About this project
A big THANK YOU to all our Backers for making this campaign a success!!
Miss the campaign but still want Go Extinct!? Curious what STEAM Galaxy is up to next? Head on over to STEAM Galaxy's website!
Learning about evolution is in your hands -- literally with this card game!
Inspired by the Go Fish we all nostalgically remember (from rainy afternoons driving our parents up the wall with unending repeat games), Go Extinct! infuses new life into the old stand-by with strategy and science.
Go Extinct! is a revolutionary evolutionary card game for humans aged 8 and up. The game set includes a deck of 54 beautifully-illustrated animal cards and a simplified, yet accurate, evolutionary tree board used for reference during play.
We have a final game prototype, a manufacturer lined up, and an awesome artist, Anita Tung, on board! We’re launching a Kickstarter campaign in order to...
1) Create more gorgeous art! Once we're successful, Anita can:
- Illustrate the remaining 21 animal cards
- Re-design the evolutionary tree so that it fits on a standard 18x18” game board
- Make a sweet box design
2) Manufacture production-quality cards, game boards, and boxes through AdMagic (the same company that manufactured Cards Against Humanity).
3) Offer teachers a free version of the game in the form of printable PDFs. Teachers interested in this can sign up here!
We also made sure to budget enough for the Kickstarter + Amazon fees as well as fulfill the other awesome backer prizes and ship it to you, wonderful Backer, you!
Expected ship date is late summer 2014.
We can’t help but agree with Zada from the video -- Go Fish was far past due for a serious upgrade.
But we didn’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater! We kept the good parts so you can start having more fun playing sooner, rather than later after a long and complicated explanation of the rules.
Just like Go Fish, gameplay involves asking other players for cards in order to complete sets of animal groups. When the player has the card requested, the card must be handed over. When the player does not, however, they say…
At the end of the game, all of the cards are organized into scientific clades, or sets of animals that share a common ancestor. By playing a strategically engaging, yet familiar style of card game, players learn about evolutionary trees and the evidence used to classify land vertebrates. See? You can compete with your friends AND have fun learning science AT THE SAME TIME.
In other words, this is how you get to know your evolutionary family: chickens are indeed dinosaurs, you are related to some pretty awesome egg-laying mammals, and we humans share more in common with mice than we do with lions.
Really? You ask. Can a game as exciting as Go Extinct! be actually, for real, is-this-on-the-test educational? Despite the fact that educational game design has a...err...lackluster history, STEAM Galaxy has discovered that learning can be fun, too!
The educational components were chosen because they enhance gameplay and player experience. For example, Chief Genius Ariel Marcy first got the idea to teach the concept of evolutionary trees this way because she recognized that the nested “sets within sets” structure of the trees would make a strategically engaging twist on Go Fish.
Furthermore, unlike the glorified multiple-choice quizzes that we’ve become accustomed to in the world of educational games, in Go Extinct! the primary learning objective is the winning strategy: to win, players must be able to identify the most recent common ancestor of different animals using an evolutionary tree.
And for our fellow educators out there, you should know that Go Extinct! aligns with multiple Next Generation Science Standards. And we laid them all out in that nice document for your convenience. You’re welcome.
Finally, Go Extinct! can be a launching point for students to create their own evolution-inspired games.
That’s why we stuck that “A” for ART smack dab in the middle of STEM. Leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics all agree -- without the arts, the human capacity for creativity is stunted, and without creativity, well...good luck solving that climate change/antibiotic resistance/what-have-you problem.
So the next time Ms. Smith has to teach her evolution unit to a classroom full of unimpressed high school freshmen, she can introduce it with an engaging game that maximizes her students’ understanding of evolutionary trees the longer they play.
Idealized Science Ditty:
Parental Warning Note: We were in college when we made this CD and we swear once or twice - be forewarned!
We are a team of people obsessed with: games, education, science, creativity, and the conviction that learning should be mind-blowingly fun.
While teaching biology as a Course Associate at Stanford University, Ariel was inspired by the idea of creating educational games in which the learning objective was embedded within the winning strategy. As an evolutionary ecologist, she also felt passionately about the rampant misconceptions surrounding evolution that prevent people from understanding what it is, and what it isn’t.
With a strategy-rich improvement on Go Fish-like mechanics, she created Go Extinct! and assembled a crack team to get the ball rolling.
Anita Tung graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and is crafting the gorgeous card illustrations for Go Extinct! We’re excited to see how her passion for “incorporating new and exciting information into her work while preserving a sense of play” comes to fruition through Go Extinct!
Charlie Chung is an education technologist who brings his extensive business and marketing chops to the team. He keeps us moving as Project Manager.
Vanessa Kerr is a former middle school teacher and a science fiction author. She is our standards-alignment expert and teacher liaison. She connected us to many of our early playtesting classroom teachers and also crafted STEAM Galaxy’s voice.
And STEAM Galaxy was born!
Risks and challenges
We have played Go Extinct! with hundreds of kids from ages 6 to 84 in a wide variety of settings including homes, classrooms, after-school programs, museums, college dorms, science lab meetings, and indie game design demos.
The response has been overwhelmingly positive. We know that it is a delightfully engaging game that can be replayed over and over.
Go Extinct! will be printed by AdMagic, the same company that did previous wildly successful Kickstarter card games like Cards Against Humanity and Story War. They do nice work, don’t they?
So we have manufacturers lined up for the game (AdMagic), t-shirts (Fairfax Screen Printing), and stickers (Zazzle). We have worked with Anita Tung, our artist, since September and she is super reliable.
The only risk we foresee is distribution of backer rewards in the event this Kickstarter goes crazy and we have a bajillion boxes to pack and send. If that (very positive!) problem arises, we will immediately engage professional fulfillment services.
We are fully committed to this project and our mission. We will stay in close contact with our backers through backer updates.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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