serious games for professional development (sgpd), gates project
Student Lead Designer, Student Lead Writer
The Serious Games for Professional Development was a half-billion dollar grant project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that aimed to empower teachers with evidence-based and repeatable methods for improving student performance. The UT Dallas team of the collaborative project, of which I was a part, created the prototype for modular, interactive, virtual, rehearsal games for teachers. The prototype enables teacher interaction with virtual student Non-Player Characters (NPCs). My role on the team was to write branching dialog for the teacher-student interactions based around each prescribed teaching method. I also worked independently to define the core and expanded attributes of each virtual student so that they could be affected by teacher-student interaction and thus more accurately reflect the specific type of improvement or decay of student performance. In addition, I also independently developed personality profiles for virtual student NPCs to be implemented in a more complete version of the system at a later date. Although based around the psychologically accepted DISC personality system, the personality profiles for these unique virtual students were crafted based on a "character diamond" that examines the positive and negative side of their personality traits. Each of these students has primary strengths that are countered by a shadow trait, along with a fatal flaw that is countered by supporting traits. The character diamond directly tied into the attributes of each student.