Imagine a teacher who wants to provide his/her students with a learning game. This approach poses a playful alternative to traditional teaching methods. However, making such a game is hard work. Like in any digital game, various disciplines are included in the creation process: game designers provide ideas and manage the whole project, artists generate content in form of images, models, sounds etc. and programmers develop a runnable game out of all the ideas and assets. Furthermore, to create a learning game, domain experts have to be included in the creation process for the resulting game to become an effective learning tool. This results in high development efforts – especially for non-professional game creators – and hinders the growing availability of learning games.
This project originated out of the observations described above. During the course of the project, various games have been developed. Some of the games follow the common way of developing learning games. Here, a game is specifically made for a certain learning content or goal. Corruptica and Prof. Architecto's Quest are prototypical examples for such games. The other sort of games directly tackles the inital problem by providing generic tools that make the creation process of adapted learning games more accessible to non-professional game creators such as teachers. They provide ready-to-use generic game scenarious that can be filled with customized learning content by domain experts. The main benefit of using such an approach in comparison to more generic authoring tools is that the creation of customized games does not involve any development effort. Among this type of games, Word Domination and Knowledge Defence offer the most functionalities and gaming experience.
Many of the games that have been developed within this project are offered on this website and are free to use for anyone.
After doing his diploma thesis about peer-to-peer networks for multiplayer games at the University of Mannheim in 2010, Philip Mildner started working as a research assistant at the Chair of Computer Science IV at the University of Mannheim. His research area expanded from the technological parts of networked games to the design and creation of serious games. Working in the educational sector himself, he identified the missing accessibility of creating custom-made learning games as a key issue for making learning games more successful. Philip Mildner then initiated the creation of several serious games with both static and dynamic serious content. He received his PhD from the University of Mannheim in 2016.