ElectrOnTheRun

 

Can learning electronics be interesting and fun? 

If you make it a game, yes.

We are living in the digital age and electronics are something we live with, not only in our computers and smartphones, we literally carry it in our pockets every day.

It just looks like magic, but it is not. It firmly relies on science and technology and, believe it or not, electronics are not so hard to master. 

ElectrOnTheRun is an interactive game which has the goal to teach basics of electronics through interactive game lessons, primarily intended to youngsters and electronic enthusiasts. 

Players should be able to learn to identify the electronic component and determine its basic properties. After that, on the basic level, players would have to place elements in the right places, in the right direction on the circuit board.

The game will combine 2D and 3D gameplay to guide players through interactive lessons/projects. Best way to understand is to present short script of the game:

Game intro is 3D animation which shows electrons on the start line. Electrons actually have no shape so they are presented as shape shifting objects  

Game would have sublevels which would engage players to solve problems and learn about conductivity and resistance of different materials, differences of potential, what is current and what is voltage etc.

 

What is innovative about this game?

Many new games and apps are intended for it’s players to learn the basics of coding, which is fine but electronics are one thing that really make the IT world tick.

Sure, you can drive a car without knowing the basic principles of mechanics but you cannot call your self expert with such limited knowledge.  

Players of ElectrOnTheRun are not forced to learn about electronics, they just play the game and learn as they move forward. This is the most natural way of learning. 

Level 1.

Battery and light bulb

Electrons are steadily aligned in conductive tube forming multilines. Behind them there is a big Minus (- sign) on the membrane and ahead is a big tunnel. 

Big neon sign says, battery is being connected, please stand by for the run in 1, 2, 3…(to 20).

Player clicks to raise the voltage which is shown on the indicator on the right, there is a red, green and yellow zone, only green zone enables the start of the electron flow. 

Minus sign ignites and pulses like speaker membrane passing waves to electrons which start pushing forward. Camera jumps forward from one electron to the next one in line with every wave push. 

Player action:

When the camera reaches the end of the tube player gets a sign to start clicking to speed up the electrones, When electrons reach the filament some of them are airborne as photons, which makes kind of the light spectacle above them, like fireworks.

If the player clicks too fast (red in indicator more than 3 sec.), “explode” effect appears and one life is lost. If a player clicks too slow, light is dim and no points are awarded. Faster clicking awards players with more points per photon, but voltage must stay in the green indicator field.

 From the start to the bulb ignited, time will tick back in the upper right corner for all levels, in this case, elapsed time should be related to the level of the battery being consumed. 

If a player lights a bulb in estimated bonus time, bonus level appears. If level time is passed, battery is depleted and life is lost. Players starts the game with 4 lives, two consecutive bonus levels or personal records can be awarded with extra life. 

Points: Every photon airborn is one point. For the level completion player gets 100 points. For Bonus level, player gets 300 points.

Bonus level:

2D presentation of circuit board shows elements such as battery, light bulb and circuit board. Player should connect all elements into the circuit and click start. Bonus points should be awarded if the player connects all the elements in a given time. 

Level 2.

Battery, resistor and the fan

Electrons are steadily aligned in conductive tube forming multilines. Behind them there is a big Minus (- sign) on the membrane and ahead is a big tunnel. 

Big neon sign says, battery is being connected, please stand by for the run in 1, 2, 3…(to 20).

Player clicks to raise the voltage which is shown on the indicator on the right, there is a red, green and yellow zone, only green zone enables the start of the electron flow. 

Minus sign ignites and pulses like speaker membrane passing waves to electrons which start pushing forward. Camera jumps forward from one electron to the next one in line with every wave push. 

Player action: Electrons rush into the narrowing which slows them down (resistor/resistance), more clicking is needed to make the steady stream. Player should keep the voltage indicator in green by clicking at the right pace. At the circuit  there will be little fan connected and running.

Points:  Every turn of the fan would be awarded with one point. Faster clicking would lead to more points, but the indicator must stay in the green field. Bonus level gives 500 points. 

2D map shows battery, circuit board and resistor with flow of electrons, giving the player to have  ampere meter readouts with or without resistor. When the player removes the resistor from circuit board flow is faster, when it is in place it slows down in 3D too.

Bonus level: Player should pick right color scheme for given Resistors resistance. 

Level 3.

Basic electronics parts: Battery, Capacitor and light bulb

Electrons are steadily aligned in conductive tube forming multilines. Behind them there is a big Minus (- sign) on the membrane and ahead is a big tunnel. Big neon sign says, battery is being connected, please stand by for the run in 1, 2, 3…

Player clicks to raise the voltage which is shown on the indicator on the right, there is a red, green and yellow zone, only green zone enables the start of the electron flow. 

Minus sign ignites and pulses like speaker membrane passing waves to electrons which start pushing forward. Camera jumps forward from one electron to the next one in line with every wave push. 

Electrons come to dropdown and are falling in varying streams, some have two lines and some have five lines of electrons, all are falling into the barrel like construction and mix and swirl downwards. 

Player action: By clicking, the player should “fill up” the capacitor, and give “voltage” to the electrones. Clicking is limited to  5 seconds. Sign”stop clicking” appears and after that voltage of the electrones should be enough to light the bulb in the circuit for at least 5 seconds. 

