In our group game, rather than choose between designing a simulation based on behavior or designing a game with a goal state, Ben and I decided to combine the two. We designed our game “Attendance” to make players understand and use the behavior of the system in order to achieve a goal. In our game you play a caring T.A. who wants to make sure all the students are in their desks before the teacher arrives.
The timer in the center of the screen shows how long you have until the teacher arrives. Although it is hard to tell in this screenshot all the students are colored in correlation to their desks. So you must get the red student to the red desk, and the blue student to the blue desk etc.. All the students have different maxspeed and maxforce so as the player you must respond to the different behaviors of the system in order to achieve your goal.
If you succeed in getting all the students to their desks before the timer runs out the teacher (starring the lovely Angela Ferraiolo) emerges pleased to see that her students are punctual.
However if you fail in getting all the students to their desks in time Angela emerges again, only this time not so pleased and the student’s grades suffer.
The most difficult part of making this game was definitely getting the students to stop first at any desk at all, and then just to stop at their desks. I think the best way to improve on this game would be to improve the aesthetics, the simple colors on a white background leave much to be desired artificially.