Monday, March 30, 2015

Water Bears

I'm so proud and excited about this new game we just released! Water Bears started out as Project GameGrid at the ETC, where it was funded by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation to create a systems thinking game. The student team worked with Kylie Peppler at Indiana University to create a pretty great prototype, that we were all pretty happy with. However, at the end of the semester, due to visa issues, the student team was unable to take it further. I was bummed to see such a promising game not get finished, so after the student team graduated, Schell Games made a deal with the students to acquire the game from them (it is ETC policy to let the students own their work). I had the idea that it could be both an educational game, but also a casual puzzle game, because it is so much fun! And we did just that. Under the able direction of Jason Pratt, and with a phenomenal team working on it, we turned it into Water Bears, and have released two different versions. First, the consumer edition, available for iPad in the appstore, but also the GlassLab edition which is integrated into the GlassLab system, which sells apps into schools. If you are a teacher who wants to use games in the classroom, you should definitely check that out. We'll see how this "dual app" strategy works -- but we are all really proud of how the game turned out. It's simple, colorful, and fun! And I hope it does well, because we have a ton of ideas for Water Bears 2!

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