Sploder Game Types

Within this blog page, I will explore the different types of Sploder Games and learn more about how to create my own!

3-D Mission Game Creator

This type of game begins with a mission brief that sets the scene. I liked the storyline aspect, but it did not add too much to the game. However, it seems like the storyline aspects could be fun to create for an educational game because I could create a storyline to complement our content areas. I did not like the top down view as much, either.

Basically, I was in a maze and had to to shoot bad guys and travel through a course to rescue the scientist! The controls were pretty easy to navigate,  so overall the game made sense and was easy to play. I also liked the different things that you could add to this type of game, like puzzles and obstacles. These puzzles seem to offer an exciting problem solving element, which could provide opportunities for collaboration and classroom applications as well! I wish they had an option to choose your character.

Physics Game Player

I liked this puzzle game! It seems like a fun way to reinforce ideas and teaching about physics concepts in the classroom. Basically, you progressed through increasingly difficult levels by completing a physics based obstacle. I liked that the levels got increasingly more challenging because that provides nice and helpful scaffolding for novice players.

I think that the initial instructions could have been a little bit more clear because it took a few tries for me to figure out what I was supposed to do. I also felt a little crunched by the time limit- it seemed a little short for me, so my students might need a longer time limit so they don’t experience the frustration that I did.

While I enjoyed this game, I don’t think that this is the game type for me to create- I feel a little intimidated by trying to link gaming, puzzles, and physics altogether!

Platformer

This game reminded me of a simpler and less sophisticated version of Mario Bros. I was a little monster character and traveled along a course, collecting items, beating bad guys. I like that you could add a theme and could add bad guys and level ups to match. The 2-D game seemed very logical to me because as I scrolled through the course, the character moved and progressed through the game. The graphics were simple, but effective.

However, I did think that controls were a little clunky. The jumping function arrow keys were not as precise as the small course demanded, so it would have been helpful to have a little more space between obstacles. It took me a little bit to figure out where I would land when I jumped.

I liked this type of game and it felt familiar to other games I have played before, so I might be interested in creating this type. It seems like this type of game would provide a lot of creator choice, which is exciting.. and a bit intimidating.

Shooter

Wow, there was a lot going on in this game! When I first read about Shooters, I went in expecting Space Invaders. As soon as I pressed start, my purple shooter was bombarded by 5-6 shooting space ships. I thought at first I was just supposed to avoid them, but then realized the space bar let me shoot at them. I don’t think I was a very efficient or effective player of this game because I just spun around and slammed on the space bar repeatedly. It seemed difficult to have a strategy or a defensive plan with this game type. It was very simple, as even with my lack of strategy and any real skill, I still was able to win the game.

The robot game was more challenging and allowed for more strategy. I liked that with the robot game, I did not feel as bombarded initially and could develop a little more strategy, but I again did not like the top down view style. It was interesting to have more weapons to choose from and be able to try out different ones for different scenarios.

It might be fun to create this type of game, but I would want to make a side-scrolling game that was not as overwhelming initially. I would also want to make sure that there were options for a defensive as well as offensive strategy.

Retro Arcade Games

This is definitely the type of game I am most interested in creating! It was so fun and reminded me of the classic Mario that I played growing up. I liked the scrolling style, cute graphics, and that you could collect coins and bounce off the bad guys head. This simple, fun game fits my style and seems most like what I want to create. I thought the helpful notes were nice because they provided helpful instructions on how to play as I went along. If you paused the game, it also provided helpful hints to get you back on track. I liked that you could choose your own character, too. This game seemed similar to the Platformer game, but I enjoyed this one much more- the game design certainly added to my enjoyment.

What makes a good game?

  1. Visuals- I think that appealing visuals and graphics are important to a good game. For example, I loved the graphics and colors of the retro game much more than those of the platform game and thus, enjoyed the game much more!
  2. Challenge- if the game is too easy, it is boring. Yet, if the game is too challenging, it is unaccessible. The game needs to be appropriately challenging, but there should be different levels to accommodate for different players’ ability. (Puentedure mentioned that if a game is too challenging, players often become uninterested in uncovering the patterns that make the game make sense because they don’t care enough. The challenge becomes irritating ‘noise.’)
  3. Levels increase in difficulty- Piggybacking on the challenge element, levels should increase in difficulty the longer you play. This type of scaffolding allows players to gain confidence and have an increased challenge the longer they play.
  4. Clear directions & purpose- as a novice gamer, I really appreciated clear instructions on how to play. I think a clear mission or aim of the game is also really important. Just as important as knowing how to play, is knowing the point of playing.
  5. Simple, effective controls- sometimes the controls of these games were clunky and difficult to manage, which increased my frustration and decreased my enjoyment of the game.
  6. Variety- doing the same thing over and over again gets boring. Having a variety of options for success and failure keeps the game player on their toes.
  7. Storyline/Immersion into the virtual world- I think that the storyline of the game allows for increased engagement if the character can get into the virtual world of the game. A good game draws the player in and makes them care about the world they are playing through.

When I listened to Puentedure’s podcast, I was impressed that many that I mentioned, he also mentioned. One thing that stood out to me when considering challenge was that Puentedure mentioned that people do not like to play games where there is no chance of failure. I think this is an interesting idea to consider because failure in education is a touchy subject because people encourage teachers to help their students experience success. However, if what makes a good game is the existence of failure, then it seems games could be an effective way to teach kids about how to fail and what to do with failure.

After this work, I created my own Sploder game! Try it out:

References

Puentedure, R (2009, July 7). What makes a good game? [Podcast] Retrieved from http://itunes.apple.com

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