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Playful Learning


Dennis Reep
Jill de Rooij
Anne de Bode
Alexander Sommers

Commissioner: Stichting Orion


How can hybrid games & physical exercise help special needs students in the ages of 12-20 years old collaborate better and build more trust in themselves and others to become more independent? A project in collaboration with Orion and Lectorate Games & Play.

Weekly Gameplay Insights – The Happening

Happening is an app where you can create groups and add functionalities. For example split the bill between you and your friends or a date picker. I created a Playful Learning group but we did not split the bill, we did some photo hunts! In these hunts you get an assignment, take a photo of you kissing someone. First hunter gets 10 points, if you’re second you can win 2 more points. The idea of the game is fun, but the fun feeling did not last for the whole weekend. You can cheat very easily, if you update a picture you automatically win, even if you didn’t live up to the requirements. Conclusion, it was nice for the friday afternoon and we did not take things seriously but we send each other some funny pictures.


Weekly Gameplay Insights – Week 7

The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim

Skyrim is the kind of game that you start up at the beginning of the evening with the intention of just playing for 30 minutes and before you know it, 6 hours have past and you promise yourself that the next level will definitely be the last. The game has the amazing gift of eating away all your time without you noticing it, which is in my opinion the mark of a great game.

But let me explain to the uninitiated what the game exactly is. In Skyrim you explore a massive open fantasy world full of dungeons, wizards, bandits and dragons. At the start of the game the player makes his or her own avatar and after a brief tutorial (in which you have to escape from being sentenced to death) you are free to explore and do whatever you want. Will you help a village get rid of a terrorizing werewolf? Or will you try to get into the mages guild? Or maybe become a thief and steal your way to richdom? It is all possible and it’s up to the player whatever he or she wants to do.

This is what makes Skyrim so addictive, there is always something new to do, a new place to explore or another quest to embark upon. You are free to make your own story and if you don’t feel like doing something, you have 10 other things to do. For example, I started out as the worst thief ever, by accidentally wandering in the wrong room during a burglary, which turned out to be the room of the guards. After being sent to prison I tried to escape three times, however I got caught every time. When I finally got out of prison, a dragon attacked the city and during the fight I accidently shot a guard in the back. So after the dragon died I had to go prison again.

None of these events were part of a story or designed by the programmers. They just happened because of my actions and that is what makes the game so exciting. Every player has his own random stories and every time you play, you experience new things. It is the perfect example of a “virtual world” that is tons of fun to explore.     

Weekly Gameplay Insights – Week 6

Super Hexagon

Super Hexagon is the kind of game that is easy to understand but very hard to master and very addictive. The rules are simple, you control a triangle around a hexagon shape and with this triangle you need to dodge walls that move towards the hexagon. The only controls you have are left and right, that’s it. But what seems like a simple game quickly becomes devilishly hard. The walls “attack” you from all sides and you get immediately the feeling that you’re being overrun. There is no winning in this game, it is all about how long you can dodge the walls and survive. To give you an indication of how hard this is, my best time so far is about 20 seconds.

But it is exactly this high difficulty level that makes Super Hexagon so addictive. Most rounds take between 10 or 20 seconds, and as soon as you fail you tap the screen and start again. There is no waiting involved and you always have the feeling that you can do better. There is also a great sense of progression, in my first rounds I couldn’t even get to 6 seconds but you quickly come in a flow where you keep beating your own high score. It is the ultimate mobile game, that you will start playing everywhere, as soon as you have some free time.


The Wikipedia Game

Back on high school we had to work a lot with computers during classes, to do research on the internet or to write papers. It was strictly forbidden to play games or to do anything other than studying, but this of course didn’t stop us from trying to play games anyway. To do this we had to come up with clever disguises for our game playing activities, one of which was The Wikipedia Game.

The Wikipedia Game is a game for 2 or more players, everyone having their own computer and access to Wikipedia. The goal of the game is to get from one Wikipedia page to another as quick as possible, by only using the blue links. So one player starts by choosing a starting page (“Sesame Street”) and an end goal (“eclipse”) and on the count of three all the players try to get from the Sesame Street page to the one about eclipse. The player who is the fastest is the winner and he or she gets to pick the start and end pages for the next game.


This was the perfect game to secretly play during classes. It was always exciting and it required a surprising amount of thinking. You had to connect subjects with each other and in your mind you tried to make a map of connections between subjects. Also, the teacher didn’t suspect a thing, because students visiting Wikipedia had to be studying, right?


Color Game testday


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Brainstorm – week 2 sprint 2

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Weekly Gameplay Insights – Week 7

Date: 23-03-15
Game: Age Of Empires

Age of empires is a RTS game where you have to build a city that collects resources. You use these resources to create an army to conquer the map from other players.

What is fun about AoE?
The fun part at the start of age of empires is the progress in developing your city and units. Later in the game it’s fun to hinder the resource income of your enemy. In the end of the game it’s fun to have big tactical battles with other players with a rock paper scissor mechanism.
Another fun part of the game is the teamplay. You can team up with other players and help them in collecting resources or making a big army.

Rock paper scissors
A fun part of the game is the rock paper scissors mechanism. Certain units are stronger against certain type of units. For example: Horses are good against bowmen, but are bad against speared infantry units. However, the infantry units are bad against arrows. So to take the maximum out of your units, you have to combine them when doing an attack on the enemy. This makes the game very tactical.

Team battles
When you play with multiple people, you can have team battles. Online, a lot of players play 3v3 matches. In these matches, the team members have certain roles in the team. Most of the times at the start of the game, 1 person focusses totally on gathering resources. By doing this, the other players could focus more on building an army. The civilizations that you pick at the beginning of the game also have influence on the composition of the team. Some teams are good at the start of the game and some at the end. A lot of times while playing 3v3, one of the teammembers has a support role.


Weekly Gameplay Insights – Week 6

Date: 20-03-15
Game: Bad Piggies

Bad Piggies is a construction game. You need to build a vehicle that gets to the end of the level and use that vehicle to pickup all the items in the level.

What is fun about bad piggies?
The fun part about bad piggies is that most levels have multiple ways to finish them. You can build a plane, a car or a hoovercraft. You can get really creative and use a lot of items or you can keep it simple and build a small car.

It is also fun to see that you build it wrong and you mess up the whole level. It’s funny because of the art style in the game.

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Hybrid Play testday

Hybrid Play Test from Jill de Rooij on Vimeo.

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Brainstorm 18-03

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Boobytrap Hotel

Playful Learning from Jill de Rooij on Vimeo.

The Boobytrap Hotel is one big place with all sorts of obstacles and movements. The place makes you feel like dancing, just like in the movie Grease. The different band rolls are very funny to walk on. You can slide over them really fast, walk towards the different direction so you stay in the same place or you let the moving objects guide you forward.