Welten der Werkstoffe (Worlds of Materials) is a point-and-click adventure game for students of various engineering courses and enthusiasts of materials science. The game presents players with fun challenges that require them to draw on their basic knowledge of materials engineering to solve.

From the properties of different atomic structures to the iron-carbon diagram to steels and non-metals; materials science forms the basis of any engineering program. The point-and-click adventure Welten der Werkstoffe (Worlds of Materials) is part of the modular didactic concept of Prof. Dr. Martin Bonnet, head of the Institute for Applied Materials at TH Köln.

As part of the digitization of university education, Prof. Bonnet began in 2016 to provide free access to his lectures on the fundamentals of materials science on YouTube. In the sense of the didactic principle of Flipped Classroom, the lectures can be followed by the students as homework at home, while the classroom lessons are designed with practical exercises to apply the theoretical knowledge. The newly developed point-and-click adventure game ” Welten der Werkstoffe” (Worlds of Materials) serves as the third module of the didactic concept, in addition to the face-to-face exercises and the online lectures, to deepen the basic knowledge with the help of humorous and playful transfer exercises.

The game takes student Nicole Nickel through ten parallel dimensions in which she encounters different versions of her materials science professor. A mysterious man in black manipulated the professors in each of these worlds, keeping them from their duties. To straighten this out, players must use the knowledge gained from the ten chapters of the fundamentals lecture series. The game design closely follows the curriculum, while always picking up on the content of the previous chapters. The goal is to reach levels three (Apply) and four (Analyze) of Bloom’s Taxonomy stages. In the spirit of Open Eduction, the game, like the lectures, is made freely available. For students of the different engineering sciences at the TH Köln, who attend the elective subject Materials Science, there is the possibility to gain bonus points for the exam by finishing the game. However, this option is irrelevant for the game experience: It was explicitly designed so that it can also be played by students from other universities as well as by enthusiasts of materials science.

After its release in April 2021, the effectiveness of the didactic measure will be explored in joint research between the IWA and the CGL.