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Education in the Modern Era: New Technology, New Methods.

by Bob Edwards on 06/09/13 02:13:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


This is The Indie Story Week # 01 – An ongoing blog chronicling the development of Pawcho Saves the ABCs, a mobile game being created by an independent Vancouver team that aims to teach young children how to write the alphabet.

For the modern student, it is almost an impossibility to grasp what education was like before the Internet. It is fortunate that in many cases Universities, Schools and even Kindergartens have always been at the forefront of accepting and using new technologies, and this modern era of touch-screens is no exception.

This is where we come in. Smart Fun Interactive is the brainchild of four Vancouver based developers and a grade schoolteacher with one clear goal in mind: Design early childhood education games on tablets and mobile devices to empower kids with a head start in life. And do it in a fun way on devices they love interacting with.

It started with a student game called Daisy when one of our developers – Gus Martin – was still a student at Vancouver Film School - and part of Team MIA from GD25. Along with other members Hirad Harandian, Raul Fukunaga and Agnish Balasubramani, the team designed a game to allow kids, mostly young girls, to interact with a fantasy princess by drawing patterns on the screen to mimic her movements.

Daisy, the game that started it all.

Daisy was a good idea, and so when Gus showed the game to us, we instantly knew we wanted to build a spiritual sequel to it that employed early education principles. We wanted to empower kids to learn and grow, and so inspired from Daisy, we went in a new direction – new mechanics, a new character, a new story and a new focus on education and entertainment. We are Smart Fun Interactive, and our diverse backgrounds helps us complement each other to build a better project. Together, we are:

• Sam Chandola. Fierce entrepreneur with two exits from the startup world.

• Jeffrey Jang. A designer and illustrator whose claims to fame include online content for the Canadian show “Continuum”.

• Nick Chatton. A teacher with years of experience working with children.

• Bob Edwards. Writer with an intrinsic understanding of story. Also dad of a six month old, so we know we’ll have at least one sale in a couple of years.

• And Felix Santillian.  Programmer who apparently designed an ultrasonic coffee maker, but no one is sure what that is. Replaced Gus on the squad when he had to move on to other things.

Early Childhood Education is a field that is rapidly evolving as technology changes how children interact with the world, and we want to be on the forefront, helping shape how the next generation learns.

Check back next Tuesday morning for more details about our project, and some highlights on the Vancouver Indie Game scene. Below, our Hero: Pawcho Dogberry. Police Dog, Hero, and a box that is also a dog.


This Blog first appears on the Vancouver Sun's Community Blog Section, on April 2, 2013

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