Move your ship through challenging levels by setting your forces and directions on a timeline. Watch Newton's Laws of Motion come into play when your forces interact with each other to make your ship speed up, move diagonally, stop, and interact with all manner of crazy items and enemies. Learn more!
Tons of games use physics, but that doesn't make them able to teach people how forces actually work. The concept of two vectors combining to create a new one is a confusing thing for many young learners (and apparently adults too.) We wanted a game that let you use force and direction in a way that made it absolutely clear what was really happening.
Thus was born the timeline at the bottom of the screen. Players draw their trajectory in the level itself and then lay out each force and direction they should use to achieve that trajectory. This way, players see how different forces react and move the ship. The player hits the launch switch and watches the whole level play out according to plan. It's one of the most fun and challenging games I've had the pleasure to work on.
A Lesson Learned...
With learning games, you will constantly run into cases where you need to 'fake it' and fudge some of the facts to make the game teach what it should.
In this design, we have boost forces apply to the ship instantateously, whereas in real life force is applied over some length of time, meaning that there's a moment of acceleration and cuvature in the object's trajectory. We couldn't have that happen or the ship would slowly stop aligning to the grid and the player's trajectory, so we removed that effect. It' doesn't detract from the learning, and we were able to demonstrate the effect of acceleration in another part of the game anyway.