Engagement is the keyword when it comes to developing games for educational purpose. There are many initiatives worldwide that focus on creating educational games and have been successful in implementing strategies that result in higher engagement.
are several key strategies that need to be kept in mind while developing educational games:
Good design is the first pull for any game, so the graphics and presentation should be attractive. Considering the target audience young, use of bright colors and prominent call for actions make a good sense. One should avoid heavy text content and focus on intuitive designs.
Clearly defined learning outcomes:
This is the most challenging part. As educators, people feel compulsion to deliver as much knowledge in game. However, the purpose of games are different from educational videos and interactive lesson plans. A game’s sole purpose is to provide hands on experience on how the knowledge works in action. A game should have a scenario relevant to the learning objective and game play that enables user to make decisions.
Higher engagement factor:
Once the game scenario is defined, identify a game-play that can engage user for a longer time. Best way to approach this problem is to identify casual games that are already popular and use their game-play to wrap around the concept.
A game should be simple enough for user to accomplish goals in levels, while challenging enough to compel them to try again. Ideally, 2-3 attempts to complete a level can retain user’s attention.
Educators often forget that the objective of a game is “not to make it feel like education”; precisely a reason why students want to stay away from courses. They appreciate learning through free will. If the games come as mandatory courses, students will lose interest very quickly dissolving the very purpose of it. Instead make a fun game based on the context and support it with complimentary learning material for those interested. Provide choices.
A successful game is one that pulls users to come back again. However, it is challenging to identify what makes a game addictive. One of the element that adds to the fun of game is its speed. A game that offers high speed and smooth functions tend to be addictive from the development standpoint. Competitiveness is another aspect. When you combine these aspects in your game level design; for example – it is easy to clear the level, however, requires better performance to attain top score. A level can have 3 categories of score: one star, two stars and three stars. While one can attain a star swiftly, it requires playing again to attain three stars.
Games can come in different packages, from arcade, platform, strategy, social and many other types examples for which are available on internet. It is however, critical to understand game types that suit your requirement at best.