For my assignment 3, I decided to create an education edition of a farming simulation game called Stardew Valley. In short, teachers would create a virtual class farm where their students can interact, expand their farm, mine for resources, and work with each other to complete quests. Similar to Prodigy, but with more choices and different paths to succeed in the game.
Teachers can create assignments, view assessment reports, and manage student accounts using the teacher dashboard. Furthermore, in addition to mathematics, Stardew Valley: Education Edition also provides spelling, grammar, and reading comprehension options.
Venture pitch: click here for pdf
Assignment 3 stretched and pushed me out of my comfort zone. It gave me an opportunity to explore the balance between the features the educator in me would want, and the features the entrepreneur in me would think was necessary to ensure the venture’s success. Recommended by my students, Stardew Valley became one of my favourite games. It was easy to see the educational potential in it, which naturally led to the conception of this idea for assignment 3.
I felt that the strength of this venture pitch came from the game idea. Games that got players to create, nurture, and expand are still quite popular. Aside from its addictive quality to keep unlocking new levels so that we could create more things, an attachment is formed with our virtual creations. I wanted to take that idea of growing things together. While yes, they are growing their crops, they’re also growing their academic skills. Stardew Valley is a simple game, but it is its simplicity that opened up room for the opportunity to create an “edu version” of this popular farming game.
However, I found it difficult to differentiate my product from Prodigy, a game that addressed similar pain points but was free to use. While I felt that my game had unique qualities that made it different and a worthwhile investment, it was a challenge creating a product that customers would have to pay for, when there was a free alternative. I was also new to doing comparative analyses; the lack of accessible data for games—as most annual reports were either unavailable or required paid subscriptions—made it difficult to valuate my own venture.
While entrepreneurship is not an area I am pursuing in the near feature, doing this assignment taught me different ways of thinking about educational technology. I could now take these skills with me into my classroom and help foster students who are entrepreneurially-minded.