Educational Games EG-100: Version 2.0
From CDAC Mumbai and IEEE Bombay Section
Thinking of what to do for a student project for your engineering/MCA/etc. courses? Here is a proposal to build an educational game as your project. Of course, you can contribute, even if you are not taking it as your course project.
What is it about?
Everyone likes games. What you like may vary depending on your age, interests, personal characteristics, etc. The interesting thing about playing games, is the concentration it brings about (we call that the FLOW), where you lose sense of time and other mundane concerns! How often have you felt so when reading a textbook?! So, we believe teaching through a game environment can be rewarding in various ways.
All games are not educational! Building a game with a high educational value is a challenging activity. It requires:
● Good programming capability.
● Good UI/UX design — critical for it to be accepted. Remember one does not play games by force; it is a voluntary choice.
● Good game design
● Good knowledge of the educational content being targeted, and appropriate ways of introducing the topic (pedagogical aspects)
Further, you get to conceptualize, design, implement and refine a system from end to end. Most importantly, your work will be used by thousands of students across the country (or even beyond).
New to game development?
Not to worry! There will be plenty of guidance along the way, including a number of workshops on various tools. Broadly this is what you need to do:
● Choose a topic to teach/learn from any subject in the school curriculum. Define the learning objectives crisply and precisely.
● Conceptualize how to teach/learn this — the pedagogy aspects.
● Visualize a game to embed this in. You can adapt a known game like snake and ladder, monopoly, etc or come up with your own game. Visit the website for more information.
● Create the screen flow of the entire system.
● Come up with system design — data storage, UI, modules, etc.
● Implement incrementally to gather feedback early on.
Am I eligible?
You should be in the final or pre-final year of your study programmed. You need to be part of a group — 3-6 sizes recommended. You must be a student of a degree program. And you must be able to spend a fair amount of time on this activity over the next 4 months.
As a team you should be good at programming. Ideally you should also have a mentor (faculty) from your college — who can provide local support and day to day guidance.
What are the timelines?
Approximately, we will be starting the process by 15th August. For details of registration and registration fee, please visit http://vidyakash.in website
After the registration, there will be:
● 2-3 Workshops on topics relevant to game design and development.
● 3-5 talks by experts on various aspects of game design
● Biweekly formal reviews of the work for feedback
All the above will be online to minimise travel overheads. Participation in all these are mandatory for registered teams. Formal submission of the final version is expected sometime in December. Based on review, games will be selected for hosting and prizes.
What about software platforms/tools?
You are welcome to use any platform — Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android — for development of the games. The game can be web based, mobile based, stand alone, collaborative, etc — no restrictions.
Similarly you can use any development environment/language too. You can build ab initio using languages like Java, Python, etc or use a more specialised language like Unity to program the game behaviours.
Given a choice, we would recommend that you go for open source environments and languages, so that your game is more widely usable.
What about topics?
We are primarily focussing on school subjects for now along with topics of common interest like environment, climate change, etc. CBSE has shown interest to adopt games relevant to school curricula and hence an opportunity for work to reach a wider audience.
What happens to the games we develop?
Games which reach a certain standard of quality and usability will be hosted on the vidyakash portal of CDAC for free access/use by anyone interested. We would require the developers to certify that there is no violation of copyright, etc in the game — no images and code reused from elsewhere without permission. The portal will formally acknowledge the developers, their college and their mentor.
Do we get a certificate?
If your game is accepted for the portal, and you have attended the various activities including workshops, you will get a detailed certificate with a transcript of the work done. Others will get only a participation certificate (provided they complete a certain minimum requirements).
There may be prizes and awards for the top-rated games. These will be announced along the way.
Help and Support
There will be mechanisms setup for you to connect regularly to seek help, in addition to the periodic reviews. Details of this will be announced after registration.
A Moodle based platform will be set up for the entire journey through EG-100 2.0. It will link with relevant resources along the journey and provide ways for interaction, queries, submissions of intermediate outputs, reviews, etc.
Visit http://vidyakash.in/index.php/eg-100_2/ for more details…. Do spread the word.