GAME DEVELOPMENT SOFTWARE TOOLS IN HIGHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS: EXPERIENCE OF UKRAINE, TURKEY AND BULGARIA
The article features the analysis of game development software tools in higher educational institutions of Ukraine (Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi Hryhorii Skovoroda State Pedagogical University), Turkey (Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam University) and Bulgaria (Trakia University). The article highlights the results of the research conducted by teachers and students of these universities. In this research, teachers with no previous experience in this field or specialized IT skills created educational games. Free software tools that can be used to create educational games were selected for this research (Construct 3, GameMaker Studio 2, Unity, Godot Engine, Unreal Engine 4). The study included two data arrays: the first was the opinion expressed by teachers who developed educational games, and the second – that of students who tested the final game product. We analyzed free tools for creating educational games according to such criteria: the need for programming language knowledge, availability of support forums and reference materials, ability to export data to multiple platforms and in many formats, add in-app purchases or various components to each object, whether both 2D and 3D games are supported, development speed. In the Ukrainian teachers’ opinion, GameMaker Studio 2 was the most effective, while teachers in Turkey and Bulgaria preferred the Unreal Engine 4. According to research results, it is worth noting a high interest of both teachers and students in the creation and use of educational computer games. It should also be noted that these results are relevant only for specific groups under study since they are based on the individual experience of a limited number of students. However, they are significant for shaping ideas about pedagogical strategies and allow teachers to learn new information, try new types of activities and interaction.
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