Escape from Centauri 7™ is a PC game designed for the Windows XP platform (it is also compatible with Windows Vista and Windows 7), and supports multi-player game play over a local area network. The game’s narrative, set in the 23rd century, places players in the roles of interplanetary explorers who are stranded on an alien planet— the titular Centauri 7. Finding an immense coilgun near their crash site, they devise a plan to use it to fire a distress beacon into space, but to do so, they must provide it with power by activating an alien power network by using a variety of alien devices, which operate according to the principles of electromagnetism.
The game is divided into four modes of play:
a. Story Mode:
This is the primary mode, driven by the game narrative and consisting of 10 levels that gradually introduce learners to various concepts while presenting them with increasingly more challenging puzzles to solve. Each level can be played by up to four players.
b. Time Attack Mode:
In this mode, players can re-play levels that they have completed in Story Mode with the added challenge of a time limit. This allows players to challenge themselves further to come up with the most efficient possible solution to a level’s puzzles.
c. Sandbox Mode:
This is an open-ended, goalless mode where players are free to experiment with different combinations of particles and electromagnetic fields.
d. Team Battle Mode:
This mode allows two teams of up to four players each to compete against each other to either activate a coil gun inside their base before the other team does so, or to disable the other team’s power generator.
2. Learning activities
To guide the students in the process of making sense of the phenomena they encounter in the game, learning activities are designed and structured around the game play. These serve to scaffold the students’ learning of the key physics concepts underlying the interactions they experience in the game. Learning activities involving group discussions and presentations are also involved. By engaging in such dialogic discussions, students articulate and concretize their thoughts in the process of negotiating meaning with their peers.
Click here to see a list of publications based on this learning programme.