Mind Map + Writeup

CS 377G

My group is designing a game to help players understand how computer programs work. Specifically, in our game, variables will interact with one another to create a dynamic system that players exist within. Players collaboratively attempt to reach a goal by constructing “statements” in the form of lines of code. The main loop in our game is that players must choose a statement each turn. First, players enter with the mindset of wanting to achieve a certain goal, such as moving to a certain space on the map. Then, they will decide on the cards they play to make the statement in an attempt to achieve their goals. Players receive feedback in the form of the movement that occurs after their statement is made. They may either receive a positive feedback, which would be getting closer to their goal, or a negative feedback, which would be getting further from their goal. This feedback then changes the statements they choose and the way they choose them.

Because the game is very simple and intuitive, I would say that one of our values is simplicity. We want to help players understand how variables in a program might interact with one another in a simplistic way. As such, certain concepts will only be unlocked as players progress through “levels”. In each level, a new concept is revealed, such as a third variable that can impact how statement cards read, or special obstacles that do something if ran into. In this way, players will experience an “arc” every time they play a level for the first time as they learn game concepts from the rule book or just by experiencing the concept in play. These arcs must be experienced in order. Thus, they are sequential arcs.

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