Friday Fun #3 Launchball

As it’s a holiday weekend, I’m going to do two Friday Fun posts this week; one today (a game) and one tomorrow (more of an interactive media piece ;-)

Today’s app is actually produced by the Science Museum and it’s called: launchball

launchball is essentially a ‘physics’ game. By positioning a series of blocks strategically within a room you have to configure the room so that a ball dropped into it bounces its way to the room exit. The blocks represent various things – such as springs, or fans, for instance – which act on the ball as you might expect. The room also models gravity, of course…

How is the difficulty managed across levels? To what extent are the levels designed so that the player is taught “how to play the game” by actually playing the game?

As well as playing the prepopulated levels (and there are 30 of them!) there’s also a studio where you can create your own levels.

Read more about launchball here: launchball.

Launchball was designed with education in mind, so there’s also a Teachers’ Guide to Launchball available… It also links to a particular useful Guide to the Launchball blocks.

If you do manage to create a level or two, why not write a blog post about them with a screenshot or two, or maybe even comment back here with a link so we can all have go? ;-)

Using the level designer, could you design a five to ten level game that starts from scratch (i.e. that assumes the player knows nothing about the game) and that uses the early levels to teach the player how to use 3 or 4 sorts of block , before presenting them with 3 or four increasingly difficult levels that require the particularly cunning use of those blocks? ;-)

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