From what I have come to know of you over this course, I believe that you can make anything happen. I also fully expect to see you at TED in the next five years (less?).
Game-based learning. Fun and educational and I agree that all ages are engaged in game play whether digital and online or even with board games around the table. I liked your stats about how many hours students play. I saw Richard Van Eek (https://members.educause.edu/richard-van-eck) speak about game-based learning a few years ago and it is really amazing the research that has been done on this area of education; his work might be interesting to you. One component that really struck me was how differently men and women play, I can’t remember the specifics, but I do want to point this out to keep in mind incorporating different elements to appeal to all students.
I like how you are integrating the table game as well as the digital. It makes sense to bring this together. That you are leveraging a system that has worked in RLGBL means that you have worked out some of the game flow issues so you can better program for digital. That being said, I am sure you will try to avoid the trap of a simple digitalization. I have seen great F2F lessons that are put online but this fails to then capture the affordances of digital capability, and just becomes something too flat and text heavy. Just a caution, only because your excellent team is so immersed in the product, would hate for you to fall to a group-think mentality. Maybe try to bring in someone from outside to input and question your product.
When you review your competition, I wonder, when looking at Hunter’s World Peace Game, why GENgine would not just approach them and design the digital component to it. Seems like it would be a great partnership? If you are already doing this for the games you have developed in your classes, try to capture a bigger game and do it for them. Instant client base. Maybe?
Overall the ask seems small for what you are going to accomplish in 6 months. Might want to add a software architect not just programmers, you will need a much bigger platform as you are developing a fully system with multiple functions (game, learner roles, assignments) and you will need some kind of database for all of the information too; a specifications document and system design before the UI. Also Webhosting seem exorbitant, what else does this include? Whereas IT support seems too low, way too low. (lol from my experience anyways…ugh).
You use the term Digital Natives, I get it and I think the population outside of academia gets it and it makes sense. I wonder though because the term is dated, and the concept criticized, you might want to seek out a different term. I would hate for GENgine to be seen as ill informed when it comes to pedagogical considerations just because one term amongst all for your good work make the product seem more play and populist than pedagogy.
Love the idea and can’t wait to download the app!!