Points: Every second is awarded with 100 points, extra second is awarded with 200 points. 

If not enough voltage is being achieved (yellow zone) or too much voltage is being pumped in by clicking (red zone) life is lost. 

Bonus level: Player should pick the size of the capacitor according to the electrons flow, too big and it won’t be efficient on time, too small and it would drain too soon. 

 

Level 4.

Basic electronics parts: Battery, Coil and lightbulb

Electrons are steadily aligned in conductive tube forming multilines. Behind them there is a big Minus (- sign) on the membrane and ahead is a big tunnel. Big neon sign says, battery is being connected, please stand by for the run in 1, 2, 3…

Player clicks to raise the voltage which is shown on the indicator on the right, there is a red, green and yellow zone, only green zone enables the start of the electron flow. 

Minus sign ignites and pulses like speaker membrane passing waves to electrons which start pushing forward. Camera jumps forward from one electron to the next one in line with every wave push. 

Player action:

First, electrones reach a light bulb filament and the bulb ignites, the player should keep it steady glowing for 5 seconds by clicking at the right pace (green indicator). After the bulb is lit the second stage begins, the player clicks in the pace but this time the coil is in focus, the player can see an electromagnetic field around the coil which would be presented as a blue haze. Player should click in pace for 5 more seconds and the bulb slowly turns off. 

Points: Igniting the light bulb would be awarded with 100 pints, every photon airborn from the bulb would be awarded with 1 point and turning off the bulb would be awarded with 200 points. If all actions are executed in the right time, the player should be awarded with a bonus level (200 more points).

Bonus level: Player should pick right count of coils for given inductivity.

 

Level 5.

AC Generator and light bulb

Electrons are steadily aligned in conductive tube forming multilines.

Behind them there is a big L sign which changes to N sign periodically  on the membrane and ahead is tunel changing from running downward to upward also periodically in rollercoaster style, simulating sinusoid graph.

Player action:

Player clicks on the L line at the right pace to keep the indicator in green position, electrons move from left to right on the 2D scheme and forward in 3D presentation, but 3D presentation also includes roller coasters like moving up following the sinusoidal line (for 10 seconds). 

Clicking too fast (red indicator)  will lead to an “explosion” of the light bulb and too slow will not light the bulb. Faster clicking (in green) will lead to more photons airborne, which would award players with more points. 

After 10 seconds, “switch” sign is presented and the player should click on the P line to start electron flow in the opposite direction. Electrons move backward in 2D and 3D roller coaster presentation shows them moving downwards. Rules for clicking action are the same. 

Points: Every airborne photon will be awarded 1 point. Every 10 seconds the bulb is lit constantly  is awarded extra 50 points. Generator works for 60 seconds. Iif all second stage (20 seconds) pass with light bulb on, bonus level is started:

Bonus level: Electrones flaw like rollercoaster ride (sinusoide line). Player should swipe electrons stream up and down to follow the “ride” also keeping the pace with clicking on peaks and drops.  At the end of the 10 cycles, 400 bonus points are awarded.

Level 6.

AC generator diode and light bulb 

 

Player clicks on the L line at the right pace (green field in indicator) to keep the indicator in green position, electrons move from left to right on the 2D scheme and forward in 3D presentation, but 3D presentation also includes roller coasters like moving up following the sinusoidal line (for 10 seconds). Moving in this direction, when electrons reach the diode “gate” presentation in 3D or middle of diode in 2D,  they stop and can’t pass the gate. Light bulb is not lit.

“Switch” sign is presented and the player should click on the P line to start electron flow in the opposite direction. Electrons move backward in 2D and 3D roller coaster presentation shows them moving up and down in opposite directions. Rules for clicking action are the same but when electrons reach the diode gate they can pass in this (opposite) direction. Light bulb is lit and by clicking (green indicator filed) more or less photons would be airborne. 

Points: Every airborne photon will be awarded 1 point. Every 10 seconds bulb is lit constantly  is awarded extra 50 points, and if all second stage (20 seconds) pass with light bulb on, bonus level is started. Generator works for 60 seconds.

Bonus level: Player should change the polarity of the LED diode to match the polarity of the power supply (AC generator).  

Level 7.

Basic logic : Battery, Transistor and LE diode

Electrons are steadily aligned in conductive tube forming multilines. Behind them there is a big Minus (- sign) on the membrane and ahead is a big tunnel. Big neon sign says, battery is being connected, please stand by for the run in 1, 2, 3…

Electrons are moving forward just to hit the gate, but the player can see another tunnel joining the tube from the side. 

Player action: Player clicks in pace (green indicator) and the joining tunnel is starting to glow for 10 seconds until the stream reaches the transistor base and transistor “gate” is opened, flow runs through the transistor.

Second stage is presenting an electron stream running thru LE diode, Player should click in pace (green indicator) to keep it lit for 10 seconds. 

Points: Every airborne photon from LE diode will be awarded 1 point. For every stage of this level a player should be awarded 100 points. If all the stages are finished in a given time, the player should be awarded a bonus level for 500 more points. 

Bonus level: Player should combine and arrange 3 transistors and power supply to make the steady flow and ampere meter readouts.