Tails from the Tour, Part 1: IndieCade & Stanford
Before I launch into the Go Extinct! tour highlights, I just want to spotlight 2 ongoing Kickstarter campaigns highly relevant to your interests:
1) Your fellow Go Extinct! Backer, Jonathan Tweet, author of Grandmother Fish, is launching an accompanying game called Clades! As you might suspect from the name, this gorgeously illustrated game uses different mechanics than Go Extinct! to teach kids one of the most profound ideas in science: that all of life shares a common ancestor.
Jonathan and I convergently developed these games! And, underscoring one of the best things about the Kickstarter community, we have provided valuable design feedback to each other ever since 2014.
Keep the momentum going on the already-successful Clades campaign here!
2) Relatedly, stardust is the common building block connecting life to all of creation and I just got the cutest request from Bailey Harris, the 10-year old author in the father-daughter team to endorse her new book, My Name is Stardust.
Push My Name is Stardust past the final 30% to their goal here!
LA: Go Extinct! delights indie gamers at IndieCade
Leveraging modern time travel, I landed in LA hours *before* I left Brisbane, Australia and hustled over to the USC campus for the Sundance-Festival-equivalent for games, IndieCade!
Anita Tung, artist extraordinaire, helped me run two simultaneous games of Go Extinct! continuously for over 2 hours! Festival attendees eschewed avant-garde videogames, virtual reality games about rock-stars, and even a game made out of cookies to play Go Extinct!
I continue to receive the statement, "Wow, this is really fun for a family educational game!" from fellow gamers and game designers and I perceive it as one of the highest compliments possible. Educational games FTW! Anita and I were blown away by the kind, supportive, and enthusiastic reception we got at IndieCade.
Stanford: Reconnecting with the source...
Go Extinct! is a product of my cognitive dissonance stepping into a classroom where trees were seen as confusing and then stepping back into the lab where they are viewed like Rosetta Stones.
By presenting at my old Hadly Lab's weekly meeting, I got to thank the current members (many of whom were there while I was still researching/teaching at Stanford!) for their expertise, early play-testing, and tireless encouragement of Go Extinct!
I also got to discuss how the similarities between the game design and scientific processes are an untapped goldmine for more mind-blowingly fun and science-filled games.
... And re-starting the design cycle
The best part, however, was presenting a new iteration of my next game, Suddenly Cute to my labmates! This new game picks up where Go Extinct! left off to explain *HOW* evolution produces descendents so different from each other and a common ancestor.
The lab meeting ended with a bunch of scientists brainstorming mythical creatures. I'm still taking suggestions, just fyi.
Thank you all so much for making this possible.
Until next update!
Ariel & Team STEAM Galaxy