DragonBox Gauntlet / competitive mode
(sent by Mikael by email)
Here is a suggestion for DragonBox. It would be nice to have a competitive mode in DragonBox for players who have finished the "campaign". The mode should randomly generate or select a sequence of equations that the player will go through. When the player has solved the equations, the time taken would be recorded and can be shared to other players (simplest I can think of is through Facebook integration). Other players could then try to beat the recorded time with the same sequence of equations. A mathematical gauntlet of sorts.
In terms of game design this would promote solving simple equations as quickly as they can which in turn hopefully trains the player to quickly solve algebra questions. From the base game there are some mechanics that needs to be considered:
* It goes against learning at your own pace which is the point of the game, but if the mode is not available until the campaign is finished, the player should be very well aware of algebra and thus can be more competitive about it. So it is more of a "endgame" mode for advanced players.
* To encourage the players to solve the equations quicker they only need to get the box alone. Thus it is not equally important to have optimal solutions. As long as the box is alone the game would transition to the next equation.
* There are some controls that could be optimized for the mode, such as clicking on the empty boxes instead of dragging the cards to the required empty spots whenever the player needs to balance the equation out. If they've already finished the campaign then they would already know by that time that it is the same card that needs to be placed.
* Putting a timer in the UI would probably stress the player unnecessarily, which I can imagine for a child would be cruel, so the finishing time doesn't need to be present until the player has finished the sequence.
* As a consequence to not stress the player unnecessarily, posting the results to Facebook or friends that play DB should be completely optional.
Thanks for making a great game. :-) The world needs more ways to "gamify" education and I sincerely believe DragonBox is a step in the right direction for educational apps.