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102

The reason you see so few high-quality educational games is because the most educational games do not look like they are educational. They don't even pretend to be. As a kid I learned English mostly from playing non-localized RPGs on my Sega Mega Drive. I discovered the scientific method for myself as a teen by analyzing online games and trying to figure ...


50

People reading about a game in the net is a problem for all games, not just level-based puzzle ones. For instance a simple search can give you detailed walkthrough/cheatsheet/solutions/guides to any game you can think of. Even games like Fifa or LoL that obviously has no definite solution in the first place. But that being said you can more or less control ...


30

Lots of solutions: Limited Skips Players can skip up to X times, and clearing a previous level gets the skip back Skip after repeated failure If your puzzle can be failed then after a certain number of failures instead of just a retry button there is a skip button as well. Multiple Levels of Success For example, beating a level rewards 1, 2, or 3 ...


22

The issue comes from the fact that the general public hasn't accepted NORMAL GAMES as a learning tool, so in order to be an 'Educational' game you have to make the game with 'education' first, instead of 'fun'. This creates pressure to lean on the side of boring, prettied-up digital homework instead of simply making a game that happens to teach you stuff. ...


16

The situation you describe is called a "wall kick". A wall kick happens when a player rotates a piece when no space exists in the squares where that tetromino would normally occupy after the rotation. ... The simplest wall kick algorithm ... is to try moving the tetromino one space to the right, and then one space to the left, and ...


16

Most of these answers are on point when they say the game should first be a good game, but an educational game tends to be in a different format than a normal game. They tend to be made for shorter sessions of about 15 to 30 minutes, try to teach you more than you can learn with the same amount of time from a normal game, and have a broader and younger ...


13

I have a top selling Sudoku game on the iOS app store. Here's how I generated puzzles. First I do have a puzzle generator application. But it's not part of the game's code. It' is a stand alone app that I use to make puzzles. It's highly modified so I can set it to create different pattern types, difficulty ratings, number of givens, etc. Generating ...


12

If a player cheats, it's likely either because they're frustrated with a particular puzzle (and want to continue progressing) or they're disinterested in a particular puzzle and just want to get it over with. Either case may be indicative of a problem with the particular puzzle's design. It helps a lot if your mechanics allow for more than one solution to ...


12

Puzzle games, with some quests or riddles could be a great start. I think that kids may find educational games boring not because they lack blood or violence but because they lack a goal. For the game above: why should a kid play it? How does he/she gets rewarded? How his/her victory affects the game?


11

Sounds kind of like a directed graph problem. Start at the beginning, for each branching in the story record the items you currently have and then branch the graph. From there follow each branch and do the same, once you get to another branch record your current items and branch the graph. This will end up with a pretty dense graph with lots of duplicated ...


11

The sequence 1,0,3,2,4,5,6,7,8 only has one inversion: 1. 3,2 1 is odd, therefore this configuration is unsolvable. Similarly, in 7,0,2,8,5,3,6,4,1: 1. 7,2 2. 7,5 3. 7,3 4. 7,6 5. 7,4 6. 7,1 7. 2,1 8. 8,5 9. 8,3 10. 8,6 11. 8,4 12. 8,1 13. 5,3 14. 5,4 15. 5,1 16. 3,1 17. 6,4 18. 6,1 19. 4,1 Nineteen inversions ...


10

You seem to be making a Sokoban-style game. You have at least 3 options: Working from a solved end state. My gut feeling says this is not the optimal solution, because a) there are usually many end states and b) the puzzle does not only have to be solvable, but also interesting. So you should probably rather pursue one or both of the other 2 options: ...


9

A puzzle game like Bejeweled or Tetris has randomly generated "levels", usually with a slow progression in difficulty. That alone can make a game interesting. Trying to get as far as possible, getting a "lucky streak" or scoring the most points. One thing that's really important is that the gameplay feels right. Controls should be simple and intuitive, ...


9

At first glance, this seems to me to be a single agent search problem. That is: you have one agent (the AI "player"). There's a game state representing the state of the game board and queue, and you have a successor function that can generate new states from a given state. There's also a goal criteria that tells you when the state is the "solved" state. And ...


8

Considering your background, this is a great choice as a way to get into game development. As far as advice and suggestions go, here are some ideas. What should I read? There are quite a few sites out there that post tutorials and news regarding Windows Phone / XNA development. Most important (in my opinion) to get you started is the official Education ...


