Every day, we get better


Some days, I am delighted with 7 Generation Games. Having read the research that says that a large proportion of small businesses don’t survive their first year, and a majority aren’t around five years later, the fact that we’re still here makes me happy.

Enemies in the forest

Other days, I can get a bit discouraged. Our games don’t work. The website has a problem. The rigging for the new male figure is not done. The first level needs to be rewritten using Unity 3D. So many things are not done, not perfect!

I remember a statement attributed to one of the founders of Google (which like many sources on the Internet may be completely fabricated but was interesting nonetheless).

“I wasn’t concerned about the number of users because I knew we were making Google better every day. I figured anyone who tried us a week from now instead of today was trying a better version of Google.”

That’s exactly how I feel about our games. The new Fish Lake came out this week (click here to get it!), and as with our Spirit Lake update, we’ve made huge improvements both large and small. In the first version, there were two levels (the first and fourth) that were 2-D simply because we hadn’t time to create 3-D levels and we had a deadline for having the games in the schools to collect data. Those levels are now 3-D.

 

We added more math problems. We added extra little fun activities because we knew that most of the people playing our games are kids and what kid doesn’t like to have fun.

videos

So …. after one math activity there is a 2-D game where you canoe around rocks, catch some fish and go back to your camp. It takes about a minute. We improved the graphics. We added more hints and explanations.

For example, on a problem that asks how much farther do you have to travel if you have gone 6 days and it’s a 36 day journey, if you say 1/6 of the way, a screen pops up that says,

“You answered 1/6. That is how far you have gone. The question was how much further do you have to go?”

This example is actually PART of a problem in which you figure out if you are running out of food. Another thing we have done is included more multistep problems because we want to use math in a real life context, and most real problems involve more than one step. I could go on and on, but I can’t really envision anyone sitting at their computer with their face cupped in their hands saying,“Please do!” so I’ll leave it with this.

Fish Lake Update: Better Game, Better Math

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