Today Mrs. Michaelsen requested Mr. Fossum and me to play a computer game. The game, Urban Design Associates, is under development and our teacher wanted us to make a small review of it.
The site was nice: The design was practical and good looking. However, how to find and start the game wasn't obvious. After a bit of wondering, I figured out that the maps found in the category "Project: State Street" was the actual game. First there was information about the street, this was nice, but the design was boring, there was no extra scrolling device while reading the text and some places there was too much information (such as the timeline).
Next, I went to the practice map, first I didn't realize what I was supposed to do here. There should have been some kind of tutorial, although our teacher should have explained it to us before we started. When I finally figured out what to do, the difficulty was to remember the codes for different zones. This should have been placed in the screen, so that you can see it all the time, or the names of the zones should be full names rather than codes. However, it didn't take long before I remembered most of the codes.
I assume that this game is about learning to co-operate, accept different views and making compromises. This is not very obvious: When you prefer one type of zone, or ignore other zones, there should be reactions to it. Without this aspect, it becomes a city planning game, and as this it's easily beaten by SimCity 3000 and such. All in all, I find the game bad-looking, somewhat incomprehensible and plain dull.
I might post more on this subject later, but I doubt it.