This week we were tasked with evaluating the popular augmented reality game Pokemon Go using Shute & Ke’s “seven core elements of well-designed games” as the criteria. There is no doubt that Go is a great game. It captured the imagination and engagement of the masses almost instantly. While initially there were bugs and issues to resolve, there have been strides in the app since it’s initial release. I’ll admit that I wasn’t thrilled to download and test the game and I had a bit of a biased chip on my shoulder during the process. I’m just not into the game itself, I’ve never really understood the Pokemon craze. That said, I love the functionality of the game. I love how it gets people up and out. And I love the potential for other games based on the same ideas. For example, imagine a game where real live creatures are found and collected (or tagged, for the conservationists) that are native to the region the player is currently in. Shoot, why stop at creatures, why not plants and trees or types of rocks.
Shute, V. J., & Ke, F. (2012). Games, Learning, and Assessment. In D. Ifenthaler, D. Eseryel, & X. Ge (Eds.), Assessment in Game-Based Learning (pp. 43–58). New York, NY: Springer New York. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/10.1007/978-1-4614-3546-4_4
This final game project started with grand ideas. I really wanted a way to have my high school shop students practice measuring. The students in our shop classes really struggle with measuring, likely due to not having practiced since they learned the skill in the 3rd grade. As a result, we have to re-teach the skill. I struggle finding material suitable for high school aged students so I figured a video game would be a great idea.
I quickly learned, as I was building this, that my ideas and my skills had a bit of a gap to overcome. I can’t put all the blame on my lack of skills, the tool GameSalad, also has it’s share of obstacles (bugs) to overcome. The game is a platform quiz game. You move through the house and “fix” broken furniture along the way by answering measuring questions. You can keep track of the required repairs on the resources screen, accessible via the shift key or the resources icon on-screen.
Currently, the broken items do not seem to show up when playing the game. The first lamp shows up but the other 8 items, do not. Neither does the door at the end, in the attic. I suspect, after quite a bit of time trying to troubleshoot, that perhaps it is a memory issue. I don’t definitively know. The good news is that all the functionality works, so when you run into the invisible broken furniture, you get the correct quiz screen. And when you answer all the quizzes correctly, the “door” in the attic sends you to the game over screen.
All in all, the game plays well and I’m fairly proud of it. Give it a go and see what you think!
This project was about using GameSalad’s table functions to create a quiz app. There was A LOT of prep content to cover which made it a bit overwhelming. Thankfully things are at a simple logic level as my non-programmer brain tends to fry a bit after “does it match or not”. I was able to use a simple table loaded with quiz questions to populate actors in a scene dynamically. After that, the tutorials guided me through the process of creating a drag and drop question. At this point, I got stuck with what appears to be a bug (although human error isn’t out of the question) where I had 3 tests in a rule that all needed to be true in order for the continue button to show. I could NOT get it to work and spent WAY too much time trying since it should have been very simple. I combed the “code” for errors, repeatedly. I created display blocks to show my variable values (variables are “attributes” in GameSalad) and everything worked but the dang button! Grrrr. For the drag and drop question, you automatically get points, even if your wrong. Hmph.
The graphics in this game are simple and a bit silly. While I would use something similar to this to test my HTML students, I’m not sure this would be my exact approach or tool.
This week, we were tasked with exploring Actors, Scenes, and Collisions using GameSalad. We were provided with a step by step tutorial that was very helpful in guiding through the process. I found that my knowledge of other game-making software had me looking for functionality that may not exist. I ended up hitting the help files looking for ways to do tasks that should be very simple, like making an actor solid so that it bumps into things. Perhaps it’s simple, but so far finding the answer isn’t. All in all, I made it work. Check out the game here!
For my characters, I used the ToonDoo site which was AWE-SOME! It required some post-creating image processing but I’m a whiz in Photoshop so I didn’t mine 1 bit! It’s a very cool resource I will be definitly using again.