Prof. Archtecto's Quest
If you think architecture is just about drawing layouts of buildings, you should take a look at the game Prof. Architecto's Quest. This learning game was created to deliver all the different aspects of architecture to younger students. Topics like light and shadow or different architectural epochs are integrated into an exciting adventure through space and time.
Players will experience the game through the perspective of a young boy who visits the lab of a professor in order to get help with his homework on writing an essay about architecture. The real story starts when the boy triggers a time machine the professor is currently working on. Through an accident the boy is transported to four different locations and time epochs. In each of these scenes the goal is to repair the time machine in order to get home again.
In Old Egypt, the time machine crashes into one of the Great Pyramids of Giza. As soon as the hero of this game escapes the pyramid by solving physics riddles and playing with spatial perspective, he has to realize that the time machine has been stolen and he must work with the locals to get it back and repaired. However, this is just the start of a journey that will take our hero through four very different places. He will visit a place somewhere in Germany in Medieval times. Again, he has to work together with the people of the nearby town in order to get the time machine back. During his journey the boy also gets stranded on an island where the laws of physics seem to be manipulated, and just when the time machine looks like it is working again, the boy will find himself in a futuristic city where an archeologist is more than interested in the ancient knowledge the boy collected on his journey. At the end of the story the boy will finally return to his home. In his luggage he will bring so many stories and knowledge about architecture that all his classmates will wonder where he learned such interesting things.
Designed as a traditional adventure game, this project's goal was to draw interest for architectural topics with younger students in school. The initial idea was formulated by the architect Bettina Gebhardt. Her interests lie in conveying the diverse aspects of architecture to interested parties and especially students. She already conducted similar projects with non-digital media. One example is the project “Staddteildetektive”, where young students discover their part of the city starting at a small scope such as their class room and then expanding the scope step by step. Prof. Architecto's Quest should now bring such ideas to the digital world. Therefore, the game does not include too many boring facts but instead plays with all kinds of architectural topics that are incorporated into the riddles the player has to solve. In that way, the game can be used as a first contact with the topic as a whole, which can be covered by teachers in subsequent classroom sessions. However, given its story-driven game design, the game should be interesting enough on its own so that no external motivation is necessary to enjoy a lesson on architecture.
Home page of Bettina Gebhardt: www.kunst-raum-bildung.de