Here’s a preview of improvements that will be coming to Tyto Online over the summer and for the fall semester, based on student and teacher feedback on what we can do to make Tyto Online better for your play and learning.

We will put out more complete descriptions of how to use some of these features, such as the new Progress Tracker, when it goes live. For now, enjoy this preview and let us know what you think!

Clearer Pathfinding to Objectives

One thing we were hearing from students is that it could be difficult to find your objective. While we had a “compass” style arrow pointing the way, it could be hard to understand or figure out how to make your way to exactly the right spot with it. We have therefore improved this and turned it into an arrow pathway that you can follow along that will helpfully guide you directly to your next objective!

Our new wayfinding arrow system guiding you even around objects in the game!

Along with this, we’ve made some smaller improvements like actions you can take being highlighted in more visible ways and made more visible in-game markers to show you when you got to an area to search for clues or take another action.

Improved Tracking of Content + Progression

Another thing we heard from students is they wanted to better understand where they were within a Storyline, what teacher assignments they had left, and how to find more available quests. So we’ve been re-thinking this and have come up with a new approach that merges our Module and Quest tracking together for a clearer view of their progress.

Students can now see all available Quests, and all their current Teacher Assignments on a tab in the Progress Tracker:

Here is a full mockup of the new Progress Tracker looking at a Quest, where you can even see on the left how students will be able to go through every Module and Storyline to understand exactly where they are. For example, here they are looking at the Storyline “Panic! At the Microscope” which has 4 quests, and they are looking at Quest 3, which they are currently on!

As part of this, we are also adding Storyline-specific rewards. So for example, after you’ve helped Ronan the seal feel better by solving the microplastic problem, you might earn a painting or statue of Ronan for your room. Here is some of the concept art for these new rewards. Please note, none of these are guaranteed, but if you love one please tell us in the comments so we can try to prioritize it!

See Driving Questions + Evidence Across an Entire Storyline

Something we’ve really wanted to improve for a while is the experience of collecting evidence. Currently, you are only shown all the evidence you’ve been collecting after you finish the tasks and get to the argument builder.

In the new version, players will be shown the Driving Question and all the evidence as they collect it so students can better track their progress in figuring out problems or explaining phenomena. Here’s an example from a quest:

Some knowledge is tagged as “Core Knowledge” if it’s essential to understanding the Disciplinary Core Ideas of the science standards. These are then collected and shown at the Storyline and Module level, so students can track the knowledge they are collecting as they engage in phenomena and problem solve.

Some of these will even be knowledge the students figured out themselves as they played, based on claims they argued for!

Cells to Organisms Module in the Progress Tracker, showing progression, knowledge collected, and progress on all the Storylines available.

Improved Hints & Support in Argument Builder

We’ve heard your anguish when you get stuck on an argument builder, and we’re building supports! Now, when you are getting poor/unconvincing arguments, the character you’re chatting with will help you out. It will:

  • Give you a hint after a couple incorrect attempts (with colored hint text to make it easier to notice);
  • If you get a couple more unconvincing arguments but use some correct evidence, we’ll start locking in the evidence that was relevant to help focus your argument-building (such as in the screenshot below);
  • We’ll continue this process as needed, and/or begin to give you some of the correct evidence and ask you to try to build an argument from that.

You may notice the interface has also been improved and simplified!

Stretch Goal: Play in the Web Browser

We also can’t end this post without mentioning the MOST requested feature, and something we’re working on — the ability to play right from your web browser, without the need to install the game.

We’re early in this process, so we can’t promise it will be ready for Fall, even though we hope it will be (that’s why it’s a stretch goal). We will provide more updates as we get further in this process and can more accurately estimate when it will be ready!

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