I originally was going to do an intro to the CellCraft development and advisory team in this entry, but today has had other interesting developments that I want to highlight instead.
First, Ive begun the process of collecting sounds for the game. We debated how to do this for a while, and originally had intended to hire a sound designer to do the work. However, after talking with some experienced game developers, we decided to take a route that we think will be cheaper, more efficient, and possibly more effective. While working with a sound designer in person is probably best, it can be difficult to really convey sounds over the internet (at least without a lot of video chats). So instead, weve registered an account with http://www.soundsnap.com/. This is a very cool site that contains thousands of sorted, high-quality sounds that you can use royalty-free for a very low subscription rate. Game developers on a budget should definitely check it out (and no, Im not getting any referral credits). A warning though its easy to lose a few hours without realizing it just by browsing the sounds.
On an even more exciting front, we have a composer who is putting together some music for us. I just got to hear our main music loop and its perfect very chill, watery sound that loops smoothly and is quite pretty. I found him through the Collabs section of Kongregate.com. His name is Kevin_Penkin and you can check out some of his other work on his Kongregate profile or on his Youtube page. Im thrilled to have him on board he is very talented and will likely be out of my price range as soon as he gets known in the game music industry. ;)
Planning to put the sounds into the game tomorrow hopefully its gonna make it all start to feel alive and real.
From the gameplay side, we have an economy developing now as our chloroplasts can generate glucose and the mitochondria can convert glucose in energy (ATP). It will be interesting to see how well people pick up on the terminology and biology with this game. I was thinking about it, and what were really doing is taking an approach that is known to work extremely well for learning a foreign language: immersion. Rather than teaching you vocabulary and telling you what things do so you can memorize it, were dropping you into a simulation and letting you experience it, all the while making you get used to the real names since thats the only option in the game. It has potential to be very effective I think.
My only question at this point is how can I teach algebra through immersion next? :) Biology is a great subject because it provides real-life conflict and challenge it will be interesting to see if immersion gaming can be used to teach other subjects as well. What do you all think? Could immersion math work? What subjects would be well-suited to immersion learning through games?