Branden Jace Bryan
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Profile Information

Your Pet Monster
Rock Monster
Location
Bloomington, Indiana, USA
Affiliation (company, school, group, e.g.)
Indiana University, Bloomington
Affiliation URL
http://www.iub.edu/
If my life story were a game, it would be a cross between ...
Neverwinter Nights: Shadow of the Betrayer, Animal Crossing, Professor Layton and the Curious Village
Most people know me as a (check all that apply) ...
Student, Teacher, Researcher, Lifelong Gamer
When it comes to my game-making career, I'm ...
a newbie (no game experience ... yet!)
Kinds of games I’m best known for making or want to be known for making someday (check all that apply) ...
Alternate reality games, iPhone / iPad games, Mobile games, Active / motion sensor games, PC Games - single player, PC Games - multiplayer, Art and Experimental games, Educational games
Will collaborate for
Creative fulfillment and fun, Experience and mentorship, A chance at a Nobel Prize
Anything else you want to say about the kinds of projects or people or organizations you’d like to work with?
I'm mainly interested in educational games but not just those related to math and science. I think literature, film, and philosophy could be interesting to play with in an interactive environment.
In general, I think many of the educational video game efforts coming out of academia so far have been rather low impact and many of those outside of academia focus heavily (and often ineffectually) on basic math and science instead of a broad range of topics. In both cases they also usually aren't that fun to play. I want the best of both worlds...
Games you’ve worked on ...
Ask me in a few years! Maybe also ask me if I've finished my PhD yet ;) In all serious, I've mostly done experiments in cognitive science related to classroom activity and memory. I'm an intermediate programmer, but I'm new to the game scene-making scene.
What abilities would you bring to a collaboration?
I'm a PhD student/researcher in Cognitive Science and Education at the University of Indiana, Bloomington. I can run statistical analyses, perform experiments, and concoct crazy models and simulations. I complete what I start, so I can publish and present to my colleagues. I'm also a lifelong gamer, so I'm keenly aware of the need to make games that are actually fun to play.
Three games you’ve played that have changed your life:
Neverwinter Nights: my first exposure to RPG mechanics that really "hooked" me (the Final Fantasy series made more of an impact on my brother than me); Animal Crossing: why is "boring" real life activity so much fun in a virtual environment? It struck me here (and relatedly in the Sims) that there's something special about games. Age of Empires: actually helped me on some history tests in grade school ;) but more importantly marked the first time I took seriously the idea that you could learn "important" topics in a real, actually fun video game.

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