A Grand Junction-based video game development business has teamed up with a Norwegian company to create a new game focused on teaching math skills to young students.
SynaptixGames recently announced that it has partnered with Eduplaytion, a new company based in Norway with staff in Chile, Brazil, Vietnam, Sweden and the U.S., to build an educational portal for children between the ages of 9 and 12 to grow their math skills, while also playing an entertaining game filled with different levels and rewards for achievement.
The game is called Numetry and is slated to launch in the third quarter of 2020. Alpha testing is ongoing and beta testing is coming soon for the game, which will be available through the internet on home computers, tablets and cellphones. Future versions will be created and tailored to both Android phones and iPhones, according to SynaptixGames Co-founder Robert Madsen.
“It gives the widest customer base without investing in new technology,” Madsen said.
The goal, Madsen said, is to make a well-produced game that engages kids, but also doesn’t set aside any math pedagogy as the student moves ahead.
“That’s the barrier we’re trying to overcome and I think we’re moving in a cool direction to do that,” he said.
Eduplaytion CEO and Founder Kristoffer Hundershagen visited Grand Junction over the weekend to work with Madsen and the leadership team. He said he’s seen a need for more math skills, particularly in Norway. But as math is a universal language, he said, it is applicable around the world. The company launched in 2018, but really picked up in 2019.
Hundershagen said he has noticed other educational games that might teach algebra to a 7-year-old, but they don’t understand what they are learning to move on in the game. His hope is that the game will show students how to use their new skills practically.
“We have to make games so they get to convert their knowledge into real life,” Hundershagen said.
Numetry has a science fiction story with villains and avatars that students can use. As they pass through levels using math, they will move up leaderboards and receive other rewards. To advance to the next level, they must solve the math problems presented. There will not be a workaround, Madsen said.
Teachers and parents can also monitor the student’s progress to see where he or she is struggling so they can focus on those areas. The game can also adapt to provide more problems geared toward an area where someone is struggling.
Madsen joined the team in October to provide some leadership with his experience as a coder. Hundershagen said Madsen can predict bugs before they happen, which is valuable.
Madsen said it’s nice that a company in Grand Junction has the ability to have an international partnership like this.
“I think it’s cool to see that we have companies in Grand Junction that are high-tech companies working with international partners,” he said.
Numetry is undergoing testing and can be played by students, parents and teachers who would like to provide input in how the final version of the game will look. Eduplaytion is already working with 20 schools in Norway to try out the game and is looking for more feedback in the U.S.
To try the game and provide feedback, e-mail Hundershagen at email@example.com or Madsen at Robert@eduplaytion.no. For an English version of the game, visit https://numetry.com/en/eduplaytion-2/.
“There is no such thing as bad feedback and we can never get enough of it,” Hundershagen said.