Bots! What about the learning?

Learning component

One of the projects assigned in Moses Wolfenstein’s class on Games and learning was to create an educational game. Because bots! already had a, limited, coding component I decided to use the assignment as an opportunity to work on my game. At the beginning there seemed to be several ways I could expand my game so that it could teach players coding. I had already done taken a similar approach on the project Tangibe Turtle but I wanted to try something different this time around. Influenced by the Code Hero project I tried to think of ways to make the coding aspect more explicit in Bots!. For a while, I thought of actually putting a command line into Bots! until i realized how lame it could potentially be, especially if mavis beacon didn’t teach you tying. I then thought about allowing the player to create custom action blocks by stringing simple commands together (for example, making a dash attack by combining moving and attacking). I didn’t entertain this idea for very long because I realized that balancing such a game would be a nightmare. Since I actually wanted to finish this project, I decided not to pursue this.

At this point I was a bit upset about trying to make the coding aspects of Bots! transferable to a formal setting. I then realized that it was because the core experience that I wanted to convey didn’t fit with teaching people to code. What it did fit with was making agents do cool things as they battled to the death. I was in luck, the core experience I wanted actually fit with another part of the game I wanted to develop.