We’re going to go live with a new update Friday, October 16th. We will update this post + email + post to social media when it goes live. If you play on the web browser, it will automatically take place. If you use one of our installed applications, please note you will need get updates before you can play again. This could take some time depending on internet speeds and platform, so you may want to request students get the update before the next time you play together in a live class!

New Storyline: The Big Sneeze

Nurse Marysol is overwhelmed at the clinic: a sudden influx of patients have appeared, all of whom are sneezing and complaining of a rash on their forearms. Councilwoman Nasim fears an epidemic. Students must advise Nasim on best practices for Espethians to avoid the illness–while simultaneously learning everything about it!

This new storyline is a bit different, rather than focusing on a specific standard in a content-oriented topic, we focused on the Nature of Science. Our goal is to help students undersatnd how science works and experience what it’s like to have to quickly make recommendations and adjust based on those results. Teachers can get access to the Teacher Guide here.

Updated Character Customization

Based on feedback from our players, we decided to revamp our character customization options. Some players wanted more muscular characters, or more petite ones, etc. so we have a brand new set. We also added over 20 additional hair styles to choose from! Only some are available when you first create your character, the others can be upgraded to from Whipper Snippers in the Marketplace later (with your Credits earned from questing).

So, how does this work for existing characters? Your current character will auto-convert into the closest body style to the one you had, but we also wanted you to be able to change it, so we implemented a BRAND NEW update messaging system that can also give you gifts! So you’ll get 350 Credits that you can use at Whipper Snippers in the Marketplace to redesign your character.

Students See Upcoming Assignments

Students are also automatically blocked from doing assigned quests ahead of the assigned date.

This improvement was made to address two concerns: students wanting to better know what teachers wanted them to do in the game (not just one at a time), and teachers not wanting students to free play and complete assignments they had planned for upcoming days during class. So now, once a teacher assigns a quest, this will automatically happen:

  • Students are blocked from completing it until the assigned date.
  • Students will see the assignment and its assigned date right within the game.

Other Improvements

One thing we’re really excited about is our new Update Message that will happen when students log into the game. This lets us tell them what’s new AND even give rewards or gifts (as described above, with us giving about Credits to students to redesign their characters).

  • Improved the interface and instructions for tasks involving the Analyzer functionality, and made it auto-open when needed (such as alongside food web tasks).
  • Improved the Picture Click mechanic so that it shows you the last feedback before moving to “Complete,” to help ensure students read that message, and so that the image is larger even on a small screen or with a scaled-up UI.
  • If a student has a teacher-assigned quest with a character that also has other quests, it won’t show them all the quest options and will just default to the teacher-assigned one.
  • Resolved some bugs with the tranquilicer and DNA extraction tutorial.
  • Limited the range of UI scaling to prevent students from making their UI so big or small that it causes issues.
  • When you click “don’t show again” on pop-up travel confirmations because you don’t want them anymore… it will actually not show up again.
  • The wayfinding pathing system (the arrow that takes you to your next objective) now works better with collecting items.
  • We made players’ nametags a different color from animals’ so it’s easier to notice a real-live player nearby (teacher request).
  • Additional user interface improvements and minor bug fixes.

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