CodyCube was a project in the Physical Computer and Interaction Design Studio course at UQ. In the semester of 2015, the studio focused on the creation of playful interactions. I was part of a group formed by two multimedia and two interaction design students. We had the task to create a mixed reality environment for learning to code.
We used our personal experience as students struggling to understand programming concepts. We built a multiplayer game for year 6 students with no programming knowledge.
After doing research, we learned that video games are a great tool for education. Through design sessions, we created an obstacle course video game that used programming concepts to play.
Our goal was to achieve that students learn programming concepts through:
- Engagement through a physical object
- Fun and playfulness
We used basic programming statements like IF, OR, AND, and ELSE. We built 3 wireless cube controllers using Arduinos and 3D printers. Each controller had the programming statements on the cube faces. Students were able to construct programming rules to move their spaceship between planets. The multiplayer video game was programmed in Unity.
I was in charge of the user experience and user testing and built one of the controllers. I conducted user testing sessions recruiting young adult participants with no programming knowledge. I used low fidelity prototypes with “Wizard of Oz” functionality with paper prototypes. The goal of these sessions was to test the concept, the interactions and the usability of the controllers.
We created the game to be educational with hopes to be used in real classrooms. It was necessary to include in the stakeholder's group professionals in education. I ran workshops to evaluate the game among education students from UQ. We needed fresh eyes from future educators. We wanted to learn the scope and constraints or our concept in real settings. The session involved participants interacting with low fidelity prototypes as players. While others were supervising players progress as educators.