Learning from the best: Gamecraft

alexalcan Viernes, 17 de Noviembre de 2017, 00:00

Ever since the appearance of the legendary Desktop Tower Defense, precursor of the most recent wave of Tower defense games (a type of strategy games) at the dawn of the XXIst century, I have been a fan of the thousand variations that this category can have.The premise is as simple as it is versatile: you place and upgrade "towers" of any sort that defend a point on the screen from increasingly numerous and powerful attackers. .

GemcraftGemcraft is a saga of games that not only implements a story, graphics and audio/music design that captivate, but has contributed so much to the genre, that it seems  no more fresh ideas are possible. Varying architecture in levels, interchangeable and mixable gems of different types/roles, traps, "spells" that can be applied directly...





But the mechanism that called my attention most powerfully, and that I noticed was the one responsible for the hours and hours left at this series' feet, was the possibility of repeating scenarios I had beaten... but increasing the difficulty by way of a combination of factors I could determine myself.

Gamecraft puntaje

In fact, if I only repeated a scenario with no changes (boring, of course), I won no points.  I could only win again if I increased the difficulty voluntarily, increasing the amount of monsters, their resistance, the speed they spawned in, etc. Then I could strive to win twice as many points or more in said stage.

But. The points that were transfered to my personal points base were NOT the total, they were the extra points in relation to my previous point record for the stage.  And if I wanted to re-try, i had to increase the difficulty yet again in order to win any points. This effectively replicated the amount of challenge using the same material, since every stage could remain attractive as along as the player wanted to improve him/herself. And it is precisely this desire which feeds our attraction to games... and which we want to foster in students. Gemcraft Victoria

Some time later, while strolling down a beach, I was musing about how to make exam repetition more attractive. I remembered this game and it's simple "more points for repeating, but only if you improve" principle. I remember sitting and furiously doing math on the sand with my finger. Thus was born the algorhythm that powers the low points/high points system in Aprendiz tests.

The most recent game in the series is Gamecraft:chasing shadows, but it's so rich in mechanics that the previous chapter serves as better introduction:

Está disponible en Steam, y lo recomiendo ampliamente.

Alejandro Alcantara

Alejandro Alcántara
CTO y fundador