Ant Command is my master's project for Digital Media at Georgia Tech. It's a collaborative programming puzzle game meant to familiarize players with common computational concepts like defining functions, looping, recursion and conditional logic. Each player is given responsibility for programming one of the ants on the board, and must assemble a simple program of steps and turns that coordinates with other players' ants to pick up all of the food in the level.

This game follows the example of programming languages like Logo that teach programming by having students create a sequence of directions for an avatar. By making the game cooperative, it's also able to leverage collaborative learning, in which students can support each other's learning process.

I chose to implement AR because in the game's original form, planning out a sequence of steps required a certain competency in mental rotations, and I didn't want that to be a stumbling point for younger players. With AR, players are able to move and orient the camera to embody their program as they step through it. It also creates the same sense of shared physical space as a board game.

Board Game Prototype

The turn-based mechanics of Ant Command made it possible to start with a paper prototype. I constructed a board game version to test the mechanics and programming language that would be in the final game. Originally, having ants lay trails was a key mechanic, but it
was cut after users found it confusing.


DOWNLOAD     AntCommand_v1.apk