Plano Game Developer Calls Upon STEM ‘Superheroes’ in New Card Game

STEM: Epic Heroes is the first project from Hologrin Studios, a Plano independent game development studio. 

game developer

A Plano game developer is hoping its new card game will offer a fun way for young learners to get engaged in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math and show that not all superheroes wear capes. 

From physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton to Satoshi Nakamoto, the name used by the unknown person who created the cryptocurrency bitcoin, STEM: Epic Heroes features prominent STEM figures throughout history who team up with players in a fast-paced journey to make discoveries. It’s the first project from Hologrin Studios, a Plano independent game development studio. 

The game’s inception can be traced back to a conversation Hologrin Studios board member and investor Jason Jones had with his son about two years ago. 

“Dad, scientists can’t be heroes,” Jones’ son said. 

With STEM: Epic Heroes, the Plano game developer wants players to learn that not all superheroes are valued for their physical strength. The powerful, real-life minds of Ada Lovelace, Nikola Tesla, and more have brought great change to the world. 

And, gamifying the learning process can help kids retain knowledge, Hologrin Studios CEO Court Simas said.

Hologrin Studios turned to Kickstarter to fund the STEM game reaching its $10,000 funding goal in about 12 hours.

Simas and fellow co-founders Aaron Hanna and Steven Schobert left jobs in the tech field to start a studio focused on mobile games. While STEM: Epic Heroes may still have a digital version, they decided to develop it initially as a card game because of the potential to reach more people even outside the U.S.

“While every child I know here over the age of 10 has a mobile device of some sort, that’s not the case in a lot of countries overseas,” said Simas, who previously co-founded the Dallas design, development, and product strategy agency, Oven Bits.

A card game also has a lower financial requirement than a mobile game, which could cost in the six figures, Simas said. 

Hologrin Studios turned to Kickstarter to fund the STEM game reaching its $10,000 funding goal in about 12 hours. By the end of the campaign this month, it had raised $105,470 from 2,836 backers.

Simas contributed the success partly to capturing the attention of social influencers in the STEM communities. By the second day of the campaign, it had more than 2,000 shares on Facebook. 

“We had a really warm reception. A lot better than we anticipated,” Simas said. 

“We care a lot about what we produce and the impact it has, so we’re being very methodical with what we produce and the time, care, and attention we put into it.”

Court Simas

He said the funds will be used to finish out game development and put it on track to be printed and in the hands of players by the first quarter of 2018. 

Hologrin Studios is creating a book featuring the STEM figures highlighted in the card game and also has some separate mobile projects in the works. 

Simas wants to focus on quality not quantity and will create games that have some sort of altruistic nature and value. 

“We care a lot about what we produce and the impact it has, so we’re being very methodical with what we produce and the time, care, and attention we put into it,” Simas said. 

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