Graham Walters

Connect Four

Over the past week I have been developing a Connect Four game with five other students from my university. The game was for a Human Computer Interaction module we’re taking, and had to be built using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Our challenge was to build an educational game targeted for 5-8 year olds. It also had to be customisable, work on a 1024x760 tablet, have a timer function, and have audio functions.

The initial idea we came up with was to have numbers on the coins and then have the players answer questions to do with the numbers. We then refined the idea by deciding that the question should be to sum the numbers before each move, but decided it would make more sense to have the players sum the four coins they had gotten in a row. At the start of each game the players get to choose the maths problem difficulty using the Easy, Medium, Hard options.

I suggested we should have the game alternate the maths question so that after the player who got the four coins in a row has attempted the question, the second player would have an opportunity to steal the win. The game would continue to alternate the question until a player entered the correct answer, or either of them choose the give up option where neither of the players would win, but the game would show the correct answer. We decided that having the alternating feature would help motivate the children to learn their mathematics, even though they might not think it is fair.

We also added an auto rotate function which rotates the game 180 degrees after a player has taken their turn. The idea was if the players are sitting opposite each other, and playing on a tablet, the players wouldn’t have to rotate the tablet as the game would rotate for them.

Although the game is targeted at five to eight year olds, it’s great fun and you can play it here: Connect Four

GitHub repository: Connect Four

This entry was tagged Connect Four HCI University