In my last post I posted a power-point presentation that goes through the 9 types of interactive narrative texts and the 3 identified narrative texts that are appropriate environments to facilitate guided discovery learning in adventure games. Basically to summarize – discovery learning is this concept that allows the process of learning by doing within an environment of finding out how something is done by doing it yourself as the individual, usually with the incentive being a chain of realizations that surge motivation.
For example when you discovered how to ride a bike for the first time , the thrill did not come from the fact that you found out that you were the first person to ever ride a bicycle; that you had achieved a feat that few others have had the ability to – but that you, as the individual self, discovered that you not only have the capability to do so, but also that you had just accomplished it.
Self discovery learning is the idea that such an experience can be simulated and induced in a controlled environment, such as a classroom or game.
In the case of my text based game, part of what makes the narrative build up so rewarding is that the rigorous process which the user has to go through just to solve the first puzzle within the starting room. I designed the game so that the player is only allowed to leave the room once they have typed in the string of commands that use the correct syntax which the game follows. The reason for doing this is so that the incentive for progressing further down the story is consistent – rather than have a “I can ride a bike, woohoo!” Moment when they find the key in the first room and escape but then have a “okay great, but now what?” Moment after they leave the first room, I use the same syntax for the rest of the game to maintain consistency while at the same time adding a outlier obstacle here and there so that it’s a constant “if I just keep up this peddling speed, I won’t fall off the bike – I see a steep hill ahead, let’s figure a way to get around or over it based on what we know now.”