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Proc. of 7th Int. Conf. on Education and New Learning Technologies EDULEARN15, ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1, Barcelona, Spain, 6-8 July, 2015, pp.6943-6950.
In last two decades, educational video games have been proven as a modern platform able to enhance substantially traditional e-learning in K12 and higher education. Many recent studies demonstrate using such video games tends to be effective in helping students to obtain new knowledge and to develop useful practical skills; however, lacking free tools and platforms for creation and customization of educational games hampers their mass usage. The paper presents an open software platform for easy creation and flexible customization of video games for teaching students in any subject based on 3D mazes and embedded mini-games for assessment or fostering visual skills and creativity. Teachers can construct easily customizable mazes in their educational domain as a non-restricted hierarchical graph allowing non-linear student gameplay and, next, customize maze nodes using a property editor by shaping each node as they like and by adding multimedia content to it. Playing such maze games, students can learn new ideas, concepts and theories while exploring the customized 3D maze at each hierarchy level for finding the final maze node which may contain some special gift for them. As well, they can play several embedded mini-games for developing fine-motor brain skills, visual and spatial thinking, context-based reasoning and entrepreneurial creativity. The reported results of first field trial are very promising in terms of high appreciation by master students of the created 3D maze video games.