Now that we knew more or less how the game would operate, it was time for some software development.
I looked at several game development systems, such as Corona, but decided that since the screen would be blank, and only speakers are required, most of the features of those development systems would be useless; I would built the app the way most apps are created on iOS – using Apple’s xCode.
I started with just a straight road with a virtual fence on both sides of the road, and wrote a small program that would move the car (a small red box) on the screen, and it would respond to the movements of the iPad – turning left and right, and going faster and slower. I then added an audio library to it, so as the car got closer to the left fence, the sounds in the left speaker got louder; likewise with the right fence.
This was great for explaining the concepts of the apps to the students, and let them experience the game while it was being developed. In the next class, I had them try to drive on the road, using only their ears:
With that, we were able to design other levels. In level 3, for example, we put a chicken in the middle of the road, and the game player would have to avoid hitting the chicken. The other question was: what would happen when the car hit the fence. The choice was to lose the level, and have to restart the level, or bounce the car off of the fence, and put it somewhere. We chose the latter, since it made the game easier – the car would “bounce” to the middle of the road.
The students wanted prizes – like a pot of gold – on the road as well, and if you drive your car into a prize, you would get points. We don’t know what to do with those points yet, but that wasn’t important to the students. We started laying out each level: shape of the road, number of animals and number of prizes:
By the time we finished the class, we had all agreed that in each level, the road would be different and the items on the road would be either prizes (to be hit) or animals (to be avoided), and each item would make a sound (that would identify the item).