Amplify Game Developer Gives Up on Making Educational Games

ENDGAME: What was it like to build a learning game for Amplify? Zach Barth, the founder of Zachtronics, which developed "MetaboSIM" (a game about metabolism) "HabiTactics" (ecosystems) and "FAKTR" (factorization) for Amplify, spilled his guts in a Q&A with Gamasutra. "It was about making a game that was fundamentally about the material," Barth said, "so that when you learn the game through good game design and good difficulty scaling, you also learn the material."

What he wished he could have learned, however, is how students and teachers are playing his games. Barth lamented that "the world of schools is big and insane, and totally out of reach, so we don’t get a lot of feedback about how the games are being recieved [sic]."

While he enjoyed working with Amplify, he expressed a clear reluctance when it comes to to building any more learning games. "Once we found out what the market is like for educational games, that totally destroyed any hope." (Ouch.) He prefers a more subtler approach: "I’m so glad to not have to label our game as educational. Because you know what? We’re going to sell so many more copies by having a game that’s not called educational, but is secretly educational."

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