Tidepool News

Every week, a group of five grade-schoolers from Seattle play Tidepool together with the express purpose of breaking it. Over Skype, I hear them trying what I’d never intended, yelling out things “Tim, Tim, I can’t type a K. It closes the box when I type a K.”

Yes, these kids are practicing QA (quality assurance), which is a vital role in the software industry. Coding seems to get all the attention these days, but QA is arguably the better path to true mastery. Teach kids what works by teaching them what doesn’t.

Here are some sketches they made on Wednesday:

With 16 days to go and only 23% funded, we really need your help in spreading the word. Remember that Kickstarter is all-or-nothing.  If we don’t reach the full $18,000, we get nothing and your credit cards won’t get charged.

Please tell people you know to http://backTidepool.com.  If two or three of your friends each pledged $12, and a few of their friends did as well, we’d reach the goal easily.

If we’re funded, we can finish Tidepool this summer.  If we fail, we’ll have to delay Tidepool until the winter holidays, which means we’ll lose another full school year.

My great thanks to our newest 20 backers:

  • Sarah Zaranek
  • Mathiew Greenway
  • Robin and Larry
  • Pamela Thalacker
  • Jay Shaffstall
  • Terese Scott
  • Sara Bolokofsky
  • Blake Whitcomb
  • Anne Di Fiore-Will
  • David Leonhardt
  • Susan Fisher
  • Adam Corres
  • Tony Forster
  • Diane LaBelle
  • Yvonne Harrison
  • Jonathan Linowes
  • Christoph Derndorfer
  • Valerie Williams
  • Stephen Kelly
  • Bart Krauss

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 http://backTidepool.com.  We’re 15% funded and 30% into our campaign, so we really need your help spreading the word.


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,

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

Walk silently through crowds at crosswalks, glide smoothly up escalators in the Moscone expanse, our badged brethren have a thousand looks: the foot-shifting excited glances, the self-assured professional air, the concealed worry.  Among us are dreamers desperate to be heard, walking past the very connection they need to change their life, to make their career.

Three days I’ve spoken with the experienced, the bewildered, the fun. So welcome is our mutual interest, we validate, we remind each other that the world is odd, not us. Within the magic space of games, we find consolation, redemption, each other.

And here now back at the very place Tidepool began, eating at the same diner, pacing the same walkways, I’m reminded of the gifts this journey has given. Whatever the future may hold for my own personal dream, I’m thankful for the creative freedom of the last two years, for the many inspired talks. I’m grateful for the very possibility, of the backbreaking honest work behind me, of a vision that has never dimmed, that still excites me each time I tell it.

In these halls no doubt there are those to take me forward, but even if we never meet, if I return to Pennsylvania without the certainty of a next step, I’ll have tried. I’ve put myself completely out there. And while years hence I may wonder “what if” in tender moments, these fleeting thoughts are but smoke compared to the solid, undisputed effort that led me here.

Or, today I may find in the crowds my connection. With both hope for a favorable future and acceptance in the face of falling short, I am doubly blessed.

Great things are possible! Knowing this is the miracle, and enough.

The new Tidepool trailer, starring Isabel as a baby!

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.

Hi everyone,

Thank you for the great start today.  When I heard we got picked as a Kickstarter “Project We Love” I got so excited that I ran and told several complete strangers. Luckily, I’m at GDC, the Game Developers Conference, so these strangers know how hard it is to get a game funded.

My voice is hoarse from talking about Tidepool all day. The reception has been amazing, but I’m exhausted, as this photo shows.  Please save my voice and spread the word. 🙂


Tim finds his spot at GDC
Tim finds his spot at GDC

Hi everyone,

Greetings from San Francisco. After 17 hours of travel, I just arrived at my hotel room and clicked GO on the Tidepool Kickstarter campaign.

See it live at http://backTidepool.com

Please, please consider backing Tidepool, even if it’s only for $1. The early days of a Kickstarter campaign determine its momentum. If you back us now, we have a better shot at reaching our goal.

Also, please forward this email to at least two people you know. If each of you did this, and we all gave $25, we’d reach the goal. Also, mention the web address on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

If nothing else, watch our new trailer halfway down the page. Some great Isabel baby shots in there 🙂

Take care,