Game Academy

Game Academy - student project

I play tabletop RPG games, which tend to be complex things. I have about 3,000 pages in 10 books and several ebooks and blogs earmarked.

My goal is to find a way to master and then teach this game to beginners so more people participate in my favourite hobby. I'd like to create something like for it a few months down the road.

A lot of hobbies have either a steep learning curve or a ton of information, so my project is really about how to learn to get good at something faster when there's a lot of information involved.

What kind of info will you be going through? (books, articles, video, audio)

  • 10 x 300 page hard cover books
  • The game's official website
  • Approx 20 ebooks
  • 3 major websites dedicated to the hobby

How will you collect those golden nuggets of information?

  • I'm going to use Evernote. I have a premium account, so will add photos of book pages, ebooks, and web content into the software.

  • I'll use Tags and Notebooks to properly slot info.

  • I'll do a lot of Pile & File at first.

    I'll just create big piles or groups of stuff to get my major categrories. I won't worry about finding the price way to slot stuff, and instead just work on getting things into the system.

    For example, when googling pages or uploading ebooks into Evernote. Fast and easy slotting this way.

    Big Categories = Notebooks. Small Categories = Tags.

    When it's time to go deep into each category and do more refined filing, that'll be the sections or chapters for each category. This way I don't get waylaid trying to be perfect in my initial pass with stuff.

    As I enter stuff, I'll Tag it To Read, as well, as part of your good To Read, To Synthesize, To Review process.

  • Ideas will also go into Evernote. I'll use Notebooks and a Tag labelled "Ideas" for easy weekly review.

  • As I parse through my info sources, I'll take notes in Evernote in the approriate Notebooks using appropriate Tags.

How will you organize this information for spaced repetition?

As I'm looking not only master this game myself, but to turn my learnings into a paid product as well, I'll start a blog and a mailing list for this project's information. I have six planned iterations that'll help me create some really valuable products along the way:

First review - Read one section or grouping of rules at a time. "Character creation" for example. I'll take lots of notes here.

Second review - I'll copy and paste my raw notes into new Evernote notes. I'll reorg notes into sections, trim, condense, consolidate, pile & file. I'll also look for metaphors and story concepts I can use to make teaching the complex rules easier.

Third review - It's time to teach others. First, I'll create a recipe of each rule section. Some rules are procedural, some are descriptive. So I'll use whatever makes sense to teach: how-to recipes, cheat sheets, checklists, mnemonics, mindmaps, infographics, flowcharts.

I'll bundle these into blog posts and product prototypes.

Fourth review - I'll take my more refined notes and visual aids and create videos to explain the rules. I'll post these videos at the blog as a series. I'll try to keep them 5 minutes or less.

Fifth review - Test time! Reusing my notes and visuals, I'll create a variety of tests. I'll use the Gravity Forms Wordpress plugin, one of the flash card tools you mentioned, and other tools to create a variety of tests and puzzles.

Sixth review - Webinars. I'll review my notes, visuals and videos and run a few webinars. I'll also create an Action List as a handout to attendees.

After doing all these activities, I hope to have mastered the rules to a much higher degree, with longer term memory, and have helped others learn the game faster at the same time.

How will you schedule your learning?

I'm going to spend a couple weeks gathering my resources into Evernote and create dedicate one shelf in the book case beside my desk for print materials.

Then I'll take a couple weeks to sort again through my piles under 5-12 fairly discreet Categories emerge. These will become my major learning milestones. For example, Character Creation.

I really like the idea of 30 day challenges. Do something for 30 days straight. So when I'm ready, I'm going to block off 30 minutes a day for 30 days and tackle one Category.

I'll chunk the Category out into sections, doing my first-sixth reviews one section at a time. One Category might require more than one 30 day challenge, but that's ok. I'm most interested in eating this elephant one bite at a time by forming a daily work habit and creating effort consistency.

I'm going to use this half hour as a transition habit when I get home from work. I have a day job and a side business, and this time spent with my hobby let's me decompress from the day job before engaging with my side business each night. In this way, I'll be forming a ritual for getting relaxed and ready for phase two of each day. :)

So, that's my first draft. Once I begin the work I'm sure I'll tweak the plan so it meets reality better. :)

How does this look to you, Tim?