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DEV BLOG

 

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The most recent blog entries are on top.


 

July 6 2015
New Car Pack in development
Very happy to announce that we have Tony Davidson, creator of the Ethereon VR experience, working with us again on CarQuiz. Tony is a veteran 3d artist who has worked on How to Train your Dragon and was one of the principal artists on Riven, the sequel to Myst. Tony is a long time friend, too, who has some amazing texturing skills. His 2 sons are custom car fans and will be helping us with new content for the game.

 

June 25 2015
4 out of 5 stars
The first reviews are in and we have exciting news that the game is receiving a 4 out of 5 star rating. What we appreciate as much as the great reviews are people who leave us constructive feedback. We are working hard on an update that will make the game even better and invite players to return again and again, encouraging more math practice. Some of the feedback we have gotten in the reviews:

"This game is great because it mixes one of the things most kids like (races) with one of the things most kids hate (math) and it works. Your kid can have fun and learn math at the same time without even noticing it."

 

June 18 2015
CarQuiz for Android
An Android version of CarQuiz Math Game is eminent! We've done the tests and now it is time to try and get CarQuiz on stores like Google Play. Due to the excitement and buzz around CarQuiz on the App Store we've been very motivated to get the game on more devices. Stay tuned for more updates on the Android version.

 

June 9 2015
New content on its way!
We have just received a model from our team at Media4, for one of the new car options in CarQuiz. We are also developing another option here in Seattle. These new car selection options will be available for players to unlock with tokens they accumulate during the game.

 

June 4 2015
Custom 3d prints
Mocha from CarQuiz Math Game We are excited to announce that we are offering custom 3d prints on our Shopify store. Currently, players can trade their tokens in for pets that ride along with the player during the game. Pets help the player by eliminating one wrong answer per lap. Click on the image of Mocha to check out his 3d print at Shopify. You can also find a print of our first character and some cool SMS logo stickers.

 

June 2 2015
CarQuiz Math Game 1.1 Released!
Apple has given the green light to our first update, now available on the App Store. 1.1 is optimized for the iPhone. We are excited to announce that players can now update their game. We are currently working on the next update to include new content for players to unlock including a new car selection option! If you have played the game, and have feedback or comments, let us know! Use our Support page to contact us.

 

May 30 2015
New Landing Page
Visit carquizmathgame.com to see our new landing page which will lead to all things CarQuiz related. Visit our CarQuiz game website, our social pages, the YouTube Channel, and our tutorial sites. This page was also designed for people to share with others. It's an easy to remember URL.

 

May 27 2015
CarQuiz Universal version
iPhone6 gameplay We are ready to submit our update to the App Store. This is a universal version of CarQuiz for the iOS optimized for iPhone5 and 6 along with iPad4, Air and mini. We currently do not support iPad2. We are working on ways to bring CarQuiz to the iPad2, but we will continue to focus on broadening the devices on which CarQuiz will play. We shall soon set our sites on the Android market.

CarQuiz uses detailed 3d environments for each track. The amount of 3d data, music, and code is too much for the iPad2 hardware to play smoothly. We've been able to successfully test well on the iPad4, Air and mini. For the iPhone, our fans have been patient. The iPhone optimized version should soon be available for download.

 

May 25 2015
iPhone version testing well
We are testing an iPhone version of the game, and it is testing very well on both the iPhone5 and iPhone6! We are days away from submitting to the App Store for a CarQuiz 1.1 update. Very exciting! Using the UMG UI tools in Unreal, Media4 has optimized the gameplay for iPhone 5 and 6. With version 1.0 the game was playable, but the alignment of some UI elements was not ideal.

CarQuiz was originally designed for the iPad screen size. The game plays better on a larger screen given the nature of the answers appearing in the distance. The game is very playable on the iPhone. It's just a different experience than we had imagined!

 

May 15,16 2015
Smile More Studios Our first show!
Math Monster 8 Power of Play 2015 was a 2 day event in Bellevue Washington, where fellow developers gathered to show off their latest games. Some were published, and some were still in development. It was a treat to meet and talk with so many like-minded people who are working on their own ideas, building games around as independent developers. For more information on the show, search the hashtag #PowerofPlay15

 

May 12 2015
Optimized version for the iPhone
We are very excited to announce that an iPhone version of CarQuiz is eminent. Originally, CarQuiz was designed for the iPad. We felt the bigger screen was best suited for the gameplay experience. But when we tested on the iPhone in the weeks leading up to our App Store release, we discovered that CarQuiz was quite fun to play on the iPhone, too. The team at Media4 is working on an optimized version for the iPhone. We're also making progress toward getting CarQuiz on Google Play.

 

May 10 2015
Game #2
As we cast CarQuiz in to the world, we're also starting on our 2nd game. At this point, we can't say too much about it! We are currently in the design phase, and plan to go in to full production in June. Hard to say at this point when we will release our 2nd game, but we plan on leveraging all we've learned from CarQuiz, and we plan on using Unreal Engine 4 again. You'll defintely see updates to CarQuiz before our 2nd game is released.

