Learning about BODMASter

I’m not sure whether many, if any, people have tried BODMASter but I am actually quite fond of this idea. The first game that I worked on professionally was an educational title and I quite enjoyed the project. At the same time I was also studying teaching, specifically maths, and saw great potential for the use of games within schools. For this reason I’ve always wanted to make something that would be playable on the interactive whiteboards that are increasingly common. There’s also a whole host of great little games on the phone, Facebook and even Xbox that are there to test your mind and vocabularly, but few (if any) that put your numeracy skills to the test.

This led to my idea for BODMASter. Initially I considered a “Countdown” style approach where you were given several numbers and had to work out the answer adhering to the rules of BODMAS, also known as BIDMAS.  For those that have forgotten or never encountered it at school, this means Brackets, Order/Indices, Divide, Multiple, Add, Subtract and is the order that you are meant to calculate operations (ie 2+3×4 is 14, not 20). I later decided that piecing together the answer from fragments of the sum (eg 2+, 3, x4, 5-) would be a simpler UI, especially for interactive whiteboards & mobile devices. This is what the prototype shows.

If this was voted as my next game to develop I would look to create a new system for storing questions & answers as the current one is too rigid, plus I’d provide hundreds of different sums. Stick in a saving system and you have a game that can provide you with a quick mathematical puzzle to complete at the end of a lesson or whilst waiting for the bus. By “stick in a saving system”, it’ll be a lot more complex than that as the HTML5 version would require interaction with a database, something I’ve not tried before with my current software, plus the standalone version would really want to use a local file. Of course I could have the various puzzles as part of the exe project but this doesn’t really allow for new puzzles to be added. Of course if the game were to actually sell, I’d look to maintain it and keep things fresh.

Ideally I’d like to make this for Android but I don’t have the software or monies to buy it so that will wat but for now I’d develop this initially as a HTML5 game with the one mode. I’d then develop a further mode or two for the standalone version. The first would be like Countdown, effectively like the main mode but with the numbers and operators all separated. The second possibility being combining multiple sums on the same puzzle.

I know a game focused on maths is hardly something you’d sit down and play for an evening but nonetheless I hope you find the concept interesting and if you do like the idea, it is a candidate for my next full release title.