I have at long last found the time to make a new game. This one is a Chemistry game that requires you to correctly ionise atoms so that they can form ionic compounds. The idea came from a colleague of mine working with low ability chemistry students who I hope will give me some feedback in the coming weeks.
Construct 2 was used to create it in a single weekend. The free version of Construct 2 allows for 100 events and this game uses 99 events so it has as many compounds as I could have without paying the £55 for a licence. Sorry to all those of you who are desperate to make some aluminium oxide!
It requires arrow keys and a mouse to play. Have a go and let me know what you think.
So my pages are finally done 🙂 Given that the theory upon which each of the three tools I have considered is the same, I have discussed gamification as a topic on one page then looked at Construct 2, Clim-City and Second Life using a lenses approach on separate pages referring back to the gamification page. I hope you enjoy reading them.
So what next?
I aim to make a science game using Construct 2 with careful consideration of the mechanics I will include. I’ll keep you posted.
Second life is an online virtual world that you can get an account for free. I have spent some time exploring it after being introduced to it at a work training day. The video link below gives you an idea of what it’s like.
There are loads of ready-made locations to explore. I shall consider its use in terms of gamification on a separate page. If you would like to find out more or give it a try then you need to visit this site and download the viewer
Clim-City is an environmental simulation where you manage a city for 50 years to decrease its impact and adapt it to climate change. It is made by a French science institution in Bordeaux using Flash. The game starts in 2008 and you spend points, given to you each year, to attempt to meet a set of targets by 2058.
The website is designed for an educational context and there is a variety of supporting materials to go with the game but you need to be able to read French to take advantage of them. Fortunately the simulation itself has been translated in to English.
I have used this with a number of six form and adult classes in the last couple of years. I shall consider the use of this game in more detail on a separate page.
The second tutorial is for a jump and run platform style game. In the first tutorial the monsters just glided across the screen, there is a lot more in this tutorial about animating the characters. The player runs and jumps and faces the correct way and the enemies also walk and turn. It is very easy to make the player land on tings as you simply designate some objects as solid or jump-through and construct 2 does the rest. It’s not a complicated game to play but shows the functionality.
The biggest challenge for this tutorial was finding the resources. None of the graphics were available to me as a free user so I had to find all my own sprites and sprite strips for the animated characters. This took most of the time, the importing of resources and generation of events took less than an hour. This shows that once you have the bits you can write games very quickly once you are familiar with the program.
Sorry to any of you looking at these games on a touch device. Although construct 2 has touch functionality I have not explored this yet.
Having spent around 10 hours with construct 2 I am impressed.
To put my new found skills to the test I extended the tutorial adding a second weapon on the right mouse button and adding two new monsters. One of the monsters drops grenades and the other mustn’t touch the player; if the player’s health drops to zero then it’s game over. I have also added sounds. I think this version is more of a challenge and demonstrates that you can add your own sprites fairly easily. Including the time to find the resources I added it took another few hours to complete. I still think that’s fairly fast development. The modified game can be played on this link
Construct 2 has a couple of tutorials that I had a go at. The first is a “top down shooter”. This is a game where the player is above the action and the player walks around shooting things. Although this has very little to do with learning science I completed it to get used to the software and evaluate its potential.
The game is designed for keyboard and mouse. Move the player with the arrow keys and point him with the mouse. Use left click to fire. The monsters take a few shots to die and you mustn’t let them touch you. Simply refresh the page if you want to play again. The game can be accessed on this link
This took me about two hours to do, maybe a touch more, which I don’t think is too bad. The sprites were all provided as part of the tutorial and all the functionality required is available in the free version. The only limits of the free version I’ve found so far are that the events are limited to 100 and the z-order of objects cannot be controlled.