The Natural Europe Educational Games Suite enables you to create mobile games, which visitors can download and play on their own smartphones.
The MuseumExplorer is a mobile app where users can download and play educational games created with the Natural Europe Educational Games Suite. Each game is tied to a specific museum and contains a selection of quizzes concerning the museums exhibits. Each quiz also contains location information and a map to help the player locate the exhibit. In order to solve all quizzes correctly the visitor must observe the exhibits and their related information closely. The goal is to encourage the visitor to engage with the exhibits and to avoid isolating the game from the museum’s exhibition. After finishing a game, users are presented a performance-dependent feedback.
The NE.Designer is the authoring environment for the game creation. It offers several templates for individual quizzes, such as Puzzle or Multiple-Choice-Quiz. It also offers a pool of digital museum exhibits such as images, videos and text, which can be used to supply content. These media objects are being supplied by the NaturalEurope Federated Service; a repository containing a variety of Cultural Heritage Objects (CHOs) from several European Natural History Museums. After creating a game, it can be either published and made available on our servers or downloaded in ZIP format to be made available elsewhere.
The NE.Designer primarily targets museum educators and teachers and does not require any programming skills in order to create a game. Games can be compiled easily using the integrated templates and filled with content from the CulturalHeritage Objects. Each quiz can also be previewed to see how it will look in the MuseumExplorer app.
The NE.Designer was implemented as a web-application and therefore can be used on any operating system without the need of a local installation. The light-weight location-based component contained in the games does not require any additional hardware: Individual quizzes inside a game can be tied to specific rooms inside a museum and a map can be added to help the player locating the room. For visitors to play a game not even an internet connection is required; once they have downloaded a game unto their smartphone the connection is no longer needed.
The MuseumExplorer runs on any device running Android 2.3 or higher. The NE.Designer is browser-based and is best run with Firefox or Chrome
Both tools are free for non-commercial use and can be found under the following address: http://naturaleurope.fit.fraunhofer.de/nedesigner/
The Natural Europe Educational Games were developed during the course of the ICT-PSP project Natural Europe. The structural foundation of the suite is based on the TOTEM framework, which was also developed by Fraunhofer FIT.