Festival of Learning and Leornian

Many of you may have heard me mention here and there that I’ve had the pleasure of working on a videogame recently. It’s not some huge release by a big international studio, but it’s been great fun all the same. It’s called Leornian, and is a game about Game Based Learning, or GBL. Leornian is being developed for the education sector in NSW, and I’ve been on board in charge of writing the narrative.

While the game itself is designed to showcase all different types of gameplay, which teachers can then play in order to understand gaming and use it in their classrooms, it needs to be more than just a collection of examples. To that end, the PLANE team were tasked with creating an open sim environment within which to situate all these gaming examples. To keep people interested, the whole thing needed emotional engagement. For that, we need story. That’s where I came in, developing a story that gave players a reason to continue on to the next task. We set the game over three levels – medieval, steampunk and sci-fi. The story is woven through all the levels, with an overreaching plot and all kinds of sub-plots and minigames throughout. It’s been enormous fun and a good challenge to get this thing happening, so I’m very pleased I got to be a part of it. I’ll embed a video below that shows the opening sequence to the game.

This weekend, Friday and Saturday, I’ll be at the PLANE Festival Of Learning in Sydney. PLANE stands for “Pathways for Learning Anywhere, anytime – Network of Educators”. To take the description from the website:

PLANE is a Professional Learning community built by educators for educators. It is an environment in which educators can enrich their own and others professional practice in an ever evolving technology-rich world. Since its inception, PLANE has been shaped by the ideas and needs of educators who are looking to impact change in student learning. This continues to be a guiding principle of PLANE.

The Festival of Learning will mark the official launch of the PLANE online learning environment, including the first level of Leornian. I’ll be presenting there about storytelling and speakers include Adam Elliot, Kitty Flanagan, Dr Jason Fox and others. If you’re interested, you can learn more about it here.

Here’s the opening sequence for Leornian:

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