Developing/Designing an Educational Game For Leeds Montessori School

10,000 3,000

Topic Description

The objective of this report was to design and build (to at least prototype standard) an educational game specifically for Leeds Montessori School. Research was carried out on current theories of both standard computer game design and educational computer game design, as well as on the Montessori method of teaching. A software engineering methodology was chosen to provide the structure of the design process. Semi-structured interviews were performed as well as a review of a small selection of software currently available at Leeds Montessori School in order to build a list of user requirements. These
requirements were then taken into the design stage where the basic concepts for the game were decided. A prototype game, Billy the Sheep, was then built in Java and evaluated against experts design recommendations and the list of user requirements.
The following was achieved in this project:
• Evaluation of current recommendations of educational game design.
• Evaluation of development methodologies relevant to the design of an educational game.
• Requirements gathering from interviews with the senior staff/owners at Leeds
Montessori School.
• The design of Billy the Sheep with the design based on conceptual and physical aspects.
• The development of a prototype game using Java.
• Evaluation of the game against design recommendations and list of user requirements.

Table Of Contents
1. Introduction
1.1 Problem Definition 1
1.2 Project Aims and Objectives 1
1.3 Minimum Requirements 1
1.4 Deliverables 2
1.5 Schedule 2
2. Education, Computers, and Edutainment
2.1 The Montessori Method. 4
2.2 What is a computer game? 6
2.3 Edutainment 7
3. Selection of a Methodology
3.1 The Concept of Users 9
3.2 The Role of Children in the Design Process 9
3.3 Criteria for choosing a design methodology. 10
3.4 Analysis of Design Methodologies 10
3.5 Choosing a Design Methodology 14
3.6 Development Environment 15
3.7 Conclusion 15
4. User Requirements Capture and Analysis
4.1 Standards for User Requirements Analysis 17
4.2 Background to the System 18
4.3 The Human Centered Development Process 19
4.4 Stakeholder Requirements 19
4.5 Generation of Stakeholder Requirements 21
4.6 List of Stakeholder Requirements 23
4.7 Conclusions 25
5. The Design
5.1 The Basic Idea 26
5.2 The Storyline 27
5.3 Graphics 28
5.4 Controls 28
5.5 The Play Mode 29
5.6 Sound 29
5.7 The Flow 29
5.8 The Code Structure 30
6. The Prototype
6.1 Screen Shots and Explaination 31
6.2 Evaluation of Prototype 37
7. Evaluation
7.1 Evaluation of Minimum Requirements 42
7.2 Evaluation of Stages of Project 43
7.3 Comparison with Similar Games 44
7.4 Suggestions For Further Work 46
References 47
Appendix A – Reflection on Project 50
Appendix B – Interview Transcripts (user Requirements Analysis)