Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Gaming Focus/Genre
Simulation Games
When designing computer games for classroom
settings, the developer must first choose a suitable
genre for the games to develop, so that it is pos-
sible to devise a suitable language for describing
the games, and thus to support the language with
an appropriate program. Since the language is
domain-specific, this will be very relevant in order
to satisfy the different pedagogical requirements
identified (Moreno-Ger, et al, 2008).
The sophistication and difficulty of games can
be varied and is only limited to the instructor's
creativity and technical skill level. The variety of
games that could be developed included:
Simulation games provide the user with a model
designed to represent real-life situations, and the
user learns how the system functions to complete
the phases of processing cycle: input, processing,
and output. Because simulations are less structured
and do not provide step-by-step instructions, the
user must have already developed basic problem
solving skills. Important characteristics of simula-
tions are (Gredler, 2004): “a) an adequate model
of the complex real-world situation with which
the student interacts, b) a defined role for each
participant, with responsibilities and constraints,
c) a data-rich environment that permits students
to execute a range of strategies, from targeted to
'shotgun decision making, and d) feedback for
participant actions in the form of changes in the
problem or situation” (p. 571).
Problem-Solving Games
Most problem-solving instructional games are
designed to teach fundamental principles related
to the topic being studied, to provide opportunities
to see and apply those principles in meaningful
situations, and to solve realistic problem-based
situations with appropriate feedback and rein-
forcement. The emphasis of many games is the
acquisition of problem-solving skills. The incor-
poration of a variety of media, today, enhances
problem-solving games.
Visualization Games
Visualization games generally integrate the use of
computer graphics, animation, and/or other me-
dia to enhance instructional computer programs.
Although visualization software can be quite
elaborate, some of it is very simple, too, such as the
graphic organizer. A graphic organizer is usually a
one-page screen or form with blank areas for the
student to fill in appropriate information or ideas.
At the elementary level, it might be as simple as
having students completing a form by dragging
and dropping or copying and pasting pictures.
Problem-Solving Drill and
Practice Games
Most drill and practice games, regardless of the
area of emphasis, follow a four-step process:
presentation, practice, feedback, and reinforce-
ment. Linear designed games present the same
information to all users in the same sequence.
Today, drill and practice software can also be
developed that enables branching to take place
so that specific needs of the user are addressed
and it is not necessary for all users to complete
the same sequence of activities.
Instructional Videos
Short instructional videos can be the basis for a
game where the student watches the video and
answers a series of questions, completes a problem
situation, or writes a composition. The video can
be made interactive with the student interacting
at various points.
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