Easter Eggs (Not the Holiday Kind)

We spent our Easter working on Easter eggs. No, not the pastel left by a bunny kind. This kind. (Easter eggs being a gaming term that refers to an intentional hidden feature in a video game.) We wanted to add an element of the unexpected into the game. After all, that’s what makes life exciting.

We want our game to be multi-dimensional beyond just the 3D graphics. We want students to be engaged. We’ve worked to do that in a number of ways.

First, there’s the fact that we make math practical. It’s not just “What’s 3 x 8?” It’s “You have three sick family members. Each person needs eight herbs or they’ll all die. How many herbs do you need to pick?”

In which approach do you find a more engaging presentation? Enough said. Suddenly math has a purpose. It’s not just some boring thing kids feel forced to memorize. And yes, the hunting scenes are always a favorite. But after a round or two, kids know to expect that scene. That doesn’t mean they don’t like the challenge of it, but they know it’s coming. We don’t want to be boring and formulaic.

The Easter eggs serve a two-fold purpose. Not only to they give us the opportunity to mix things up when it comes to the game, but they’re also a perfect tool for further incorporating the elements of Native American culture that we’re committed to portraying.

From the Dakota concept of family to the traditional practice of counting coup to the Sioux’s belief in the afterlife, we’re able to incorporate these brief lessons into our game in a way that further engages our users. We’re also working to engage Native mythology into our Easter eggs.

The only thing a player should not expect in our Easter eggs is cheat codes. You don’t get to skip multiplication because you stumbled over a rock when you were exploring off the path.

To be fair, we also spent some of our Easter morning hunting for the more traditional Easter eggs as well. Followed by a lovely Easter breakfast of Peeps enjoyed by two of our future interns.