Wednesday Workshop: Playful Learning – Report

Posted on: Thursday 03 July 2014 9:00am by Sam Hutchinson

Sam Hutchinson learns how to turn IP into a successful educational app or game.


  • Playful LearningIn finding an IP, it’s great to draw upon a recognisable world and tap into an existing audience, but, if it involves acquiring rights, make sure you know the details!
  • When considering education, don’t make assumptions about what’s needed in the classroom – speak to teachers. Having teachers as partners can lend your project credibility.
  • When designing your game, balance fun and learning – make sure your game is challenging to win, not to understand.
  • And… When considering your marketing strategy, remember some believe 90% of the battle is making people aware of you!
  • It’s amazing what you can achieve in four hours.” – Kat baker,  CEO Sock Monster Media.

Session Details

Phew! Four hours later and I have emerged from this session with a Kinder egg and a thorough appreciation for the thought and complexities that go into developing successful apps and games out of IP’s.

New to this subject, and surrounded by experts, my thankfully dark trousers began to dampen as I was thrown in at the deep end as all delegates were placed into groups and asked to develop their own game from an IP.

This was the workshop was the meat of the session. It involved a little bit of pressure in the shape of (stringent!) time limits. However, as the groups moved from stage to stage, the workshops were broken up by helpful guidance and feedback from an informative, approachable panel, who shed plenty of light, drawing upon their own experiences in the process. They were even kind enough to drop in on the groups and help move things along!

The various stages of development we were guided through included:

  1. Identifying your IP
  2. Incorporating educational factors
  3. Game design
  4. Your strategy for success

… all of which built nicely towards a pitch before the panel at the end of the session, which promised a (modest) prize!

We deviated off topic along the way as the session generated some healthy debate between the panel and the delegates. It would be impossible to touch upon all of the areas covered in this blog, but, suffice to say, the delegates were keenly engaged throughout. And do check out the Take Home of info to see the really important bits you missed if you weren’t there!

In terms of the games that were developed in each workshop group, there were some terrific ideas flying around, with everything from Shaun The Sheep escaping a farm to a Hot Wheels tune-up game put before the judges.

However, it was my own group who emerged victorious (no, really!), with our Loom Band-inspired idea based around building bridges, bungees, catapults and all-sorts to overcome various obstacles in a platform game involving elasticity and strength. I cannot accept any credit for this success, floundering in comparison to my more coherent teammates, but major credit to Martin Peacock of British Council, who led the pitch brilliantly (under my careful supervision of course!).

And, yes, the prize was a Kinder Egg.


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Sam Hutchinson

About the author

Sam Hutchinson

BBC, Script Reader

Since graduating from Bournemouth University's Scriptwriting degree in 2012, I started working as a Script Reader for a multitude of companies, including the BBC and Peck Entertainment (the company of Hollywood Producer Mitchell Peck). I also gained development experience on upcoming independent feature film, "Assassin", starring Danny Dyer. The long… Read more