While many ideas have spilled over from the video gaming world into the world of learning, we thought we’d take a look at the return journey, to see how learning works in gaming.
At Digital Balance, many members of the team are avid gamers, as you’ve probably noticed from our frequent blogs featuring our top 10 lists to more focused looks at certain games. Currently a few members of the team are enjoying the online world of The Division.
Ubisoft’s The Division is set in a not-too-distant future Manhattan, years after a devastating virus has forced the remaining civilisation into safe-zones across the world and out of their homes. As a member of The Division, a splinter-cell, highly-trained military force, you’re tasked with restoring Manhattan’s infrastructure and removing hostel gangs from the streets as you go.
While it may sound like the game is just another mindless shooter, the co-op element and difficult nature of the gameplay means players have to learn to adapt to their ever changing world around them and work together to achieve results. A simple, blind run-and-gun approach will not work in The Division, flanking tactics and varied roles within the team are the only ways to succeed as most enemies will take several magazines of ammunition to take down.
Learning to Adapt
Like most objective based games, players have to work through a defending force to proceed to their objective, this force usually varies in waves of increasingly tougher enemies that need to be dispatched. With each wave there are different threats, each with their own special abilities ranging from axe men who will rush towards you uncontrollably, to cumbersome, armoured flamers who wield deadly flame throwers.
Players learn quickly that trying to rush at multiple enemies, only ends in failure. In most case’s Digital Balance’s Division team involves three players, each with their own role.
First we have the soldier role who provides extreme fire power with the help of their special automated turret and high powered machine guns. This soldier role also carries a pulse scanner, which helps identify the surrounding enemies for the other players, making it much easier to determine when the battle is done.
Second is the sniper. The sniper sits a little further back than the other players and uses an extremely high powered sniper rifle with scope. The sniper is vunerable to close range attacks so staying back helps ensure they don’t get taken out by an axe man or other enemy who’s made their way through the initial assault.
Finally, we have the support medic. This role provides additional fire power support with the soldier and also provides health regeneration to the team through their special health pack skill.
By learning to combine these roles, the Digital Balance team have been able to increase their success rate in completing missions, even those meant for higher level players.
Loot, Glorious Loot
The Division keeps its players hooked with it’s loot rewards which are usually dished out once a tough enemy is destroyed. The promise of higher powered weapons and new gear is extremly enticing to players and is the main driving force to complete missions.
Rewarding players is an excellent method of keeping them interested, whether it be with tools to better equip them for the ‘missions’ ahead, or with medals, badges or other pieces of flare they can show off their achievements. At Digital Balance we use similar reward solutions in our Learning Management projects for lots of our clients and they’ve proved very successful in keeping users hooked and coming back for more.