Educational VNs - your thoughts?

A place to discuss things that aren't specific to any one creator or game.
Forum rules
Ren'Py specific questions should be posted in the Ren'Py Questions and Annoucements forum, not here.
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:18 pm

Re: Educational VNs - your thoughts?

#16 Post by bearsrcute » Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:26 pm

I don't really have much to contribute to the thread other than I really really love this idea!!!
I could see it being applied to a storyline like the main character joining science olympiad or quiz bowl or something and having the goal to compete in nationals with an more subtle additional element of the interpersonal relationships between the main character and the club members~ or something ridiculous and more fantasy-like knowledge literally equaling power or even a vn where you want to fix anomalies in history but you must first prepare yourself by studying before jumping into the past. THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS YOU COULD DO!!
*calms myself down*
I do however think for some subjects it might be better to not teach it in a visual novel format unless it's a mini game and also options become more limited depending on how educational you want your game to be and findinf a balance to make it interesting

User avatar
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1261
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:38 am
Projects: Rika
Organization: Solo (for now)
IRC Nick: Trick
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re: Educational VNs - your thoughts?

#17 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:43 pm

People are extremely supportive of educational VNs. There aren't a lot of people making them, but there are hundreds here who are very eager to play educational VNs, myself included.

If you want to, make one. Consider the first one an experiment to help learn how to do the next one right.

Looking forward to the day when a new section needs to be opened up in the forum for educational VNs.
Last edited by TrickWithAKnife on Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"We must teach them through the tools with which they are comfortable."
The #renpy IRC channel is a great place to chat with other devs. Due to the nature of IRC and timezone differences, people probably won't reply right away.

If you'd like to view or use any code from my VN PM me. All code is freely available without restriction, but also without warranty or (much) support.

User avatar
Posts: 133
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:06 am
Projects: Animal Anaesthesia (a teaching game)

Re: Educational VNs - your thoughts?

#18 Post by fluxus » Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:27 pm

As have already been said, I think the answer to those questions changes according to who the students are, and what the subject is.
People learn differently. Some remember the visual things, others process the text, logic, patterns. Young people are easiliy distracted but devours -everything- if they're presented with something that speaks to their interests. Older people will try to judge things early; is this relevant to -me-? But if it is, they can bring their full life experience to bear when solving problems during the game.

Also, any learner will only learn that which is close to his or her preexisting knowledge. With effort, it's possible to swallow a lot of theory at once, but to be able to recall and use it later it needs to be practised as well.

And.. there's different methods of learning. The theoretical 'lesson' is easiest for the teacher, in that it presents the necessary facts, and this is what is required. It's up to the students to interpret and use those facts and theories.
The other way is the more intuitive and explorative; using your knowledge of the domain, construct a laboratory the students can interact with, and draw their own conclusions. Harder for the teacher/designer, but easier for the students to get an overview of the subject in this way.

@TrickWithAKnife (1st post): Sound advice - I'm not sure I can check off all of those.. they made me think though :)

How close to the truth should an educational VN be?
In some situations, a fairytale or a myth will do. It's a simplification, but it's easier to remember.
And in others, you need at least half a page of latin.
I am working on a game seeking to (seemingly) introduce high school students to veterinary anasthesia. The deeper point of the game is that math is a relevant and useful thing to know. They need to be able to do some basic equation substitution in order to calculate the correct dosage of medication for a given animal.
All of the medication used, and the prescribed dosages are factual. If they weren't, I'm pretty sure we'd lose interest faster than a brushfire in a windy bakery. But on the other hand, we don't use the brand names for the medication. The brand names are irrelevant to what we're trying to teach. Medication is not labelled 'medetomidine', it's labelled Cepetor, Domitor, Sedamed, etc. But explaining that would be irrelevant and just bring more confusion to an already complex subject.

Would you prefer the actual facts to be presented within the story, or as an extra?
If the facts are needed in-game, present them in-game within the game context.
If they aren't needed in-game, they might make for a nice offhand remark or two but nothing more than that in-game.
As extra, you can put a 'Did you know?' section up in the main menu similar to music room or gallery for other game genres, possibly even unlocked when certain points in the game are reached. Fun facts -should- be fun, though :)

Would you like to be linked to relevant resources to further your education on the subject when you finish playing?
Personally, yes. Definitely. And I'd like those links clickable, so I wouldn't need to copy-paste them.. each extra step of effort means potentially wasted idle curiousity and opportunities :)
Everything is web-searchable these days, of course. The attraction in a little link-collection is that it's been peer-reviewed by you, aka a knowledgeable authourity on this matter.

Would you like to see original historical photographs in addition to CGs, or would you prefer to see paintings based on the photographs?
Whether or not each of those styles work depends very much on the game, subject and game design, I think.
As for my own project, it's not clear to me yet how everything will look in the end. Some things are in the hands of others. It'll be a mix of drawings. photographs and video, in part because of resource management. The artist has other things to do as well.. But also because there's a lot of photographs available. We have awesome material, so we ought to use it.
The clinic in the game will be fully drawn, though. It's very interactive, and full of so many things that if it didn't have the artist's abstraction to simplify things, it'd confuse the students needlessly.

User avatar
Posts: 388
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 6:22 pm
Completed: EVOLVEd: Echoes of the Codex War. [ASH] The Seeds of Destruction
Projects: One Night of [SNOW], Stained with Magic
Deviantart: truefaiterman
Location: Spain, and without bullfighting!

Re: Educational VNs - your thoughts?

#19 Post by truefaiterman » Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:17 pm

How close to the truth should an educational VN be?
-It mostly depends on what you want to teach, but if you're thinking about historical education I think you'd need to have very strong foundations, and also giving the player the chance to know the actual thing (point 3)

Would you prefer the actual facts to be presented within the story, or as an extra?
-I'd prefer the story to be engaging and good. As long as you have that, the real facts can be well played with.

Would you like to be linked to relevant resources to further your education on the subject when you finish playing?
-Always a plus to me, at least, I LOVE in-game glosaries and such.

Would you like to see original historical photographs in addition to CGs, or would you prefer to see paintings based on the photographs?
-It depends on the overall style: if you're using colourful anime art, don't give me photographs. A more realistic or pictorical style may work better, but once again it depends on the overall look.

I'm not sure if you have played it, but I think you may like Hakouki: Demon of the Fleeting Blosom (I think that's the name).
Artist and voice actor, trying to actually write stuff.


ArtStation portfolio
Youtube channel

Recent finished projects:

Image Image

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users