Though content heavy, this game was aimed at third grade students to assist in teaching some basic principles of insect development, while exposing them to some basic food web principles within a pond environment.
Growing Up Bug: a Dragonfly Story was conceived as an entertaining educational tool aimed at Third Graders. Framed on the idea that, 'not all insects are bad' the game took shape as a way to help students relate to insects in a positive way. To that end, a dragonfly was chosen as the main character to help demonstrate the food web on a smaller level.
Meant to reinforce taught concepts in the classroom, I spent time in the design phase finding out which elements might be useful to my own Third Grade teacher, Mrs. Terry Carlson. Though perhaps making the game a little text heavy, I tried to apply as many of these as I could, creating original illustrations, and utilizing clear photographs to help. The game portion itself was revolved around pattern recognition. Given that many of the presented pond organisms are hard to identify on their own, I wanted to get students recognizing basic movement patterns and shapes. The goal of this was that if presented with living pond water, they may already have a head start in making observations.
In all, I felt the game came together quite nicely. In reflection, however, I wish I would have had time to test the game on my desired age group. I feel the text of the game becomes cumbersome, and I would have liked to have streamlined it a bit, relying more on images and diagrams than text alone. Again, with time constraints, I was also unable to take as many pictures as I wanted, another component I felt was important for relating to the insects in their natural setting. As it stood, I barely got the code finalized before having to present the game as my graduating project. Afterwards, a single glitch in the last level nearly left this game unfinished, but with the gracious help of my mentor and professor Dr. Richard Croft, the 'bug' was worked out and finished in the form presented on this page.