Yes, it’s been a while. A while in which lots of things were going on. In fact, there were so very many things going on that it was hard to find time to write about them.
Now, life hasn’t slowed any, but the writing bug has been neglected too long, so it’s time to give it some attention. Noteworthy happenings:
As of today, over 34K people have ‘licensed’ Sprout on Steam. This means that they have made their way to Steam Store page for Sprout, and clicked the (inaccurately named) “play game” button to officially add the game to their Steam library. Of those 34K people, 25K have actually installed and run the game, and 16K have finished.
Also, somewhere in all that fuss, 410 people took the time to write a review, of which 95% are positive! Which is all just plain awesome!
Serious Play Awards
New year, new awards season. Once again, I am volunteering as a judge for the Serious Play Awards. Last month, I received a share of the tabletop games, gathered up a few friends, played the games, and wrote several (lengthy) reviews. This month, the digital games will start coming in, and I’ll take time out to offer constructive feedback on those as well.
Exploring Matter, In Space!
The bulk of the book design is settled. The illustrator is illustrating, and the developers are developing, which meant it was time for me to write the next piece – the Teacher’s Guide.
While anyone can read and enjoy this book, the target audience is practicing classroom teachers. These fine folks are notoriously overworked. To help them get the most out of the book with the least amount of additional effort, I wrote a 15K word Teacher’s Guide. The guide gives background and history on some of the key ideas and experiments in the book, and offers suggestions for hands-on projects and exercises to help students understand the nature of matter.
The Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (AEOE) is the umbrella professional organization for environmental and outdoor educators in California. Basically, they’re what the name says, and they’re good people.
Some years ago, I went to their annual weekend conference. I taught a short workshop on leaves, attended a random sampling of lectures and workshops, and just generally hung out with a bunch of creative, interesting, and like-minded people. It was great.
The 2018 conference is going to be in Malibu, which is not so far from home. So when the call for presenters came out, I took time to write up several workshop ideas, and put those in the pot.
Two weeks ago, I signed a short-term contract to do initial development on a small digital game. Codename: Zebra. Very broadly, the game is promote understanding and action around agriculture, poverty, and development in Africa. This initial phase consists of research, prototyping, game design, and the creation of a vertical-slice-y tech demo in Unity. If this first phase goes well, we may then follow up with a longer contract in which Mindful Mammoth will take the game through to publication. I plan to be a little secretive on this topic, at least for a few months, until we have settled on a concrete direction.
As a special thanks to those who have supported us at the $10/month (and above) level during Feb and March, we’re sending each of you a pair of prints: near-final illustrations from the Exploring Matter e-book. Tweaks need yet be made, but these illustrations give a good preview of what the final book will look like.