Scott Martin could have looked anywhere for his next project. A twenty plus year industry veteran, Scott not only was a game developer but spent time as an Academic Director for the Art Institute of Seattle. With this much experience he could have the pick of the litter. Instead he went independent with a surprising partner – his daughter.
“My daughter and I were hiking one day and started to discuss the idea of making a game together. We came home and made sketches and wrote down our ideas. We continued to work on the idea for over a year, then approached a long time business partner of mine.”
But not any game would do. The title had to be meaningful, casual, was fun for kids and improved their math skills. This meant not reinventing the wheel but getting behind one! Scott and his daughter Mariah created CarQuiz, a math game for kids.
Players start by choosing a character, car, track and even their favorite pet to ride shotgun! The player then races around a track answering math equations. CarQuiz builds skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Once the player accumulates enough tokens, they can earn awards, and unlock more items. At its core, CarQuiz is meant to be educational but also quick. Each game takes about 5 minutes to play – perfect for keeping kids busy while driving around town.
“CarQuiz was designed so that a parent racing from one errand to the next, or from a sports match to a recital, can offer their kids something to do in the car that is educational and fun.”
Scott and Mariah created Smile More Studios who along with business partners have invested over $20,000 and 3000 hours of development time on CarQuiz. Like many independent developers of today, they are now looking towards crowdfunding to finish the title. Funds raised from the Kickstarter will ensure CarQuiz is finished, will help add new content and more features to the game. Also, all backers receive a copy of the game. Upon successful funding they estimate a February 2015 launch.
Early reviews from both parents (“That’s a great way to get kids to practice math!”) and kids (“This is fun!” … “My Mom would buy this game!”) have been very positive. Scott recognizes there are many math games out there and that they will be competing for the attention of kids who like to play iOS games and who may not choose a math game.
“How do we blend what makes games compelling with learning essential skills?
How do we get our kids to choose educational games that keep them coming back to play again and again?”
About Smile More Studios
Smile More Studios is a father/daughter collaboration of Scott and Mariah Martin. They are the developers of the CarQuiz Math Game available in the App Store early 2015.