Last minor on school we got an assignment to make a game for children with severe learning difficulties (SLD). It was hard for us to find out what that exactly means so we decided to visit the children with some testing games to find out what they can or can’t do.
After testing some game-play elements with the children and doing some research we found out that the next points where important to take in account for our game concept:
- The game must not rely on written information only
- It must not rely on audio information only
- It must not have too many distractions (clean interface, not too much text)
- It must be easy to start and also interesting for players with higher skills
- Choices must be simple (not too many options)
- The game must not rely on information that is not within the field of focus (e.g. around the character)
- Sentences must be as short as possible (below ten words)
- Heavy competition must be avoided
- Violence must be avoided
- It has to be impossible to lose the game
- There must be no time limitations
- We must not assume conventions and common sense
- The objective must be clear at all times
- The game world has to be positive
After these points it was difficult to think about an unique game with all these points.
The concept is pretty simple. The player is an UFO that can beam up shapes (square, triangle, circle) and form constructions(tree or house) with it. There are 16 different constructions.
The best way to get the concept and the game-play is by playing it yourself. Some teachers already told us that it was pretty adictive.
Note: You have to download the .exe and then install it. If the game isn’t working read the ‘readme.txt’. Don’t be scared after seeing the menu that is a little bit crappy because we made it in Macromedia Director itself because of the time pressure but that wasn’t a good choice.
Note 2: We made the game for Dutch children so everything is dutch in the menu. To make a new profile you have to do this: Click on “maak nieuw profiel”, Edit the textbox behind “naam” with your name -> click on the button “creÃ«er profiel” -> Select your profile and click “oke”-> Click “nieuw spel” to start a new game or click “spel hervatten” to continue a previous played game. Good luck!!
The game has some nice features under the hood that is not visible but pretty nice. In my next post I will talk more about that.