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Collaborative design practices are evolving rapidly today as a result of improvements in telecommunications and human-computer interfaces. We present a suite of research tools that we have built in order to evaluate a particular methodology for design based on a theory of problem solving from the field of artificial intelligence. These tools are (a) a formal specification for a class of multimedia games, (b) a game-building tool called PRIME Designer, and (c) a game engine that brings games to life. The design of these tools addresses several issues: (1) support for a common language for the design process, deriving from state-space search, (2) visual interfaces for collaboration, (3) specifications for a class of games (called PRIME games) whose affordances represent a balance between simplicity and richness, (4) educating students to work in design teams that use advanced computational services, and (5) assessing the learning and contributions of each team member. We also report on a focus group study in which four undergraduate students used the tools. Our experience suggests that users without a computing background can learn how to employ state-space trees to organize the design process, and thereby gain facilities to coordinate their individual contributions to the design of a game.