Immune Attack 2Posted in Educational Video Games
Immune Attack 2.0 builds upon Immune Attack 1.0. Learning Technologies at FAS has learned from player and teacher feedback that Immune Attack is a fun and very engaging game for students, even those who do not play video games. It was also deduced that many players enjoy Immune Attack outside the school setting, because they download IA1.0 on mygameIQ and spend many hours chasing down Macrophages. Immune Attack 2.0 is funded by the NIAID.
Immune Attack 2.0 is being developed with the Unity Game Engine 3.2 and will be available on PC and AppleOS as a downloadable game and a streaming web-based game. Immune Attack 2.0 will take advantage of real-time gaming technology, new molecular science and new video game innovations to create an engaging means of explaining molecular science to students and the public. In learning about the intricate systems of molecules and cells, players will be empowered to save patients.
Successful video games are play tested, and play testers should be representative of the target audience. Games are not fun if they are too simple or too difficult. Players want to be continuously challenged, but also want to establish a feeling of competency. Therefore, Immune Attack 2.0 will be tested with the target audience, high school students, and the game design will be edited until students find it fun to play, and cognitive load has been optimized. Immune Attack 2.0 will try to hold constant the level of presented detail while varying the design, HUD, icons and other interface components to define an optimal presentation for the complex story.
Gross DissectionPosted in Hemisecting Mini-Game
Gross Dissection is a demo developed primarily for Research and Development. The development of the level was presented at the Association of Medical Illustrator's annual conference in Portland, Oregon, 2010 as a Techniques Showcase. The initial pod monster model was developed using polygonal geometry in Maya 2011. Only one half of the Pod was modeled, then duplicated, to expedite the process. A hexagonal ring was utilized as a global move tool, and an arrow was added to define the characterʼs rotation and transform during programming in Unity. UVʼs were established and the model was exported as an OBJ.
The exported FBX model from Maya is brought into Unity once a project folder has been established. A Geometry and Texture subdirectory is typically created. The model imports into Unity with a base shader from Maya that can be changed to a specific Unity shader and apply the color and normal maps accordingly. The mesh render for the hexagonal global move is turned off at this point. A rotary saw was created for use as a melee weapon. The saw is armed once collected, put away using the ~ key and rearmed with the 1 key. Sounds effects, animations, particle effects and the FPC (First Person Controller) arm all trigger when the left-mouse button is pressed to create a unique melee attack.
The pod monsters are programmed to attack based on the threat level the player presents (player proximity). When a pod attacks, correlating sounds and animations are triggered. Advanced scripting for path finding is required to ensure that all enemies will continue to hunt the player regardless of any obstacles. The FPC (First Person Controller) can attack the pod monsters when the left mouse button is pressed and the chainsaw makes contact with the geometry colliders. This action also triggers a series of sounds and particle animations, including spraying blood that is programmed to correctly rest on any surfaces it hits.
OrgoQuestPosted in Educational Video Games
OrgoQuest is a novel 3D web-based video game developed to coincide with SPOC (Scholarʼs Program in Organic Chemistry), a 10-week long summer enrichment course for organic chemistry offered by the Office of Minority Student Affairs at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, part of a grant provided by the UT Systemʼs Transforming Undergraduate Education Program as an initiative to enhance underrepresented minority or disadvantaged undergraduate students.
The control group received the same lectures with 2-dimensional hand written exercises that reflected core concepts in the gaming intervention. Initial results of the pilot study showed that male students in the test group who received the gaming intervention fared 21% better than their counterparts who received only 2-dimensional written exercises while females fared 13% better. These preliminary results suggest that gaming can be effective for learning.
OrgoQuest was developed with the Unity Game Engine 3.0, and places players in a virtual environment where they must solve puzzles and answer problems on foundational organic chemistry in order to progress through the pedagogical hierarchy inherent to the content, as well as the digital environment itself, in order to "ascend" to the end of the game. Players enter OrgoQuest as an applicant for Terra Corporation, a fictional pharmaceutical company, where they must pass a final examination to be accepted.
Players must master 6 levels including history of organic chemistry, functional groups, forming bonds and stereochemistry. Terra Corporation requires that players increase requisite P.S.I. (Pounds Force Per Square Inch) to move from one level to another on an ascending platform. As players master material they ascend to higher levels in the game environment and must then complete more difficult levels that build on previous content. Players ascend to the roof and receive their performance score as well as visual feedback including a corresponding medal of gold (Au), silver (Ag), copper (Cu), or none, and letter from the Terra Corporation executives offering or denying certain levels of employment based on their performance.
In contrast to standard educational games that typically supplement or teach outside of the classroom without curriculum integration, OrgoQuest is unique in that it is ties directly to the course material and vice versa. The goal of OrgoQuest was to develop a cerebral educational video game that would mirror what students learned in lecture as well as encourage in-class discussion between students and instructors to enhance understanding of the material. The results of the pilot study proved that educational games could be effective classroom tools for certain groups.
Funding for the OrgoQuest projectwas provided through a grant from the UT System Board of Regents Transforming Undergraduate Education Program. OrgoQuest has won 3 awards including an Award of Merit for Instructional Interactive Media, the Member's Choice Award for New Media and an Innovative Program Award from the National Association of Medical Minority Educators.
SepsisPosted in Educational Video Games
The Sepsis educational game was developed as a fun and engaging way for the primary audience (ages 10-14) to learn about sepsis, blood components, several types of bacteria that can lead to sepsis and septic shock, and the value of antibiotics in treating sepsis. The player assumes the role of a macrophage and must phagocytize three types of bacteria in increasingly difficult waves to save their patient. Sepsis received an Award of Excellence for Instructional Interactive Media.