8

This is a good use-case for a Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture as often used in software engineering. Keep your model (board contents) and view (how does it look) as separate parts of your program. Motivating example Say you have a board that looks like this: You then delete the red pieces and want to animate the replacement pieces falling from ...


8

The number one thing I have found that limits educational game is a hard lined insistence that the adult programming the game define what will be learned in the game. Much of a game's appeal is from the player deciding what they want to get out of the game. The game maker can make suggestions, but in the end, it is the player that decides. If your game ...


7

First of all, don't discount the other people you need. Some games require mostly artists and some require mostly programmers. A game which requires you to move blocks around a dynamic world probably needs more programmers, but a game where you travel the world playing cards probably needs more artists. The other thing to consider is the other aspects of ...


7

wkerslake has some good answers - multiple levels of success has been used to great effect in games like Cut the Rope and Angry Birds, among many others. But I'm surprised not to see any answers recommending the solution used by Guitar Hero, Super Meat Boy, and many other games, which I'll call "gating." Divide your levels up into chunks, say "Easy, ...


7

I drew it. What everything means Coloured backgrounds are the layout of filled squares just after a block has been placed. Red circles are locations that could potentially be the top-left corner of a quad. Red lines are on squares around a potential corner that must be filled for the shape to be a quad. Red crosses are locations that were checked and ...


7

Yes, it's lazy design. But you have to understand that, apart from laziness, time and budget constraints may play a factor in how in-depth a game's puzzle-solving is. Each solution needs to be developed, coded, and tested, and the more you add, the more you have to deal with. Witness how buggy today's games get and you'll have an idea. There's also the ...


7

Possibly not the answer you might seek. However that problem does seem like a non-issue. You are searching for a technical solution to a social problem - an endeavour which is often bound to fail. However what should matter more is that your customers, your players, are happy: If someone chooses to seek for a solution guide in the web, that's what s/he ...


6

For the Pirate Poppers puzzle mode, I generated the levels randomly based on some parameters related to difficulty. Difficulty is always difficult to measure objectively, but in this case there were some variables that were good indicators (chain length, number of different colors, nesting level of the combos) so I was able to generate pretty good puzzles ...


6

See the paper: Automatic making of Sokoban problems From the abstract: This paper describes our program that makes Sokoban problems automatically. Sokoban is one of one-person puzzles invented in Japan. The program consists of three stages: generation, checking and evaluation. First, candidates for problems are generated randomly by a prototype and ...


6

Some thoughts about puzzle time limits: You can have soft time-limits. With this, the game will not allow you to move to the next level because you didn't solve the puzzle in time, but you can still continue playing just to learn strategies, etc. Many people play puzzle based games for relaxation purposes, so it might not make sense in certain scenarios. A ...


5

You may not want to use a graph, but ultimately the problem is one of planar 6-connectedness. I challenge you to find a simpler and better-suited structure than a graph for this :) I wouldn't be intimidated by the data structure for this -- when you consider how trivial the implementation will be, it's not like you'd be writing Boost Graph Library all over ...


5

Is this game actually licensed? I see it's available under two names (perhaps even more). Does this mean the game idea can be used freely? I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice; you should consult a lawyer for proper legal advice. That said, the idea itself for the game is unlikely to be protected in any capacity as it is very difficult ...


5

I've been obsessed with all things 4D since childhood, so I am pretty thrilled to see dimension-transcending games like Miegakure and Fez (and to some extent echochrome and Hazard/Antichamber, Portal, etc.) getting attention. I think, as a community, we should definitely be "pushing the dimensional boundaries" so to speak, and for being part of that ...


5

Just start with finished puzzle, and then make let's say 10 random moves (1 for every second) of tiles to make sure the puzzle is both solvable and can be done in 10 moves. Make sure your moves don't negate previous, e.g. moving 3 tiles in "circle" or moving a tile back where it was before previous move. KISS Edit: A* is not designed to help you in solving ...


5

I added another answer for an alternative explanation of the problem. You can think of this problem as Motion Planning in the Configuration Space of the tetris piece. The Configuration Space Define the configuration of a Tetris piece to be an (x, y) location and a rotation (t). The configuration of a Tetris piece is therefore three dimensional. We can ...



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