Even though our team meetings are all virtual due to current situations, we are still continuing to work on multiple off-season projects, including our Riley Game Project.
The goal of this project is to promote STEM education, mainly in kids attending elementary school. We aim to achieve this goal by improving kids’ basic math skills such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division and also by educating them about some common components of a robot such as batteries and motors.
In our first meeting, we brainstormed about what type of game we were going to make. We first thought of a simple game where robots come towards Riley (a robot character our team created) and the player must solve math equations to save Riley from being attacked. However, we quickly scrapped this idea since it clearly didn’t fit with the purpose of the Riley Book Project which is to teach kids several FIRST core values such as cooperation, coopetition, perseverance, and being able to admit that you need help. After further discussions, we decided on creating a racing game, inspired by one of our Riley Robot books, Riley Robot and the Race in Space.
Of course, it was a little difficult at first because we wanted not only to implement the characters from the book to the game, but also to design more items to improve the education of kids about robots, and at the same time make the game more fun for kids. Similarly, we thought that the designs should be improved for the game, so our players (kids) do not experience “lag” when playing the game. Because of this, we work with a resolution that we think is the best for the game, and design every object, characters, and scenes.
Thanks to all that, we finally have something; here is what the game currently looks like:
As you can see here, when the player answers the equation correctly, Riley (the character in the middle) accelerates, and when the player makes a mistake, Riley decelerates. This is how we intend to improve kids’ math skills.
Here is the results screen:
In this screen, in addition to allowing the player to see how well he/she did, he/she can obtain an item (mostly robot components) that can be used to buy new spaceships for Riley to ride. However, this system is not yet implemented. We will also add descriptions to the items to educate kids about the different components of a robot.