Development Tools & Basic Features
The game building tool I have chosen to use is Construct 2, used to make simple 2D HTML games. The final version will be exported as a web site.
The educational purpose of this game is to teach the molecular structure of various minerals. As such, the most high-priority functions to display in the game will be part of the mineral synthesis system, which will allow the player to construct a mineral from the elements it is composed of: SiO2 for silica, Al2O3 for corundum, Be3Al2(SiO3)6 for beryl, etc. Once the mineral has been created, it will be represented by a picture on the screen, and information about that mineral will be displayed if the player rolls over it.
Beyond the mineral synthesis system, the rest of the game functionalities are basically just to make it more interesting. The idea was to create a tower-defense type game in which the different minerals would be placed on the field, where they would act as defense turrets against waves of foes, with each mineral having a different effect. Between each wave, the player would have an opportunity to pause and create new minerals from an inventory of elements which would be provided based on their actual rarity in the earth’s crust.
Once the game is functional, I will begin adding more advanced features. These may include:
- Improved graphics and sound effects
- Menu screen
- A tutorial level
- Pause/resume functions
- Ability to save progress and resume a saved game later
- Keyboard shortcuts to various functions
- Customizable controls
- Multi-tiered element mining, where the player spends points acquired from defeating enemies in order to acquire rarer elements.
- Mineral refinement, allowing players to upgrade the base minerals they have created into commonly recognizable forms. For example, corundum could be upgraded to a ruby by adding chromium or to a blue sapphire by adding titanium.
- The ability to break down a mineral into its base elements to reuse them in building another mineral.
- The ability to increase the battle effectiveness of a mineral by upgrading it with the same materials used to construct it in the first place
- An “advanced mode”, in which the player would need to visually construct a molecule of the mineral they wish to create, in addition to knowing the chemical formula.
- Progressively increasing difficulty
- Additional content, such as new foes, minerals, levels, etc.