Type of Media: Computer Games (2 Mission Maker games)
Completed: February 2009
Created by: Stephen Richards
These are first-person 3D computer games produced using the MissionMaker game engine. They were designed to help Form Two (Grade Eight) students at SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School revise concepts related to electricity. In each game, students have to complete a couple of science-related tasks (e.g., sorting conductors and insulators). After that, they can start hunting aliens. The first game ends when the player rescues a prisoner. The second game ends when the player returns photographs of the aliens’ invasion plans to the control room.
Downloads (Right click and Save As)
- MissionPlayer: This is the free software used for running the games (www.lamwoo.edu.hk/subject/emi/player.exe)
- PlayMission files: These are the games
a) IS1 (www.lamwoo.edu.hk/subject/emi/IS1.zip)
b) IS2 (www.lamwoo.edu.hk/subject/emi/IS2.zip)
- Download the MissionPlayer software
- Install the MissionPlayer software in your computer.
- Download any PlayMission games you would like to play (right click and ‘save as’).
- Unzip the downloaded PlayMission game. (The unzipped files have the extension .PlayMission)
- To play games, it is recommended that you open each PlayMission game directly from Windows Explorer or the Desktop. The MissionPlayer software will start automatically.
The MissionMaker game engine is produced by Immersive Education (www.immersiveeducation.com/). Users can build virtual environments using preset locations, props and characters. Once you get over the limitations inherent in this approach, there is a lot you can do with the software.
For example in IS1, I produced pictures of circuit boards (such as the one in the second screen shot) using a program called Virtual Labs: Electricity (you can download a demo version orvisit the company website for a freeware version (http://web.riverdeep.net/pls/portal/url/page/RVDP) then inserted them into the games.
The following video shows IS1 being played from start to finish.
View on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGUcLynHIi4
One challenge when using MissionMaker to make games, however, is that creating the rules that govern game-play is time-consuming. Still, the rules are quite easy to set up (e.g., If Player is inside Hall3, Alien4 will Seek and Destroy Player] and no programming skills are required. The MissionMaker game engine was designed for junior secondary students, so it is relatively easy to use. The game is produced by Immesive Education (www.immersiveeducation.com/). The company’s website is often down, however (Does the company still exist?).
To make the games more exciting I added music. There are primarily loop-based compositions (built up from pre-existing sound clips) with a few parts added using a keyboard.
The first version of the games had videos, but these seemed to make the games unstable and they were always crashing.
The games were also developed as advertisements for the school’s new studio (as an example of the things students would be able to do if they joined one of the studio teams).