Game Suggestions from Student Design Teams

If you follow this blog somewhat regularly, you may know that we started a software design project with a couple of alternative schools. How is that going? Thanks for asking. It’s going pretty well. The students have come up with a lot of specific suggestions, not just for improving  game play, but also recommendations of similar games to check out for ideas, and new educational content.

CROSSROADS: A game of choices

Be able to customize your character

The room search game is too “touchy” . If you move an item and let up then you can’t move it again and you lose.

The gopher game should have levels of difficulty.

Check out It’s your game , another game on risk reduction (NOTE: I did check this out and this was a very helpful suggestion because they are doing research similar to ours and I wasn’t aware of them.)

bass (the fish)FISH LAKE

You should be able to increase the speed at which the character runs. You could answer a math problem to earn a “power up” so you’d run faster. To fit in with the game, the math problem should be something about snakes, like have a table and ask what percent of the snakes are poisonous. If you got it right, that would motivate you to run faster because, hey, poisonous snakes! (Ronda is going to say, “I told you so” here because she has been suggesting this for a while and we just haven’t gotten to it yet.) That will go in the next build.

Have health points. When running or walking around in the game there should be plants that you could pick. The plants that are healthy for you should increase your health points and make you run faster. Plants that are bad for you should decrease your health points and make you slower. You could have a short video play about each plant so this part is educational, too, and you are adding learning science to the game.

There should be more stuff happening along the path. Right now, if you go up to the deer it will run away and if you step on a snake, you die but that’s it. Some other suggestions are to have a basket that if you click on it, tells you something about basket weaving. Maybe we could have some random snakes that kind of rear up and hiss at you?

Have a harder level where the snakes chase you

Put the option for “read it to me” on every page. Maybe set it so the game reads to you or not and you don’t have to click “read it to me” on every page.


If you get 1,000 points, you should be able to unlock a character, say, become a chief. (I will check with someone from Spirit Lake and see if we can include historically accurate information on how one becomes a chief.)

When shooting the buffalo and wolves, you should have a better aiming system, something like a bulls eye

You should be able to run faster when you are going to get the herbs. Have some plants along the path and if you pick up some that are good for you, then you get extra strength, can run faster – and a video plays that tells you about that plant . If you pick up some that are bad for you, it tells you about that and you go slower.

Check out the Madagascar game (I have looked at this but not played it yet. )

So … from my point of view, it’s been a very useful project so far. Hopefully the students are thinking the same.

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