UK-based 3D educational game application developer Caspian Learning will next week launch the beta for its authoring engine called Thinking Worlds
, which allows users to create, edit, play and share their own 3D learning based games.
The engine, which will be available for free download and trial
, will provide educators, learners and gamers with the tools to develop their own games for use in the classroom, at home and at work. In addition, gamers in the field of education will be able to use the engine as a way to present projects and coursework in a unique way.
To make it easy for users to get started, Caspian is making a suite of worlds and characters from its catalog of over 25 educational games available to edit, play and share with other users. In addition, the developers have made each environment and interaction highly customizable, including the ability to record and import voices and movie files into the games.
“Computer games have a potentially vital role to play in the education and development of young people.” commented Simon Bradford, Senior Lecturer in Education at Brunel University. “When learning and video games are combined, we develop games that not only educate their users but also entertain them at the same time.”
First to use the authoring tool was a group of 14 and 15-year-old students from Sunderland CLC. The children chose to create a game that dealt with bullying during the transition from primary to secondary school. The application has been so successful that it will be rolled out to 110 Primary and Secondary schools in Sunderland this month.
“The impact that this project has had on the children can not be underestimated,” commented Andy Williams, Center Manager at Sunderland CLC. “Thinking Worlds
has enabled children to develop applications for children that are innovative, inspiring and most importantly, help them to learn.”
Chris Brannigan, CEO of Caspian Learning, will be giving a presentation on design approaches in learning based games, making reference to Thinking Worlds
, at UK serious games conference Apply Serious Games
on May 24, 2006.