MyCreature is a game which links the subject of genetics, education and entertainment in an innovative model inspired by popular in the mid-90s. Tamagotchi toys. At the very beginning, the user gets a set of elements and his task is to combine them in order to construct a creature. At this moment a unique gene pool is generated which will later decide on the development of the creature, its appearance, character and skills. As the creature goes through different stages of development, the user has to take care of it. This includes both a very basic activities such as feeding, cleaning, playing with the creature and these more demanding: teaching and training of the skills. Each of the stages has an influence on the creature and its abilities. Our friend at any time may become ill due to bacteria, viruses or genetically transmitted diseases. In such situations the player himself must decide on what drugs to use. The wrong choice, however, has its consequences. This problem is dealt with in our educational aspect. We want to raise the awareness of the students about the appropriate application of drugs and their side effects.
Another important educational element of our game is learning. It is obvious that children have negative associations with learning as they are usually forced by their teachers and parents to read long chapters from the course book and learn the material by heart. We want to encourage pupils to learn through fun and that is the main aim of our project.
Children can extend their knowledge in different fields: genetics, physics, biology in an anxiety-free atmosphere. We have no doubts that it will transform ‘learning under the pressure’ associated with school into a pleasant self-education. The knowledge is checked by some quizzes later on and the process of learning is rewarded: new skills for our creature are unlocked. For example: after the basic course on the electricity the user can get an extra skill for his creature- electric shock which can be used against opponents in Multiplayer mode. In this way our game combines the elements of classical RPG and development of the character through real knowledge. What is more, we have consulted the experts and we are going to involve the teachers into our project. Our idea is following: we want create a classroom in the game which will be under the supervision of a teacher. Children can sign up for this classroom and develop their characters under the watchful eye of the educator. The teacher can reward the students both for their knowledge and good behaviour or traits. He can, for example, give additional points or extra achievements. This idea could bring many positive results. Children would be motivated to learn and self-develop. Teachers, on the other hand, could improve their relationship with students and even discover their hidden talents.
Another significant element of MyCreature is Multiplayer mode available due to the NFC technology and QR code scanning. In this way the creatures can move from one device to another. The users can play and train together or fight with each other. This mode also enables reproduction. The offspring combine the genes of both parents and inherit their traits and skills. After the death of a creature we can take care of its child or create a completely new character. Additionally, every player has his own personalized room in the ‘cloud’ where he can chat via a creature with other players or just boast about gained items. In the course of the game, in various situations, the user can earn achievements for which he is rewarded. What is more, the players can exchange the items and even their creatures.
To sum up, MyCreature comprises education, responsibility, interaction and a lot of fun which are merged into a unique and innovative model.
Whole project was created by TheSpawners team, which squad was: Michał Sondej, Dominika Kusy, Marcin Szetela and me as team leader. Thanks to this project, we took 2nd place in Imagine Cup 2014 in national stage of Games category.