Development Ideas for Educational Games
Updated: Jun 4
Get to know some cool Game Development ideas for making Educational Games for your audience.
With the Booming of the Gaming era, there is a lot of space in today’s environment for educational video games. This is first and foremost because there are already a lot of games that can teach players interesting skills. Among the Mainstream Games, The Assassin’s Creed franchise teaches history; various console and mobile games teach musical rhythm and instrument basics; even Minecraft can be said to be educational, helping players to gain skill in architecture, urban planning, and some say programming. Beyond the fact that these examples exist, meanwhile, we also live in a time when a lot of people are seeking personal education anyway! From language-learning apps to educational podcasts, to YouTube tutorials, there are lots of different resources today that people look to in order to learn new things.
With all of this considered, there’s a good argument to be made that the gaming world is ripe for some new, educational titles across any number of subjects. So we decided to present a few fun ideas game developers may want to consider.
World History Simulator
We mentioned the Assassin’s Creed series above, and for the most part, it has been one that has immersed players in different chapters of history that are quite realistic in certain ways. For the most part, though, the actual history in popular video games has been subtle. WhatCulture even did a list last year of games that “secretly” taught us history — such as Kingdom Come: Deliverance, or LA Noire.
Many of these games are terrific, but at this point, a more overt history lesson in a carefully crafted strategy game would be welcome. So our idea is simple: a mobile game in which the player takes on the role of a real-world leader or civilization and makes decisions to affect outcomes. The game should be designed such that events change based on decisions, but it should also inform players of how things really happened if and when the players deviate from reality. This way it could be a legitimate strategy simulator, but teach history in a memorable fashion at the same time.
Circuit Board Design Puzzle
For more practical lessons, we believe gamers interested in electronics and engineering would get a lot out of a circuit board design puzzle experience as well. This is an idea that comes to mind because it’s actually one some developers have already flirted with. The game Last Code touches on some vaguely similar concepts and a variety of mobile puzzle games effectively challenge players to make circuit connections.
Here too though, a more overtly educational game would likely be well-received if it were also constructed as a proper puzzle. We imagine something in between, say, an existing mobile game like Flow Free: Bridges and the actual printed circuit board design software you can find from Altium. The former is a progressive puzzle game in which levels and challenges are increasingly complex; the latter is a genuine circuit board creation program in which people can design functional electronics. Combine the two, and the result could be a challenging and realistic design simulation progressing through tasks and challenges like a normal, high-end mobile puzzle experience. It would be gripping, enjoyable, and actively educational.
Book Editor Role Play
There’s a large population of gamers that adores experiences that challenge them to excel in role-play professions and scenarios. So the idea here is actually quite simple: A player could take on the role of a book or article editor for the purpose of spotting and correcting errors (by multiple-choice if necessary) and perfecting written work. The degree to which this is done successfully would determine the success of the project and whether or not the player excels in his or her career as an editor. To make it a little more engaging, the player could perhaps live out certain aspects of real-life as well — upgrading a living situation after a bonus or salary boost, for instance.
This would likely be a surprisingly fun game for those with an interest in reading, writing, and language — as well as some who simply like role-play games. But it would also serve a real purpose. Not to take things to a dark place, but according to a BBC report in 2019, global literacy is lagging. A popular game teaching people how to recognize and correct language errors could only help!
Media Literacy Mystery
We can’t quite say that media literacy is lagging in the same way regular literacy is because it simply isn’t measured or considered in the same way. But we can agree that people often have a hard time today knowing what’s real or trustworthy online and what isn’t. It’s a difficult problem to solve, but one that people are increasingly discussing as a subject that requires education.
Some of that education could come through a video game if it were designed as a challenging and satisfying mystery. Players could learn how to track down sources online and get to the bottom of where a given story came from, all in pursuit of one mystery or another. It would be fun to play on its own for people who enjoy this sort of gameplay, but it would likely lead to at least some development of real-world skill as well.
Gamification of education can be an essential part of today’s fast-paced life and can help both children and adults gain some knowledge and skills, all while enjoying a game they love. This opens up new avenues in which learning stuff won’t be regarded as the typical “Boring” like it used to be perceived as.
There is really no limit to the potential of educational games. But in an era when it feels as if the gaming public is primed for a bit of subtle education, these are some ideas that could go a long way.
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