Production

The Challenge

How to design an engaging educational game while still providing effective pedagogy?

Our MMOG design methodology started with the concept that an engaging multiplayer game can serve as an effective adjunct to traditional teaching methods resulting in improved learning of targeted materials and enhanced motivation to remain in science and engineering.

One of the biggest challenges was how to quickly and cheaply integrate educational content into the proposed MMO game. Designs based on deep integration of educational content and concepts proved to be difficult to design and create, and often "broke" the game design creating gameplay that didn't make sense or have much entertainment value. The main challenges were to not let the game content compromise the educational content nor the educational content compromise the game content.

This challenge led to the development of the hybrid game concept where the educational content is separated from the MMO game content. This separation is accomplished by placing it in an external Web 2.0 environment. With this approach, the educational content is kept rooted in traditional pedagogical methods, while allowing easy integration into the game with some creative storytelling. Development of the game (MMO) and educational (Web 2.0) content then becomes a set of almost parallel tasks which accelerates development plus greatly simplifies the task of integration.

To keep up with how we deal with our daily developement challenges, read our dev blog.

The Solution

This challenge lead to the development of the hybrid game concept — where the educational content is separated from the MMO game content by blending in 2D Flash minigames. Development of the game (MMO) and educational (Flash) content then becomes a set of almost parallel tasks which accelerates development plus greatly simplifies the task of integration.