The term ‘gamification’ doesn’t do the new video game Ludwig justice. It takes the most cutting-edge graphics and couples them with some of the most important lessons a student needs. The creators of Ludwig delivered a TEDx talk (below) that unveils a bit more information on why and how they built the epic game.
Most importantly, this video game is a glimpse into the future of video games. It’s certainly not the first but definitely not the last video game that makes learning, well, fun. Ludwig is currently trying to get listed on the popular Steam platform (support it here if interested) where it could reach a much larger audience.
2098. Mankind has left the Earth and is now living in space colonies. Ludwig, a research robot from a faraway civilisation and his spaceship are looking for forms of new energy. Unfortunately, mankind´s new space colonies are not listed on his interstellar maps, which results in a fatefull crash with the physis, the biggest station with a billion inhabitants. The crash does not only tear a huge hole into the physis´ protective cover, but also damages Ludwig´s spaceship badly enough for him to loose control of it and crashland on planet Earth. Now it´s a race against time.
What The Game Is About
The game tells the story of “Ludwig” – a small research robot who is on an important mission to find new forms of energy for the home planet of the Robotronics. After a long journey he finally reaches earth – just to find it abendoned. Humans exhausted nearly all energy sources and left the planet. They live in big space stations. Unfortunately Ludwig hits one of these spacestations with his spaceship and crashes down on earth. A damaged spaceship, a far away homeplanet in desperate need of energy know-how and 1 billion humans in a damaged spacestation – now it´s up to you as a player to clean up this mess!
While following the storyline Ludwig has to learn about the human technologies on earth. Starting with the most basic form of energy production – combustion – he has to advance through a techtree to find and learn about more sophisticated forms of renewable energy.
Ludwig doesn´t know anything about the laws of physics on earth (remember – he´s an alien from a far away robot civilization called the Robotronics…). So he uses his scanner to find and analyse physical phenomenons which appear in the gameworld. All the knowledge is stored in a dynamical conceptmap – the knowledgebase.
The knowledgebase is empty when you start the game. While playing, it fills step by step with new nodes. You will end up with a huge concept map of physical knowledge on renewable energies. (developed together with physics teachers and educators).
The game features 4 unique “themeworlds”. These quests in these environments are based on a specific topic (combustion, water power, wind energy, solar energy). The themeworlds are connected by the storyline.
Every themeworld features a minigame – called laboratory. A laboratory illustrates the core knowledge of the themeworld (for example: How does a pumped storage power station work? or Where should i place my windmills to get the most efficient energy output?
All this educational gameplay is nicely embedded in the storyline. The game is NOT devided into playing- and learning- or assesment elements. You always KEEP PLAYING the game!
Ludwig is designed to be fun to play (please judge for yourself but it can also be played in schools. The game comes along with a set of didactical materials for teachers to support embedding Ludwig in classes.
But the game is available right now. You can download it here. The full game is not free, but there are lots of free demos and videos so you know what you’ll be getting.