Friday Fun #5 Newtoon Physics Game

This week’s Friday Fun application is a physics game creator called Newtoon.

Get it from here:
Newtoon microgame editor

Newtoon games have two components: balls and springs. Balls can be connected to springs by dragging the end of a spring into the centre of a ball.

When in Setup mode, items can be dragged onto the canvas from the library, and configured from a properties panel that is opened by clicking on the item. Each ball can be configured as a hazard, token or goal. The aim of the game is to move the Token to the Goal, avoiding the Hazards as you do so.

Spring properties can also be modified:

As can the properties of the environment:

By experimenting with the different placement of game objects, and different configurations of physical properties (gravity, charge, friction, and so on) the game can be made or less challenging, and require a greater or lesser understanding of the action of the particular physical effects (such as like charges repelling, or different charges attracting).

Understanding how to negotiate a particular obstacle course can be explored by running the game in experiment mode, and seeing how the various forces are acting:

I haven’t managed to find any documentation for Newtoon – the idea it to just play and experiment with it – but if you do find yourself taking notes on how to create a compelling Newtoon game, then why not add them as a comment here, or post a link to them if you publish them elsewhere on the web…

Newtoon was developed using the Java programming language, so it should run on Macs as well as PCs, and even some mobile phones. (If you donlt already have Java installed on your computer, you should be prompted to install it. If not, you can download and install it from here: Java Web Start Download.)

Newtoon was originally developed as an educational game creation application designed to engage learners in the joy of physics :-) (You can read a review of how well it fared here: Learning Science Socially Through game Creation: a case study of the Newtoon Prototype)

To be able to save a game, you will need to register for an account on the Soda website. Once you have saved several games, you will be able to aggregate several of them as separate levels in a single, multiple level game using the Newtoon gamestack.

Games can be uploaded to, and shared from, the Soda website. If you do create a game and manage to share it, please post a link to the game in the comments below.

Here’s the link again: Newtoon microgame editor

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