[Robot Test Field] Dev Log 01

This learning material is designed to help teenagers learn Unity’s basic functions.

During the second coding lecture, a student said that my teaching method was boring. In the previous two lectures, I had taught her creating levels based on Unity’s Third Person examples, and I also suggested her to find some assets from the Unity store and then add to the level.

Unity’s Third Person examples

Before teaching her the lesson, I thought that my teaching method would be really engaging because I left room for her to create. However, during the lecture, she gave the following feedback:

“I don’t know what to do.”

“You need to control me.”

“I’m bored.”

As a game designer, it was hard to think of anything more disheartening than hearing a user say that your product is boring. After thinking for a few days, I realized that my teaching material had one vital problem – the user didn’t have a clear objective. To make a better learning material, I gave up using the examples from Unity and started designing my own game for teaching how to make games.

The student I was teaching is a huge fan on robot. Her dream is building a robot in the real world. Though I didn’t have the ability to teach her about the robot hardware, I decided to design a game with this keyword. I came up with the robot testing theme. This was a test field for new born robots to evaluate their walking, jumping, climbing and dodging abilities.

This was the first version:

There were eight detailed objectives with increasing difficulty:

  • 1. Climb the scope – Learning
  • 2. Jump across the gap
  • 3. Reset Test Field
  • 4. Dodge moving barricade (Perfect timing on movement)
  • 5. Cross narrow and curve bridge (Accurate movement)
  • 6. Auto reset test field
  • 7. Comprehensive movement test with 1 2 4 5 steps’ combination (Try to use stairs when the scope is too steep)
  • 8. Create a Start Menu

The objectives in the first version were only shown by the text. From the level design point of view, it needed more visual stuff to clarify the objectives. So, I improved the level to make the goals clear by changing colours and using flags. Also, some decorations were added to make the scene looks lovely.

This was the second version:

Comparation between first version and second version

At the beginning of the second version, I only changed the platforms’ colours. Then, I thought the colour was still not indicative, so flags were added. During the later user test, the flags worked! I noticed that teenagers’ attention was caught by flags as soon as they entered this game. One of them said: “Oh, so I need to get to that flag.” From this experience, I learned that to indicate the goal in an object, not only a vague and subconscious hint, the colourful platform, is needed. An obvious and common hint is also important.

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