 Dec 2013 06:48:00 EST in Design, Production, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet
The free-to-play segment of the Massively Multiplayer Online genre is nearing maturity and yet inexplicably, you see a constant repetition of the same set of mistakes, poor design patterns and clumsy monetization strategies.



Michael Eilers's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 02/04/2014 - 02:06]

This discussion is interesting, but ...

This discussion is interesting, but extremely short on the actual technical details. There are a lot of ugly elements from the copyright and trademark process that are being ignored. r n r nThe first element being ignored here is cost. It will cost between 5000 and 25,000 in legal fees ...

Comment In: [Blog - 02/03/2014 - 03:41]

Further complicating this issue is ...

Further complicating this issue is the use of SDKs, APIs and plug-in code: you can 't release the source of your game when you did not author 100 of that code. Very few games today are built without some sort of SDK or add-on code. r n r nBack in ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/30/2014 - 11:03]

I love bilk to play ...

I love bilk to play , that is hilarious Yes, the dependency of the genre or style of design on whales is another topic entirely, and one that I have yet to see a really solid, thorough analysis on. Hey, it works for the casino industry, why not for us ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/23/2014 - 03:00]

The problem with Plants vs. ...

The problem with Plants vs. Zombies 2 isn t that you can pay for upgrades that let you beat the game. It s that designers are now being forced to make the game s difficulty curve unpleasant enough that you want to pay money to skip it. THIS THIS THIS ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/24/2014 - 03:26]

If you have to hide ...

If you have to hide educational material, should you be using a game to teach it The downfall of edutainment since the 1990s has been 1 poor production values and a lack of depth of the actual material, due to small budgets and poor developer training 2 trying to stick ...

Comment In: [Blog - 01/14/2014 - 08:04]

Educational games are quizzes with ...

Educational games are quizzes with bells and whistles because quizzes with bells and whistles are what educational institutions, and the governments that fund them, are willing to pay for. I have no issue with what you have written here, but who is going to pay for these deep, holistic games ...