Snaring Rabbits

What is the calorie content of the average rabbit?

When I was in graduate school studying multivariate statistics, I never guessed this would be one of the questions I’d ask in a typical work day.


As part of our look into what a game developer does all day, I’m going to be posting some of my daily tasks here for the next few weeks. We also have sent schools links for students to see some of the changes to the game as they happen.

This week, I am making improvements to the Fish Lake game based on our feedback from teachers and students. The teachers would like more math in the game, particularly more explanation of math concepts like that equivalent fractions can be of different shapes and have different denominators. I already added another 8 web pages and a video clip about how one-half is fair.

Here is my challenge for today …

Right now, Level 3 ends with a tic-tac-toe game with rabbits. You can see it here. That isn’t fooling anyone, though. It looks like a game but it is really a math quiz. At the beginning of level 4, there is more math, and then the player goes back to the 3-D and goes on a  deer hunt.

We want the game to have a mix of mathematics and game play. At the end of level 3, we have a lot of math bunched together. I want to break it up with some simple game play in between before we go back to the main 3-D game.

So … I started on a game where they snare rabbits. It is super-rough draft, I started on it today modifying an existing game we have and then I got pulled away to do something else. Take a look at it now and next week when I get back to it, I can point out some of the changes. One of the cool things it will do is the food count will actually equal the calories for each thing you get. Berries are 5. A rabbit is 1,000.

That “I got pulled away”, that’s also part of working in a small company. Our first game, Spirit Lake, is going to have a new version going to the schools soon and we decided that was higher priority.

I’m going to quit this blog now so I can go back to Spirit Lake. I’ll write a bit about that next time so you can see some of the very different parts that go into making a computer game, especially one that is educational.