As a teacher by trade, Survive The West really appeals to me. The Kickstarter campaign promises that when released the game will be historically accurate while also allowing the player the freedom of a sandbox game. It’s games like this that help reinforce my faith in gamification in the classroom and I’ll be honest, I was already making lesson plans around this game by the time I had finished reading the Kickstarter page. With a modest goal of $7,000 and the unthreatening Minecraft graphics, it’s certainly something I would like to see in the classroom.
Survive the West is a Sandbox game, which is perfect for teachers like me. No teacher wants to bring a game with a huge campaign into class when you only have a limited amount of time to teach. However, I do hope there are some modding options added for the game because it has a lot of potential I think. I thoroughly enjoy the idea of the environment affecting the character that they mentioned on the Kickstarter page. When it is hot the character needs to drink more water and when it’s cold they have to find thicker clothes. They’ve developers have really gone for as much detail and realism as can be crammed into this style of game. I like the freedom of sandbox games and think they’re useful when you only have a short time to play, though I’m sure we all know good sandbox games drag you in for hours on end.
As you can probably tell I really like the concept of Survive the West, but I can’t say as much for the actual Kickstarter page. It checks off most of my requirements but is horrible unclear as to which tear actually gets you the digital game. If I had to guess I’d say a pledge of 10 or 15, but I can’t say for sure because it isn’t in the reward description. It put me off backing the game until I get clarification and I think it is a pretty silly mistake to only offer physical copies. It’s the sort of mistake that might cost them their funding I think. That said I think the actual concept the Kickstarter is advertising is solid as a rock so check it out here and comment with your thoughts below.
Shameless self-promotion: If you want, check out my website on Gamification in the classroom at IndieThoughts.com