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Rewarding Investment in IF

At the beginning of the week I took a short pause from writing the content for ‘Lil Red’ (having completed ‘Reds Room’) to add a little ‘game mechanics’ to the title. With the support of Quest developer Alex Warren, ‘we’ constructed some ‘leveling code’ by creating and recording a player’s status attribute (progress) with ‘progress’ points attached to game objects. This serves two benefits, first it encourages players to invest more actively in reading and exploring the game (in search of points) and also feedbacks effective game play towards solving the game and its challenges and problems. This status attribute (progress) is then referenced against a rewards ladder, rewarding that investment in the game. Just to make this a little more ‘fun’ I have added a short 3 sec fanfare and level up image.

  1. Traveler – progress points (3)
  2. Surveyor – progress points (6)
  3. Explorer – progress points (10)
  4. Pioneer- progress points (15)
  5. Discoverer – progress points (20)
  6. Adventurer – progress points (25)
  7. Voyager – progress points (28)
  8. Buccaneer – progress points (30)
  9. Trailblazer – progress points (33)

(A later added and icons and learnt that if you are going to add icons, that you use a very pertinent file name. For example the Traveler icon image is 01traveler.png and the surveyor icon is 02surveyor,png. It just helps you id the level and the image).

What I need to learn / investigate is how structure the reward intervals, currently I plan to load the front and end three rewards on the ladder. Is this most effective? Can anyone tell me? Can anyone suggest more rungs or for the rewards ladder with a, ‘exploring’ theme? Not being a particularly expert game player myself, I have exhausted my synonyms.

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So what does this actually look like?

<changedProgress type=”script”><![CDATA[
if (player.Progress>=3) {
if (player.level=0) {
msg (“LEVEL UP – TRAVELLER”)
player.level = 1
play sound (“LVL_UP.mp3”, true, false)
picture (“LVL_UP.jpg”)
}
}
if (player.Progress>=8) {
if (player.level=1) {
msg (“Level UP – SURVEYOR”)
player.level = 2
play sound (“LVL_UP.mp3”, true, false)
}
}
if (player.Progress>=15) {
if (player.level=2) {
msg (“Level UP – EXPLORER”)
player.level = 3
play sound (“LVL_UP.mp3”, true, false)
}
}
if (player.Progress>=25) {
if (player.level=3) {
msg (“Level UP – PIONEER”)
player.level = 4
play sound (“LVL_UP.mp3”, true, false)
}
}
]]></changedProgress>
</object>

Nick Gibb’s Reminds Me Why I Struggling

In a week where I have struggled with coding IF, and learnt a lot along the way, Nick Gibb’s comments reminded me why I continue to struggle with IF. There is no doubt in my mind, no doubt whatsoever, that IF has a real education power to develop reading skills and encourage ‘reluctant readers’ to read. And, here we are only focusing on reading and playing IF (there is of course writing IF). At this point I would like to offer my thanks to Dr Don Passey with whom I spoke to this week, for his conversation and support in helping me form some of the questions rattling around in my thinking. I believe that the commitment required to playing IF, is the key to its potential for developing reading ability, not setting aside the critical thinking skills inherent in the game play. It just proving it that needed. Who knows, with Don’s help there might even be a paper by the years end. So, Nick Gibb’s comment….

One in six 11-year-olds is still struggling with reading when they leave primary school. One in ten 11-year-old boys has a reading age of seven or below. Secondary schools are forced to provide extra help and catch-up sessions when they should be introducing children to the breadth and depth of the secondary curriculum.

And children who cannot read are more likely to become disengaged and disruptive. A recent report by the Centre for Social Justice showed that between half and three-quarters of children permanently excluded from school display significant literacy problems . As the author said, “many display challenging behaviour to hide the fact that they cannot read.”

Amongst other education hot topics of course.

Go on, play IF. It is FREE, its demands your attention, you are the story, it gets you thinking, its entertaining and its online, on iOS and Android. And IF you are brave enough, download Quest and create your own IF.

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