Interest in STEM fields is declining among American youth. At the same time, the amount of time spent playing games and consuming media is increasing. The goal of this game is to engage students in STEM fields through game development.
There are many tools designed to meet the needs of teaching game development. Even the most basic game development tools require pre-requisite knowledge that is well beyond the skillset typical of the age of when interest in STEM study paths is lost.
This game would start at the same game play standard as many popular games. The emphasis would be fun and suspension of disbelief. This is required in order to engage and retain the player. As the player progresses, the game subtly turns into a development tool. To assimilate game development knowledge, the metamorphosis would begin by first identifying general game development concepts such as barriers, sound, and balancing. After demonstrating knowledge on a topic, the player is able to apply what they’ve learned, thus customizing the game in very constrained ways.
As a player “levels up”, they gain specialized experiences in different aspects of game development. They can choose between game design, programming, and art tracks. Specialized player classes, such as a chemist, could build effects and gameplay scenarios using chemistry knowledge.
As a player progress, so will the game and the player’s ability to change the game environment and rules. At the end of the guided experience, they are dropped into a sandbox world with the knowledge of its robust editor. There are very few constraints and limitations on how players can further define the game or build new experiences.