Transdisciplinary Inquiry

 

RIDGE is an educational weather-based simulation/game that focuses on teaching others about the weather patterns we have in the real world. To achieve this, RIDGE allows the player to control weather systems and interact with purpose-built maps. This project is the outcome from the research proposal in Assignment 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through feedback from the New Zealand Game Developers Meet-Up we have managed to build a prototype aimed at both immersing players and teaching them about the weather (note that weather is just a placeholder, the real aim is to look into what methods of teaching are most effective). Last week we tested our prototype at the Meet-Up. While the feedback we received was mixed, we got some very intriguing results that have allowed us to make some changes and think about adding and removing features in the simulation.

The prototype that we built had two methods of communicating information. One method was a hands off way of letting the player interact with the level with no direction. This allowed them to learn on their own based on their own experiences in the ‘game’. While this method was more freeing, it didn’t have the same level of detail as the second method. The second way of teaching was to get the player to pause the game and then scroll through the menu to read the step by step guides on weather patterns and their properties.

While this method was more informative, it was less immersive and caused the player to stop playing while they read about each pattern. We wanted to use two different teaching methods so that we could gain an understanding of what people preferred and what works best.

The results we received from players was varied some liked the option to read more in-depth information about weather patterns from the pause menu then some would have preferred it if the simulation had a voice-over describing what was going on within the scene. Some felt that having a leveling system where the level changed overtime in reaction to specific events, would have allowed them to become more engaged and more likely to play it over and over. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the freedom to control the weather however they wanted. One thing that was apparent is that people tended to like the SCI-FI map a little bit more due to the freedom to slowly glide around the map. From the information we gathered we can now best decide how we think a digital environment could be used as an educational tool.

“We feel that people are more likely to learn when they are physically engaged in something rather than just reading and looking at images, but at the same time it is important to have some control over the engagement”.

I feel this project has been successful in giving insight on how people process information and under what circumstances they learn most effectively. The next step would be to simply keep developing the product to a standard that we are happy with and get to a point where we have fully achieved what we wanted. The main goal of this project was to experiment with learning methods. We achieved this by setting up a weather controlling simulation that taught people about weather systems.

Everyone learns in different ways so an important part would be incorporating different teaching methods into the simulation. Not all people can benefit from a literature heavy method of teaching. Finding the balance between imagery, 3D space, audio and text is, in my opinion the way we would succeed in this project.

This project has taught me a lot about how people think and process information. As an aspiring game developer I have also gain a lot of skills in-game development that I will continue to utilize throughout my career. This project specifically taught me blueprinting and level design in unreal engine 4 and taught me to think more about communicating information though an unconventional media source.

 

Images of the game:

 

90cafb2df291ff4c492d2c5376fef23d

 

fba593aa4834f19b52bc6466ad83ccee

 

59980ad2e102073d1ba52ed6b126c8fa

 

d885c1f148c509a97e0b04e295c7177f

 

ab2c6ec0afc79cf2b4cbdc00b9d6b8f3

 

b14de415f8d9bc0c2c32840e0a13c2c4

 

45d422968446cbc2373cd5030a26d337

 

30a1551dcd2753a9f2a42dd259cac11f

 

330ddecc020422f423e0dd1ebb0b1172

 

4771f0a50fbeeb6f79dba8b353e39e5e

 

c0624c2166241bab37f27ccbd4a9b656

 

06d7fd3043a3ca9e8f5327b3de9ac397

 

e3eb85cd136bc885a9bc21ef965365aa

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s