excited to announce Stamps, a new way for students and parents to provide
instant feedback on your Remind messages! With Stamps, you can easily ask
questions and get quick answers from your class in real-time. For example, you
can find out who is going on a field trip, who is confused about a new topic
you introduced, or even, who likes the messages you’re sending.
simple. You send a message to your class, just as you’ve always done with
Remind. Students and parents receive the message on the Remind app and can
choose one of four stamps to give feedback ★✓✘?. You’ll get timely updates when
class members stamp your messages, so you can check the stamps later or watch
as they arrive in real-time while in class.
one-way messages kept students and parents informed, many teachers began asking
us for an easy way to engage their class. We’ve spent a lot of time working
with teachers like Diane,Laura, and Roni (thanks!) to ensure Stamps
could provide instant feedback for teachers while keeping Remind simple and
easy-to-use. Only teachers can see who stamped what so everyone in your class
can feel comfortable leaving honest feedback.
our new features, we’ve been careful to maintain the simplicity and safety that
have been at the heart of Remind. While Stamps are only available on our new
iOS or Android app, students and parents can continue receiving your messages
over SMS or email in case they don’t have a smartphone. This lets you continue
using Remind just as you always have.
available in the new version of our app available
on iOS and Android. Expect more cool new features to come now that our mobile
app supports students and parents. We can’t wait to show you what’s next!
you an amazing school year, and hope that Stamps makes it easier to guide your
class towards success!
1. How long have you been involved with gaming and app developing?
I’ve been involved in gaming since 1977 when my wife,
Annie, and I opened the Marin Computer Center, a nonprofit public-access
microcomputer center. We’d acquire games for our computers, review them
for the magazine, Creative Computing, and work with the publisher to convert
them to other computers (e.g., from the TRS-80 to the Apple II).
My first game was “Mix and Match Muppets” for Children’s
Television Workshop. Then many games at Lucasfilm Games/LucasArts.
I started building apps (for mobile) in 2010, with our
first ones based on Annie’s Middle School Confidential graphic novel book
2. What inspired you to design the app Rube Works?
Skype in the Classroom with David Fox.
I’ve always loved Rube Goldberg machines. I remember
reading his cartoons in the Sunday newspaper when I was a kid in
the 1950s. His wacky humor struck a chord with me.
After building several book apps, I was ready to do
a game, and a Rube Goldberg machine seemed like a good idea. While
researching the competition, I noticed that all of the games’ descriptions
said “Rube Goldberg-like” or “in the style of Rube Goldberg”. It struck me
that none actually had the word “Official” in their title or description. On a
whim, I found RubeGoldberg.com and sent an email.
Jennifer George called me from Rube Goldberg, Inc. the next morning! After
about 10 minutes, she casually revealed she was Rube’s granddaughter. Wow!
3. How long did it take to develop the app Rube Works?
I was working on the project about two years before it
was first released. The first year was focused on designing the game, building
prototypes, and getting funding for it. The second year was on production.
4. How many people were involved in the design of Rube
For just the design, I’d say the core group was comprised of six
people, including Jennifer, Joseph Herscher (“The Page Turner”), and two game
designer friends from my LucasArts days, Ron Gilbert and Noah Falstein.
5. What was the most difficult level to create on Rube
Probably a toss-up between the Orange Juice level with
the octopus and the Take your Picture (first selfie) with the acrobat, mouse,
and fly. Both had a large number of complex interactions that resulted in bugs
layers upon layers of bugs we we had to fix.
6. What is your favorite level on Rube Works?
Rube Works promotes problem solving skills.
Easy question, level 2, “Simple way to slice a turkey”.
It is definitely the edgiest one (in terms of humor), and a bit dark. You have
to laugh, and then you feel bad you’re laughing. This was the one I chose
as my prototype demo level, and it was the first one we built as a proof of
7. Are you currently working on any new apps?
Yes, getting close to releasing “Middle School
Confidential 3: What’s Up with My Family?”
8. What games inspired you when you were growing up?
There were no computer games when I was growing up,
but I played lots of board games, checkers, chess, Chinese checkers, card
games… I did love going to the penny arcade (though it was really a dime arcade).
None of those games were electronic, though… mostly mechanical with moving
parts, lights, and sound.
9. What games did you work on with LucasArts?
My first game was Rescue on Fractalus! which
was released in 1984 and was one of the first two games Lucasfilm Games
(LucasArts’ name then) released. Then Labyrinth (based on the
film of the same name, which Lucasfilm produced), Maniac Mansion (I
was the SCUMM scriptor), Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders (designer,
project leader, SCUMM scriptor), and Indiana Jones and the Last
Crusade: The Graphic Adventure (co-designer, SCUMM scriptor). I did
work as a producer on Pipeworks and then as the designer on a
location based entertainment project, Mirage, which was intended for theme
parks but was never released.
10. What is the best advice you would give to students
that are interested in creating an app?
Do it! Start with one of the simpler development
environments, like Corona SDK, or possibly look into the HTML5 systems (I’m not
familiar with these though). Either work on your own, or get together with some
friends who have abilities you don’t. You’ll need a designer, programmer,
artist, sound designer, and lots of testers. And of course you will need someone who takes
the lead in the project to help manage the flow.
If you’re not ready to dive in, then find some books on
app creation, or if you want to create a game, do some research on game design. Then
play many different games and evaluate them, thinking about what you’d do