Originally, co-creators Peter and Sally Solomon envisioned TheBeamer as a book.
Based on Peter’s experiences as a physicist, the plan was to share some of the stories of science, and the universe with their grandchildren. The book, The Stardust Mystery, centers on a competition-winning virtual reality website.
But then, the grandchildren encouraged them to take that idea much further.
At CES® 2018’s Eureka Park™ Marketplace, Peter and Sally were showcasing the result: their first episode of a new multiplayer science-adventure video game! Called “Mission KT”, the new game has two modes of play: fun and educational. And either way, players are learning science–without realizing they’re learning.
After obtaining a grant from the National Science Foundation, Peter and Sally were able to hire a staff. Working with the University of Connecticut, the Hartford-based couple translated their vision into graphics, quests and “avatars” who can help players along the way. TheBeamer Episode 1, Mission KT, is due for a springtime release. Then, the commercial version, for teachers, is scheduled to come out in the fall.
Peter, Sally and staffers Brian Weinberg and Amanda Brickner talked about their experiences creating TheBeamer. They previewed how the game works, and shared some of the resources they’d found, that are available to innovators.
And a second episode of TheBeamer will shortly be in the works!
On this episode of Over Coffee®, you’ll hear:
The story of TheBeamer’s evolution from book to video game;
What the creative process was like, for Peter, Sally and their family members;
How the multiplayer game, TheBeamer, is played;
Some of the creative challenges involved in creating an educational game that’s still fun and authentic;
The best accolade TheBeamer received, during its testing period;
Some of the ways teachers can use the game in lesson plans;
Recommendations for resources to creators;
The creative team’s advice to innovators who want to launch a creative project.