I'm trying to shift gears and look at ways to get to the next level. Or a few levels. I'm not sure if that involves reading more theory, more examples from other libraries, learning more about game mechanics, or learning more impressive software/programming skills. I know I need to find a way to play more games, that's for sure.
This recent NASAGA experience has encouraged me to shift my perception of game development. I have been focusing on the game rather than the experience. This shift intimidates me. When I focus on the actual game, I can accept my limitations. These limitations are great for my online and offline games- time, money, technical ability, software, colleagues with whom I can bounce ideas... But focusing on the experience seems mystical and impossible. I think I've already been doing it to some degree, but not intentionally and not fully.
I am okay with "gamification" and focusing more on the educational end of the education-entertainment spectrum. I have evidence that students enjoy the experience (in most cases, a few games were scrapped), and evidence that they learned something. I see my games as a work in progress, and hope to become more sophisticated in the future. But for now I'll just be looking for a way to get there.