Amplify & Preloaded

By Phil Stuart, News

In a time where the big three US educational publishers are competing to bring the best edutech packages to school districts and consumers, a new player has been quietly reinventing K-12 education.

Amplify are a US-focused Educational publisher reimagining the way teachers teach and students learn. At the heart of this ambition is a groundbreaking digital curriculum for K-12, focusing on Math, ELA and Science.

Over the past year or so, we’ve been working with Amplify to produce a series of games to be sold along this core curricula for a variety of platforms including Android and iOS.

Following Amplify’s G4C session, we thought we would share more details about our wider involvement and the awesome games we’re making for them!

A new frontier

Our brief was to design educational games linked to core-standards curriculum, but that would be played voluntarily by the kids. Each game is a unique response to the content, but share two common Preloaded principles:

  • Content is the doing – In each game the core mechanics and/or dynamics (ref: MDA framework) represent the phenomena being modelled. The ‘doing’ in the game lets the player experience the content, and the mastery of the game is analogous to the mastery of the content itself.
  • Learning for all – Each player (read ‘learner’) is different, with varying degrees of game literacy and interest. Some players will play the games over and over, whereas others will only play once or twice. As such each game is designed to accommodate this variety in engagement. Deeper play will bring deeper learning, whilst a smooth on-ramp and gentle difficulty curve allows content ‘visibility’ to all that play.

So far we’ve made games about scientific method, natural selection, the adapative and innate immune system, and geometry.

At G4C we presented two of these games; Story Cards, a hugely ambitious CCG featuring characters and authors from literature, and Crafty Cut, a Geometry-based Puzzle game which shows how 2D and 3D objects relate to each other.

Below are some early screenshots. Watch this space for the forthcoming case studies.

Strength in numbers

Due to the product’s scale of ambition, we’re part of a ‘family’ of developers representing a cross-section of learning and indie game talent, including Schell Games, Ira Fay, Zachtronics Industries, Strange Loop, Highline Games and fellow UK’er Bossa Studios.

We will be pushing individual game case studies live in the coming months, but for a detailed look at the entire output check out the Amplify booth at G4C.

Phil is the co-founder and Creative Director of Preloaded. A fanatical gamer and a champion for the power of games which do more than just entertain, he is responsible for the studio’s ‘Games with Purpose’ vision.

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