E-Learning and Games – Week 4

Based on photo by xandert found on morgueFile
Based on photo by xandert found on morgueFile

Link to all Weeks     Week 1     Week 2     Week 3     Week 4      Week 5     Week 6


  1. Game Mechanics
  2. Brainstorm Game Mechanics
  3. Assessment 2
  4. Feedback

Game Mechanics

Jenga, photo courtesy of: Design-Crit.com
Jenga, photo courtesy of: Design-Crit.com

Game mechanics are at the core of a game and decisive for game play. Good engaging game mechanics will make a game fun to play  or challenging and as well rewarding.

Game mechanics can be found in board games (Chess, Backgammon, Jenga) and for board games we often refer to core mechanics. Examples are:

  • Role Playing (Charades)
  • Capture & Eliminate (Chess)
  • Pattern Recognition (Chess, Rush Hour)
  • Memory (Memory)
  • Dice Rolling (Monopoly)
  • Find the extensive list below at: BoardGameGeek.com

Action / Movement Programming

Action Point Allowance System

Area Control / Area Influence

Area Enclosure

Area Movement


Auction / Bidding

Betting / Wagering

Campaign / Battle Card Driven

Card Drafting

Chit-Pull System

Co-operative Play

Commodity Speculation

Crayon Rail System

Deck / Pool Building

Dice Rolling

Grid Movement

Hand Management


Line Drawing


Modular Board



Pattern Building

Pattern Recognition

Pick-up and Deliver

Player Elimination

Point to Point Movement

Press Your Luck


Role Playing

Roll / Spin and Move

Route / Network Building

Secret Unit Deployment

Set Collection


Simultaneous Action Selection


Stock Holding


Take That

Tile Placement

Time Track



Variable Phase Order

Variable Player Powers


Worker Placement


Video games use game mechanics as well, but besides the core mechanics they are more related to aspect of digital technology.

Find an extensive list of game mechanics at Wikipedia.

We can and should list game mechanics to be able to select what game mechanics we like, but at the end of the day we need to be able to apply game mechanics to a game. This need to happen in the context of the game’s overall purpose. We will read this post: Game Mechanics and Gamification by Andrzej Marczewski on Gamasutra together to get a better idea about how to apply game mechanics.

Brainstorm Game Mechanics

We will do a brainstorm in class for potential game mechanics for the ABC learning game for children (assessment).

Look at this list of Motivators and Supporters (as found on Gamasutra’s post Game Mechanics and Gamification – link is above):

Motivators Possible Supporters
Autonomy Customisation Choice Freedom
Mastery Levels Challenges
Purpose Giving / Altruism Narrative Greater Meaning
Status Leaderboards Achievements
Social Connections Suggest similar users Cooperative “play”
Rewards Points Badges Achievements
Peer Pressure Peer review / feedback / grading systems Boasting / Bragging system Competitive “play”
Avoidance Lose Points Lose Status Game Over
Scarcity Exclusive / Unique Rewards Reward Schedules
Fun! Real Games Quiz’s Competitions
Screenshot of Writing Wizard, courtesy of AppsPlayground.com
Screenshot of Writing Wizard, courtesy of AppsPlayground.com
Screenshot of Endless Alphabet 2, courtesy of AppsPlayground.com
Screenshot of Endless Alphabet 2, courtesy of AppsPlayground.com

Use 3 motivators from the list above and brainstorm game mechanics for the e-game for your assignment (prep-children recognising letters of the alphabet).

List the factors:

  • Desired Behaviour (eg blow away sand to reveal a letter – find the same letter in a list of letters and click on it)
  • Motivation (Mastery: Learning the letters of the alphabet; Status: receiving a badge, star, completing a level)
  • Supporters (for mastery: being able to read; for status: having your score displayed, completing a series – eg a series of green frogs)

Assessment 2

Assessment 2 – E-Game


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