All of the projects that I mentioned a couple posts ago are proceeding along well (the end of the semester is always a rough time because so many things are due, but I’m excited to see how all of the final products will end up). But I thought I might write a little bit more about how Molecules in Motion is doing.
A couple of weeks ago, our class headed to the New York Hall of Science to do some prototype-testing on middle school students. We were nervous at first, because come on, let’s be honest…kids can be honest. In some cases, brutally honest (trust me, I have a sister who is in middle-school, so I know this firsthand!).
As it turned out, the students were really nice and extremely helpful. They were amazing at articulating what it was that they liked about the game, and where they thought that it could use a little work (they suggested adding music that speeds up as body activity increases, more challenging elements, and a fun narrative). And rather than being brutal, they seemed to be trying hard to be nice to us, which was sweet.
One of the great parts of the whole experience for our group was seeing how much fun the students had when they played the game and actually let themselves get into it. They tried it in groups of twos and threes, but later, we could see the whole bunch of them grouped up together, talking excitedly about what they had liked, and we definitely heard our activity get mentioned (score!).
We took lots of photos and video but in the interests of the students I’m not posting any of it online. Instead I’ll leave a couple pictures of the different splash screens that we were considering. We ended up going with the more colorful one, but at this point in the process that could always change.
Next steps: implement some of the changes that we were advised on (specifically adding supplemental materials, making the game more challenging, and beefing up on the science that’s conveyed). Also need to start implementing the Kinect code. We have to do it in these next couple of weeks because soon we’ll be back at NySci, testing our final products.