## Tuesday, December 30, 2014

### Bounty Hunter: Rise Up and Run

I have this game that helps students with the concept of slope.  I can't count the times in my career where I have reminded students the slope is rise over run.  I have tried to help them make the connection between rise over run with the change in y over the change in x with the slope formula.  My methods include lecture, worksheets, activities, projects, and finally games.

This is what the paper prototype looks like and what students have been using in my classroom to play Bounty Hunter:

Bounty Hunter: Rise Up and Run, is the first game that I created that wasn't quiz-based.  In other words the game is not where a students gets to do something if he answers a question correctly.  Bounty Hunter was just the beginning for me.  I have created more and some I have shared here on this blog.  Games such as Domain Rangers, Conic Capture, Polynomial Pirates, A River Runs Through It, Tornado Inequality, Snakes on a Coordinate Plane, etc.  But I've run into a few problems with sharing these games:

1) It's time consuming for other teachers to recreate my games in their classroom.
2) It's expensive for other teachers to recreate my games in their classrooms (for some games).
3) It's difficult to explain all the rules for some of my games.
4) It's difficult to teach a room full of students how to play a board game.
5) I'm running out of storage room for all of my games, and you might be as well if you're making them too.
6) I (we) lose a lot of class time going over rules before even getting to the actual learning part of the game.

That's quite a few hurdles to overcome. But I can think of one way to scale them; make the games digital.

I was hopeful back in 2011 when a small computer gaming company wanted to write an SBIG grant to make a digital version of Bounty Hunter.  For whatever reason, that grant was never meant to be and I was back to square one.  I started looking around for a programmer to take on my game and I was told that I would need the likes of \$30,000 to make that happen.  Things did not look good for me.
Then in 2013 the local community college was awarded a grant to match up their computer programming and art students with teachers to program their games.  This is when my luck started to change.  Out of the three teams that were formed, my team is the only one that created a working version of the game.  And by team, I mean one person, the other members of the team were "let go".

Through this process I found a programmer that I trust and jumped at the chance to continue working with him.  We have decided to start our own business to share these games online.  Time and funds are a little low right now, so we will be asking for help to get this endeavor started through sites like Kickstarter.