Machine Wing, to Learn in Games


The Peiyang Digital Art Design Laboratory of Tianjin University has developed a video game,Machine Wing. The game combines education with recreation, and the players can acquire a good knowledge of mechanics while playing.

The ultimate challenge of the gameMachine Wingis to help an old family realize their long-cherished dream of making a flying robot bird to explore the unknown. Players as the mission carrier has to assemble a bird in the game, and finished a set of tasks like processing key wheel gears, selecting right gears and assembling wings of the robot bird. During the whole process, players have to learn, use and then master the knowledge of mechanical structure of flapping wings.

The game is set in industrial-style scenarios with treasure houses and metalwork factories full of working wheel gears and mechanical arms. Players have to clear levels by passing quizzes about safety concerns in machining, going adventure in maze and managing self-driving fork lifts. Moreover, the final level which is to assemblee the robot bird, specially simulates the assembly process in the real factory from a first-person perspective, offering players more direct and immersive experience.

“Those dull mechanical principles become so vivid at once that it is effortless to memorize the relevant knowledge,” recalled students who have experienced the game, “When the game is finished, you will systematically understand mechanical assembly, as if you had taken a fascinating experimental class.”

The developer of the game is a mixed team, including Qin Junnan, an animation major and now a faculty at the Art Education Center of TJU Youth League Committee, and four undergraduates of different colleges.

Machine Wingis one of our course projects for the Emerging Engineering Education,” said Li Yaozhen, one of the team members and a major of future intelligent machines and system platform from Qiushi Honors College, “The next step is to draw upon virtual reality to add more fun to the game. We hope that Machine Wing grows to be a good assistant in the classes of Emerging Engineering Education to make it easier for students to master more complicated knowledge of engineering.”

By Zhang Huiting

Editor: Eva Yin