Learn While Playing - Base2 Created a Game that Builds Programming Skills
A lot of beginners can feel intimidated when they're learning how to code. But learning through games can be fun and more effective. Zaal Janikasvili, CEO of Base 2, talked to CBW about his startup and gamification of the learning process:
I have been teaching programming for 4 years and the interest in it among teenagers is quite high, but this formal teaching process is not as effective as it is among adults.
We probably all face the problem of teenagers when they want to spend a lot of time on their phones and their parents try to set a limit in some way. Observing this problem, we came up with the idea to create a mobile puzzle game. The teenager is learning the basics of programming while having fun, and the parents are happy since their children aren't wasting time anymore.
At first, we came up with fun puzzles, draw them on sheets of paper, and gave them to students to solve to ensure the validity of our product. Taking into account the received feedback, we have already started working on prototype development.
What’s the process like for creating an educational puzzle game?
The work process largely depends on our creativity, first of all, we create a syllabus of what the player should learn after completing the tour, then we start thinking about which gamification elements to add to the learning theme to make the game immersive and interesting. It can be any UI/UX solution and/or a new unique puzzle. We also have to adapt existing puzzles to our system, because in some cases it logically matches and it's just the transfer type that needs to be changed.
Along with this, we often meet and inform our customers about current updates and we receive feedback to adapt our game to them as much as possible. Only then does it begin drawing/coding the game directly.
What's the main goal you try to achieve with Base2?
At the initial stage, the main challenge was to establish the validity of our teaching method, we wanted to be sure of how it works and how effective it is. We were conducting negotiations with the Ministry of Education, which expressed its trust in us and gave us the opportunity to be actively involved in the development of adolescents.
The main goal is that learning through games becomes the main standard in education and that adults can get an education through their favorite activity - playing. We believe that the future of education is in video games and we will be able to establish this method of education - learn while playing!
What is the game’s current stage of development, and what lies ahead?
With a small grant from GITA, we created a game prototype, received feedback from the local audience, and presented it at the Game Dev Summer Summit in Estonia, where experienced game developers gave us advice and shared their experiences.
Now we are participating in the pre-acceleration program of impact hub Tbilisi, within the framework of which we are working on refining the business plan, branding, and pitch deck. We also plan to complete the MVP version of the game. We are currently in the Pre-Seed stage as a startup; we are actively searching for investments and funding for our startup.