When people ask us about why we started 7 Generation Games, I talk about how we believed there had to be a better way. To us, that initially meant a better way to teach math and engage kids. But as 7 Generation Games has grown, our mission of doing better remains unchanged, but our definition of what that better way is has grown.
It is that continual striving which led us to develop 7 Gen Blocks.
7 Gen Blocks is an educational video game development platform which enables the creation of educational video games in a fraction of the time and fraction of the cost of creating a comparable game using current tools out there.
Our 7 Gen Blocks platform is like a game developer version of Legos, that is blocks of code can be customized and virtually “snapped” together to create an infinite number of educational games.
Faster, cheaper, easier – all sound nice, but backed by nearly $2.5 million in federal funding to develop our technology, we had to support claims with data to government agencies.
Using 7 Gen Blocks, games can be developed in a fraction of the time, compressing what once took up to a year into as little as three to four months– and it can be done by entry level developers. So, making games with Blocks costs 50 to 75% less than creating a game from scratch.
In doing so, we can provide entry into the game development market for small to mid-sized K12 publishers, education-focused nonprofits, ministries of education and other organizations to whom cost and technical skill have been barriers to entry.
7 Gen Blocks is not a platform that your 9-year-old niece can use to code a game in a weekend, but it is a developer platform that can save companies with existing curriculum lots of time and lots of money.
We built the 7 Gen Blocks platform out for in-house use to create our own games faster. We realized early on that no school was going to just buy a single game teaching multiplication at the third grade level, but instead wanted a suite of games covering multiple grades and multiple standards.
With this in mind, we set out to build more educational games and found the current platforms available lacking when it came to ways to integrate educational content and assessment – in other words, when it came to teaching and testing content knowledge. There are some incredible platforms out there for making entertainment games, but when it came to educational games the market was lacking a solution. This gap was even more glaring when it came to communities with lower-end hardware and poorer connectivity. So, we started slowly creating our own better way to build them.
Once we started building out our catalog of games, organizations started approaching us to see if we could develop games for them. And as we told them about the technology we had created to make it possible to not only build games for them, but to build quality games for them at a price they could actually afford, we started getting asked by organizations if they could use Blocks to make their own games. That became the next logical – and scalable – step.
7 Generation Games was founded as a company with a vision to make a difference in the lives of Latino, Black and Indigenous youth as well as other under-represented, underserved and overlooked communities through improving educational outcomes. Initially, we believed we could best achieve this goal through developing our own catalog of diverse and inclusive educational games.
However, as we have built out this company — and in the conception and early development of 7 Gen Blocks — we have realized that we can have an exponentially greater impact through making this platform technology available at a larger scale versus just using it for our own internal development.
As I’ve started talking more about 7 Gen Blocks, one question I’ve gotten is what does it mean for 7 Generation Games when it comes to making games.
I’m incredibly proud of the stories we’ve been entrusted to help tell and communities that we have been able to play a small role in portraying in curriculum. We’re not going to abandon that mission.
In fact, we have more games with more communities already in development. 7 Gen Blocks just makes it possible for us to do even more of that while empowering others to create their own games as well.