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This Dissertation project developed a WebGL, pedagogical video game for teaching research methods used in Astrophysics to users of a website. This game specifically conveys the Transit method of exoplanet discovery through light curve analysis, as a scientific outreach project for the University of St Andrews Astronomy Research Group as an acting client. The Transit method is performed by the research group at the James Gregory Observatory in St Andrews, to discover new planets that orbit around stars other than our own sun. To achieve this, a review of literature within the field of Astrophysics is included. Furthermore, the final product aims to portray learning objectives intrinsically through game mechanics, while keeping users entertained. This means that users of the game will learn passively as they interact with different features during play. For this purpose, frameworks and taxonomies from the fields of Serious/Applied Games and Game Based Learning have been critically analyzed for their context and insight, toward informing a user-centered design process.
Dean Smith
DigitalWeapons - Programmer
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