A* EPQ in (about) 2 Weeks - Advice & Information?Watch this thread
I am Toby, I got an A* on my EPQ in Game Design & Architecture. I created my artefact and wrote the main brunt of my EPQ in 2 weeks at the start of lockdown (with a small day-trip to London in February).
At the start of lockdown I decided to get my EPQ completely over and done with. I had some prior experience in game-design so decided to an EPQ in it, just to build on and get an actual qualification from my existing skillset. (I've linked the game below
WATCH by Trollbae - Game Jolt
In the December before lockdown (Dec 2019) I went to Gdansk, Poland for a normal holiday, I didn't know that I would include this in my EPQ write-up. I knew I wanted to do my EPQ in Game Design with a focus on the Architecture in Video Games, so I took ALOT of photographs whilst I was there of the unique architecture, this combined with a trip to London in February taking photographs of the exterior and interior of museums really helped my EPQ I feel.
My EPQ Game was a simple first person shooter set in a museum, but I feel like I gained most of my marks researching museum layouts, exteriors and interiors - and a lot of those marks from just going to London to photograph museums. The actual game was very easy to make, as I scrambled it together in an engine with minimal programming.
The write-up and forms is where you get a-lot of your EPQ marks, so make sure to include as much as you can especially in an appendix, as for me - quantity was a large factor... I wrote a lot:
EPQ Appendix - 63 Pages (6400 Words)
- Initial Ideas (EPQ Ideas - Game Ideas)
- Objectives (Some made up objectives to suit the EPQ mark scheme)
- Polish Architecture Analysis (Pics from my holiday)
- Analysis of some church in Russia (A page about a picture from the internet)
- London Museums (Pics from my trip to London)
- Planning? 17 Pages of it!
- Selecting a Game Engine (Another made up bit to suit the mark scheme)
- Assets/Licensing (A bit about the legal side of game design/working to fit the mark scheme...)
- Losing my entire EPQ on the 4th day because my hard drive died?
- Redesign because I lost it? + Pretending that losing it benefited the end project?
- Post Processing? I hardly even know what this means?
- Cover Art (Suiting the mark scheme!)
- Trailer (Suiting the mark scheme, showing more skills it has taught me)
- Choosing Where To Publish (Suiting the mark scheme once again, more content!)
- Bibliography (3 Pages of it!)
EPQ Essay - 30 Pages (5206 Words)
- Contents & Glossary
- Using the EBE (Modelling assets)
- Planning + Prep (Most of this was in my appendix)
- Creating the Game
- Cover Art
- Publishing to Game Jolt & Itch.io
- Conclusion, Analysis & Videos
EPQ London Trip Planning Spreadsheet
EPQ Time Management Gannt Chart
EPQ Record Form - 9000 Words (Including all their stuff)
EPQ Risk Assessment - 300 Words
EPQ Source Evaluation - 500 Words
EPQ Presentation - 23 Slides (30 minutes)
Now... That looks intimidating right?
I'll try and alleviate your fears - most of my appendix and essay was screenshots and a lot of the write up had diagrams and comparisons. For example I had my original drawings of how I intended it to look, overlaying the actual final product. These visual demonstrations really ticked a lot of boxes, and didn't use up too much word count. I also had a 3 page bibliography, which bumped up the word count on the appendix.
Time Management: For me this really wasn't a problem, I had 2 weeks to myself in a room with my computer, and I went full ham on writing the the thing - however, if you tend to get distracted taking breaks every hour can really help, and make sure to put your phone in a separate room, it can be surprisingly off-putting by just being in the same room as your smartphone. For me - having Netflix on while I worked helped quite a bit too, I think I watched Lord of War 36 times or something over the 2 weeks of writing my EPQ, although probably would be distracting for a lot of people - the background noise helped me.
I had a LOT of diagrams/imagery in my EPQ too, I had 60 images, and that was just in the essay, probably over 100 in my appendix, and this all acts as evidence, to get you the best grade you can get!
At the end, I showed a lot of analysis to how much it has changed since my original designs and plans, and me trying to gauge how successful it was with lots of graphs showing how many people have downloaded the game in the past month. (I wrote this bit 1 and a half months after finishing the game and the write up)
Conclusions for the EPQ? I dragged this out with the whole "Doing this EPQ has honestly made me a better, smarter and more critical person and I think I have developed skills which will not just stay with me for higher education - but for my life and potentially my future career" Yawn! But hey... I never said it had to be interesting, just make the examiner tick another box so you can gain a marginal increase in marks from pretending to care. (See below)
I actually wrote:
"I feel like completing this has widened my knowledge, thinking and has made me a more interesting person." So yeah... fill it with HOW THE EPQ IS RELEVANT TO YOUR FUTURE CAREER! Try to draw some sort of causal link between your EPQ in the atomic structure of broccoli and your future dreams of becoming a professional funeral director - and how studying broccoli has made you a better person!
I'll conclude this post with a final paragraph now...
Write lots, and don't just waffle on something, increase the scope of the EPQ - I wrote about studying polish architecture on an EPQ about Game Design, make these big links and write details about each one of them - for me this was Video Production, Architecture, Art & Design - all elements of my final piece. For someone making a robot or something this could be - Aluminium: the benefits of using it, or someone doing cooking - Why I chose this SPECIES OF CARROT. Showing over-detailing in every single element of your EPQ makes the examiner think that you actually care and are interested in what you are writing about... even when you most likely don't care whatsoever.
Then of course - link your EPQ to your future dreams and career, write lots in your record form about each skill and how it relates your future career - trust me you can pull tons of generic skills from EPQ (Critical Thinking, General Knowledge, Research Skills) etc... One more thing regarding research - first hand stuff, actually going to places and taking photos there really helps - I presented holiday pics as if they were a research trip!
Anyways, thanks for reading, hope this might have helped a bit? If you have any questions just post them below!