• Posted by : Regina Hilary Monday, April 11, 2016

    DANGER – RAVINE AHEAD! IMMEDIATE BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION ESSENTIAL TO AVOID DISASTER! Viaduct Designer is a difficult physics-based, bridge-building puzzle game where you have to think deeply to find the construction skills required to design bridges that are capable of supporting the weight of a small steam locomotive. The year is 1882, and freight (cargo) is almost exclusively delivered by railroad. However, your region, Steamdom, has suddenly come under attack from very devious robots from the future. These naughty robots are destroying local bridges that enable trains to deliver important goods, food and medicine to towns in Steamdom. A hero is desperately needed to help the people of Steamdom by rebuilding the fallen bridges, and enable the little freight trains to once again reach the stations.Earn to Die 
    Now, with your next delivery train ready to depart, you play the role of the “impromptu” engineer, and must create safe bridges over treacherous ravines for the chugging freight carrier through using a clever combination of horizontal, vertical, and diagonal beams, columns and support structures. As the game name, Viaduct Designer, suggests, your ultimate goal is to build a sturdy viaduct (a bridge composed of several small-span structures used for crossing over a valley or a gorge). The catch here is that your budget is particularly restricted, and you must prudently make the most of your limited building materials.

    This highly-challenging online construction activity is a stern test of the engineering credentials of middle and high school students (and older players)! Plenty of trial and error is required as you methodically and logically link up the various support beams to form a solid, load-bearing structure. Some knowledge of or appreciation for civil engineering and structural engineering could well prove of great benefit here. Put simply – if your bridge doesn’t have all of the structural strengths that would make it stand up in real life, it won’t work here either! Beginner players and younger gamers might ask a parent, older sibling, or teacher to help them with the intricacies of bridge building. Who knows – In future years, you really could be designing high-tech bridges of the future – so just remember where your career all started one fun day on Learn4Good!
    How to Play: In each of the 10 progressively tricky levels, you must construct a solid bridge / viaduct that crosses the ravine below. You play the role of both engineer and train conductor. Press the Right Arrow Key on your computer keyboard to start the train moving, and build momentum. Once you get close to the edge of the next ravine, press Spacebar to halt your train and open the construction window to start the building process. Then, using your computer mouse or touchpad, click and drag out from the edges of the ravine to begin creating your bridge. If you drag out horizontally from ground level, thick beams are generated. However, you can also click and drag vertically and diagonally to form thinner support structures (Note that a ‘column’ is a vertical support structure, while a ‘beam’ is a horizontal or diagonal support).
    However, each beam or column costs virtual money to introduce to your structure. Each time you release a click and create a beam / column, the total cost is subtracted from your total cash flow (displayed in the top left corner of the game screen). The larger the support structure, the higher the cost. Once you are happy with your bridge or your run out of virtual funds, click on the Gold Play Arrow icon on the bottom right side to return to the train scene. Your newly constructed bridge now magically appears across the ravine. If your construction is solid, your train should safely chug across without incident (Remember to press the Right Arrow to get your train moving again). If you make it safely across, you progress to the next level. However, if your viaduct construction is faulty, it is likely to collapse under the weight of your locomotive. When needed, click on the circular arrow button at the bottom of the game screen to Restart the level. Good luck with your designs, and remember that perfection comes from constant innovation!

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