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About the Game
During the last century, the experiments in several particle accelerators have been able to expand and deepen our insight into the interior of matter. We now know that protons and neutrons, that comprise atomic nuclei, are particles composed of quarks, even more fundamental constituents. The six quarks (up, down, strange, charm, bottom, top), six leptons (electron, muon, tau and their three respective neutrinos), and the particle interactions responsible for the strong, weak and electromagnetic forces (gluon, W, Z and photon), form the current frame of subatomic particles. This scenario is very different from that taught today in high schools. The vision that all students have about the structure of matter remains to the old atomic concept.
One solution to reduce this gap of almost a century of knowledge was to create an educational game that allows players to learn the basics about the composition of matter through the task of building subatomic particles from its most fundamental constituents. Reduced to a subatomic scale, the small demiurge commands a miniature ship and one of its original mission is to capture particles using a sophisticated "energy field" and then take them to a laboratory to be analyzed.
While having fun fulfilling these missions, the player learns the concepts of elementary particles such as leptons and quarks, the composition of hadrons (mainly protons and neutrons), the concept of color charge and the strong interaction that occurs between mesons and baryons, the decay particles and notions of a subatomic scale. It is worth mentioning that this game was developed in Brazil, sponsored by SPRACE and with financial support from CNPq through the announcement of the "Project Support for Dissemination and Popularization of Science and Technology." The first version of the game was produced by the Brazilian Consultancy Company Summa Technology Business and developed by Black Widow Games Brazil.
The second version of the game was also developed in Brazil, sponsored by SPRACE and with financial support from FAPESP trough the Thematic Project nº 2013/01907-0. The second version of the game was produced and developed by Black Widow Games Brazil.
SPRACE Game Version 2
It were implemented several improvements and new features in SPRACE Game v2.0:
In addition to the four original missions, the new version has 13 new challenges available to the player as secondary missions. This feature greatly expands the scope of the game and serves as an incentive for the player to explore the learned concepts after completing the original missions.
When new secondary challenges are accomplished, the player will be rewarded with a "virtual" trophy. All the trophies are collected in the new trophy panel and the player is encouraged to keep playing and learning the concepts.
Save Intermediate Steps
The expansion of the game to a total of 17 goals (4 original missions and 13 new challenges to collect trophies) greatly increased the total content of the game, making it impossible to explore the whole game at once. For this reason, the new version allows the player to save the game at any stage and load it later to keep playing. This was the most requested feature by players of the original version.
The original game aimed the experts in computer games. The new version now offers three distinct levels of difficulty in order to make the game more accessible to people with no experience in video games, but offering the same level of challenge for the more experienced players.
The SPRACE Game v2.0 now supports the "display mode" that automatically returns to the main menu after certain downtime. This improvement was requested by the Austrian Academy of Sciences in order to facilitate the game display in scientific exhibitions and in events open to the public.
The mechanism for choosing the language has been improved complying with the request of some schoolteachers. Now the new version allows choosing the language at the very beginning of the game. All content of this new version of the game is being released in three languages: Portuguese, English and German.
Production & Development