This week’s Articulate challenge is to create a learning game for kids. What’s not to like about this one?
The only problem was coming up with an idea. I messed around with math and word games, then starting building a camping game, but wasn’t happy with any of it.
I finally realized that unless the game emulated a situation where a kid really needed to apply some knowledge, I wasn’t going to like it and neither would the kid. This scenario reminds me of my wonderful brother Bryan who was always finding treasures and wondering if he had enough money to buy them, but it applies to any kid – large or small.
The Intro: I wanted to ease you into the situation rather than unceremoniously drop you at a cupcake shop. Grandma supplies the money and the mission. The rest is up to you.
The Design: I kept the design pretty flat. I also wanted it to be playable on a tablet, so kept it simple and clean. Using a drag-and-drop, avoiding hover states, and keeping images large enough to easily tap and move with fingers were also part of my mobile-friendly plan.
The Challenge: I didn’t want there to be an on-screen calculator that showed how much money would be left after each cupcake was chosen. Those don’t exist in real cupcake shops, so why supply one here?
My Wish List: What I would love to do is supply feedback that goes over the math of what they just spent and ask them how much change they have left. I’d also love to make it so that if they chose to spend a smaller amount – buying just one cupcake, for example – they could save that money and take it with them to the next challenge. I’d want them to go to the movies, a fast food restaurant, an arcade, etc., and be met with different challenges in each location.
Too Much to Mention: There’s lots more that went into this one – from the variables and conditional triggers to the images, fonts, and pictograms – but if I go into all that we’d just be burning daylight, and you need to go buy some cupcakes! (But feel free to ask me questions.)