Weekly Update #52

Welcome to my one-year anniversary of being on Patreon! I am so grateful for your support and continued participation.

The next year on Patreon will be more focused than the first year. While I managed to learn and share a wide variety of things, this year I need to concentrate my efforts on serious game design and development.

What is a serious game? Is it as boring as it sounds? Well, no. 🙂 While all video games reflect the cultures surrounding their creation, a serious game goes a step further. Sometimes, a serious game focuses on training, such as in the airline industry or the medical fields. Other times, a serious game appears in a K-12 classroom as part of educational goals. Further, serious games offer individuals a form of expression for communicating their experiences in a new way. And, serious games can comment or raise awareness about culture in more interactive ways than other media forms can offer.

What is even more fascinating about serious games is how they cover a wide variety of topics, forms, and genres. Topics include depression, eating disorders, environment, refugees, identity and acceptance, war, and homelessness, just to name a small few. Serious games also appear in forms, such as text-based, 2D platformers, simulations, augmented reality, virtual reality, and more. They cut across genres, including puzzles, quests, simulations, role-playing games, and others.

As part of my learning last year, I made Laundry Monster, a modest, text-based serious game about depression as shown through the metaphor of laundry. Using Twine, I wrote and created a narrative that shows how greater levels of depression result in more struggles to do the laundry. These struggles can extend to any other household chore, but laundry provided an accessible — and for many, visible — way to think about depression and how it affects some people.

I intend to create more of these games in the coming year. I also intend to offer more content and benefits to patrons than I did in the last year. Each tier revision will include its previous benefits and more.

Here are the tier revisions and what they offer. The * means that item’s first appearance in the benefits; the — refers to all the items from the previous tier.

Load screen

$1

  • Your name on the Patreon supporter wall
  • Access to the Patreon feed

Adjust settings

$2

  • Your name on the Patreon supporter wall
  • Access to the Patreon feed
  • Monthly ask-me-anything access

Press start

$5

  • Your name on the Patreon supporter wall
  • Access to the Patreon feed
  • Monthly ask-me-anything access
  • Weekly update

Level up

$10

  • Your name on the Patreon supporter wall
  • Access to the Patreon feed
  • Monthly ask-me-anything access
  • Weekly update
  • Biweekly newsletter
  • Access to the Discord server

Bonus round

$25

  • Your name on the Patreon supporter wall
  • Access to the Patreon feed
  • Monthly ask-me-anything access
  • Weekly update
  • Biweekly newsletter
  • Access to the Discord server
  • Monthly livestream of production, game design, or serious game play
  • Name credit in all completed games

Championship round

$30

  • Your name on the Patreon supporter wall
  • Access to the Patreon feed
  • Monthly ask-me-anything access
  • Weekly update
  • Biweekly newsletter
  • Access to the Discord server
  • Monthly livestream of production, game design, or serious game play
  • Name credit in all completed games
  • Early access to all podcasts
  • Regular on-air credit in podcasts

Your monthly contributions help in a number of ways, including

  • Access to games, which in turn supports other serious game creators
  • Access to research materials, such as textbooks and journal articles
  • Equipment and software costs if and as needed
  • Travel and interview costs if and as needed

As always, your support is greatly appreciated. I look forward to creating for you in the coming year!

Before you go…

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