Hey everyone! Josh from Team KAIZEN (DMLC 2010 Winners, Discovery Pier www.TeamKAIZENgames.com) here, how are ya? We're doing good! We're in the first summer camp (as well as prepping for year 3 of the school based version) of our program, LittleBigPlanet Club, which teaches kids game design through LBP 2 and was started by our HASTAC win.
Also, we're going for Crowd Funding for our rhythm game Burst!. Burst! was also partially inspired by our win. When HASTAC flew us out to NYC's Games4Change fest, we saw a lot of people trying to mix games and STEM. It seemed there was 2 distinct worlds: 'normal' games (i.e. not educational) and educational games, and the two worlds didn't take much from each other. We were intrigued at the idea of the two meeting, so we started speaking with people about what we call 'educational-lite' games, educational-lite means the game is made and directed towards normal gamers but still naturally mixes STEM in to increase player comfort/understanding of STEM topics.
In the case of Burst!, we have players detonating fireworks to the beat of garage musicians (the game is also partially built to take these more local bands and give them some much deserved love) while unlocking elements off the Periodic Table to increase their firework color palate. These elements are the same ones that give their corresponding colors to fireworks in real life! As if mixing in STEM and supporting garage musicians wasn't enough, we also have a 3D recreation in-game of a real world bridge undergoing restoration (www.montanas-archbridge.org) and a portion of the final game's sales will be given towards that restoration.
If you want more info, head to our crowd funding page at https://www.productfunder.com/projects/burst-indie-rhythm-game/details and let us know what ya think! We're hoping to start a conversation on how STEM elements can be used as great gameplay set pieces for normal games!