announcements « Tidepool News

Hi everyone,

For years, I’ve endeavored to create a courseware library that showcases the deep-learning possibilities of tools such as Squeak Etoys and Scratch. My goal is to create supplemental learning materials for all topics covered in 4th grade. I first tried this as director of Squeakland, then later as director of Waveplace. We made progress using Etoys as the platform, but never quite finished. Now I’d like to try again with Tidepool.

I’m hoping to find educators who can help us create 8 to 24 units this summer. We have a fund for stipends, which will be shared by the authors. We will also launch a Kickstarter next month to supplement this fund (all money raised goes to courseware authors).  All courseware will be Creative Commons.  Tidepool itself is free.

Each unit will have ten lessons, each of which should occupy a child between 45 and 90 minutes. We have the following units planned, but we are open to suggestions:

  • Language Arts: Interactive Fiction, Storytelling, Vocabulary
  • Mathematics: Measurement, Geometry, Algebra Concepts
  • Social Studies: Economics, Geography, History
  • Science: Earth Science, Life Science, Motion
  • Music: {One}, {Two}, {Three}
  • Visual Arts: {One}, {Two}, {Three}
  • Health: Clean Water, Malaria, {Three}
  • Technology: Engineering, Programming, {Three}

Of this list, we implemented roughly ten units using Etoys. We may reuse some of these older units, though probably will rewrite most of it.

All in all, the goal is to show classroom teachers that they can use tools such as Scratch and Tidepool to teach traditional classroom topics in a deeper, more engaging way. We have always seen Logo, Etoys, and Scratch as “tools to think with” and have long hoped to get people past soley using them for mathematics and science.

Anyway, if you’re interested, email me. I hope to hear from you!

Take care,

Hi all,

The next version of Tidepool, our multiplayer programmable game world for kids, is releasing next week.

We’re finalizing our alpha invite list.  If you want to try Tidepool for free, signup before September 1st to reserve your spot and become a “trailblazer”.

You’ll earn a badge that’s visible in game, and you’ll get special perks when the game releases.  You can also reserve your username.

Starting Tuesday, you’ll need to contribute to October’s Kickstarter to get early access, so signup now.

After running a gauntlet of showstopper bugs and last-minute preparations, I’m very pleased to announce the launch of our first public Tidepool alpha!

Tidepool Alpha 3 adds true programmability to your sketches, allowing you to make games and stories that interact with players.

Since this is an alpha release, you should expect to find some unexpected behavior or slow spots.  Everything will get smoother, faster, and easier.

More than 150 of you have signed up to playtest Tidepool, so we’re going to roll things out slowly to assure we don’t swamp our server.

Before playing, you’ll need to pick a slot in our schedule.  We’re allowing ten new players a day in the first week, which should allow us to fix performance issues.

For more details, visit the launch page, which includes a five-minute Welcome Video.

Take care,

p.s.  Watch us play together in our Let’s Play Tidepool YouTube series.

Just got back from a LONG day at GDC to find we’re nearly at $1000, which is 1/18th of our goal after only two days.  I’ve been meeting and talking with dozens of cool people who seem very enthusiastic about Tidepool, including developers on games such as Star Wars the Old Republic and many others.

My feet are sore, but my heart is soaring.  Please continue to spread the word and back us, even if it’s only for a few dollars.  Each pledge feels like pure motivation to continue.

The new Tidepool trailer, starring Isabel as a baby!

Hi everyone,

We’re at 10% after 4 days! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m heading out to my last day at GDC, which has been an incredible. Many of the game developers I’ve met have said they wished Tidepool was around when they were young. The level of face-to-face enthusiasm I’ve receiving is truly motivating.

Please continue to help spread the word. If you’re on Twitter, simply click here to tweet about Tidepool. (You can customize the message.)

Take care,


Game Developer’s Conference in SF

I’m back home and rested from my incredible week at GDC. While there, I spoke to more than a hundred people about Tidepool, receiving 81 contacts which I’ll soon email.

Please remember that Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. If we don’t reach $18,000, we won’t get a single dollar. Please continue to spread the world, using these handy links:

Twitter: click here
Facebook: click here 
Google: click here

Thank you so much to our first 30 backers:

  • Fanghao Wu
  • Nicco Kunzmann
  • Jon Rabone
  • Michele
  • Christine Murakami
  • Dan Brickley
  • Sean McGrath
  • Benjamin Aaron Degenhart
  • Sandra Coleman
  • Martin Grider
  • Linda Gielen
  • Tom Abell
  • Alysia Dynamik
  • Mark Baumhart
  • Brent Raudenbush
  • Lisa Rueff and Jen Mazer
  • Michael Falconer
  • Myles Moraites
  • Carrie Moraites
  • Mark Falconer
  • GrimmWar
  • Julie Foster
  • Masterworld Entertainment
  • cheri
  • Rebecca Hb.
  • Donna McAvoy
  • Peter Collins
  • Brian Bartram
  • metastarter

Each of you have given us hope to continue.  We’ll never forget it.


Hi everyone,

They just posted an article about Tidepool at MMO Central, a gaming magazine. Click here to read it. For those that don’t know, an MMO is a game genre which stands for Massively Multiplayer Online game.

“Tidepool really does seem interesting and I hope we get to see more of it in the future. Kids are the future of gaming and getting them interested in making games will get them excited about coding and technology.”

Please continue telling your friends to  We’re 15% funded and 30% into our campaign, so we really need your help spreading the word.


Hi everyone,

This morning, we release Tidepool 0.3.2, the first new version in three months. Aside from bug fixes, I’ve added a few features related to crystals, the in-game currency. Learn more from my screencast or download and try yourself. You can read about crystals in my latest book chapter.

After a month to recover from Kickstarter, I’ve resumed work and hope to post smaller releases every week or two, always on Saturday morning.

Keep in mind that this is an untested alpha version, so There Will Be Bugs. If you’re an existing player and have trouble, try uninstalling Tidepool and deleting the Tidepool data directory in your home folder.

See you ingame!


For those asking about my Tidepool plans, I’ll finish Alpha 4 when I can.

Beyond that I need $25,000 to continue.

| Main |