October News: Book, Book, and IndieCade

What books, you ask? Well, there’s the third volume of the Learning, Education, and Games series (a.k.a. LEG3). This one will be titled, 100 Games for the Classroom, and one of those games will be Fire Tag. Each game gets a 1000 word chapter that outlines the game: rules, goals, and how to use it in a classroom setting. I’ve put more time into these thousand words than into any thousand other words I’ve ever written. In September, I submitted the third (and likely final) major revision of those words. The editor is now in the process of reading all the hundred thousand words, in preparation for publishing sometime next year.

Next, there is Exploring Matter In Space. It’s a thing! Published last Friday! And buggy. Dog. There is a whole, long, fraught story behind the development of this book – gigantic dreams cut small by budgetary realities. You know … good deeds … they just don’t pay like they used to. Even the NSTA, big as they are, with all the money that they have, is stretched thing by the ludicrously large task of advancing science education in the muddle of modern-day America. Hence, the smallish production budget for this book. This is the most expensive e-book they’ve ever made, and yet it contains barely a tenth of the interactive bits that we had hoped for. If it’s successful, maybe we can do another, bigger one. We shall see. Fingers crossed.

Editorializing aside, the end result is an interactive e-book that has a lot to love, and one major bug. As we speak, I’m working with the publisher to try and find the simplest reasonable solution. If we can get that fixed, then I’ll upgrade my status from concerned to content, and toot the book around more loudly.

IndieCade! Next weekend, IndieCade will happen. It is possibly my favorite event of the year, Halloween included. It just feels like my people. It’s a rare treat to spend time with even a few of these folks, and a once-a-year-wonder to be able to hang around with the whole kaboodle.

This year, IndieCade invited me to be their first-ever, field-trips coordinator (volunteer job). They’ve had limited field trips in each of the last two years, and wanted to take it up a notch this year. Much as I hate being an administrator, bringing kids to IndieCade is a wonderful good, so I agreed. We now have 300+ students from across SoCal coming to IndieCade to play games, make games, meet developers, and grow their understanding of what games can be and do. It’s been a highly stressful job, at least for me. But I’ve done what I can, and I think we’ve got good odds of being successful. Fingers crossed here too.

Thank you all for working with me to make this happen. All these projects – book, book, and IndieCade – are wonderful social goods with rather poor pay. To make these things possible takes a lot of time, effort, skill, and significant help from friends. Thank you.

As an extra special thanks to those of you who supported us at the $10/month level and above, I’ll be sending you two things: a signed copy of the LEG chapter, and an individual login for NSTA Press that will give you access to both Exploring Matter and the accompanying Exploring Matter Teacher’s Guide.

Again, thank you all for your support. Hope to see you at IndieCade. It’s just about the best thing ever.

– Tim