In a previous post, I described two “toys” that I will include in my educational game to provide a greater opportunity for engagement, motivation, and fun. To provide a greater challenge and connection back to the educational game, the two toys will have optional puzzles.
Puzzle 1 — Packing the Truck
This puzzle connects back to a time-management game in which players fulfill orders by pulling items off a conveyor belt and packaging them into boxes and/or crates. The next step in the process is to put the orders into a truck for delivery. Using some Tetris-like skills, the puzzle is to get a set number of orders to fit in the truck.
Puzzle 2 — Combinations
This puzzle connects back to a design toy. Players design items to be created in the factory. The puzzle is to determine how many unique products can be made with given constraints. For example, one such factory makes T-shirts. A puzzle could be that the factory currently has in stock two different colors of T-shirts in 3 different styles. They also have 8 different paint choices, but only want to use 2 or 3 colors on each shirt. How many different combinations of T-shirt colors, styles, and paint options are there?
1.3 Instructional Strategies
There are many levels to good instruction. Teachers who know their students well know when students are ready for in-depth, “heavy lifting” projects and when they need to back off for a while and do something that may appear unrelated but still has underlying educational value. Students who self educate have their own gut feeling of when they need a break. Puzzles embedded in educational computer games give players the opportunity to take a break from the “heavy lifting” project, yet still learn through seemingly unrelated challenges.