On the very first day that Media4's Marko Spasojevic and I talked about making CarQuiz, we also discussed two important things: marketing and our 2nd game. The idea for the 2nd game has been in the works for a while, so we're excited to have made it to the App Store and with that experience, we plan on streamlining production where we can, as we develop game #2.

 

May 8 2015
YouTube Channel
Check out gameplay videos on YouTube We've posted our first 3 videos to show how CarQuiz looks and plays. These are full games from start to finish. The environments include all 3 tracks: beach, desert and city. Each score is 30/30 to show it is possible to earn a perfect score. At the end of each game, players can review their equations.

Our goal with the YouTube channel is to create more videos with voiceovers to explain how the mental math equations are solved. We hope that this will help people play the game and help them improve their overall math skills.

 

April 30 2015
On the App Store!
CarQuiz Math Game - Download on the App Store After a 10 day waiting period, Apple approved our app for the App Store. We are thrilled!!

What a journey it has been to get to this point. We now shift our efforts to marketing CarQuiz, updating CarQuiz and putting the final details on our next game's design. If our game is successful we plan to add several updates. We want to see what the community thinks of the game. So if you have feedback, please share it. Link to our Support page for contact info.

If you would like to check out the game, it is now available on the App Store and best played on the iPad 4 and above. Tested thoroughly on the iPad 4, iPad mini, and iPad Air. Search for CarQuiz or CarQuiz Math Game, or check out the link on our home page.

 

April 20 2015
Submitting to Apple!
This morning, Mariah clicked Submit App for Review! After a brief set of questions, our CarQuiz Math Game app was sent to Apple! :)

We are a little nervous. The list of why apps get rejected is long! We've carefully designed and tested CarQuiz. And we are already making preparations for an update, but we also want to get community feedback. We have had such great feedback from adults and kids who have tested it so far. We hope that enthusiasm continues. With a successful launch, we will reinvest in an update and push forward on our next game.

We've also created 3d prints of some characters and pets. It is so fun to see them in 3d. Each 3d print is from 2 to 3 inches tall. We used the high poly ZBrush file to pose and convert to a WRL for 3d printing.

 

Apr 19 2015
Math Monster 9 It works!!!
Through sheer will and determination, often chanting "This has to work!", we were able to post the ipa file to iTunes Connect and download it through the TestFlight app. It's great! Finally a build on the iPad that is not downloaded from the MacBook. Now it is time to test, test, test once again.

Over the week-end, tests included settings to fake the token amounts to buy all 4 pets, so we could test pet usage and pet animations. Pets eliminate one wrong answer per lap when they ride along with you. Tap the pet button in the bottom corner of the screen and one wrong answer disappears.

Pets were developed with Autodesk's 3ds Max and Pixologic's ZBrush, along with several other software tools life like TopoGun and xNormal. Additional characters and pets are in the works! We hope to add at least 1 each with our first update.

 

Apr 15 2015
Back to work, and testing.
After a well deserved break from development, we are back to put the very final details in to CarQuiz. This is a particularly tough time since our artistic tendencies often outweigh our pragmatic solutions and production responsibilities. We want to add more, do more, update, enhance - but it is time to publish and get it out there. The game is solid and it works like it was designed to work. My favorite part is trying to get a perfect score - when I'm not testing! The game speeds up slightly with each correct answer, so hero level can be a challenge in lap 3! You really have to be focused to get all the answers correct.

Behind-the-scenes tip... Set the mode to Hero, then switch to Normal when the game starts. You'll go faster with easier questions!

 

Mar 30 2015
Final Edits
CarQuiz uses Unreal Engine 4 to drive the game We have implemented our changes and are ready for a break. We have done hundreds of small edits in the Unreal Engine including geometry, texture and material updates. We've tweaked the math one last time, and installed a patch to fix a bug. We'll continue to test over the next couple weeks, but our focus is quickly shifting to marketing!

CarQuiz Math Game uses Unreal Engine 4 to drive the game.

 

Mar 27 2015
Final Build
Drum roll please.........
Today we received the final build from Media4. Now we take a turn at doing updates and final content adjustments. Media4 has done an amazing job at delivering what we asked for. Right away, the game plays very consistently. After dozens of tests, we feel confident this is the build to use.

 

Mar 4 2015
New Build
Today we received the next to last build for CarQuiz. Here in Seattle, we are making edits and prepping art for a huge track3 update - the beach environment. Once we get the next build from Media4 we will implement our changes and finish the content layout.

 

Jan 28 2015
Math Monster 7 Back to Development
As the Kickstarter comes to an end on Feb 5, we are turning our attention in Seattle back to polish and final updates. We are looking forward to the TestFlight program and need more game testers to test CarQuiz.

As our team discusses final bug fixes and next steps, CarQuiz will soon be available for anyone to try who wants to beta test. You will need an iPad 4, iPad mini, or iPad Air. This will help us hone in on final details of gameplay before we make the app live on the Apple App Store. The beta test will require an app install for TestFlight, then we will send info on the beta version to test, along with a few items to focus on when playtesting.
Interested in game testing? Email info@smilemorestudios.com

 

Jan 21 2015
Awaiting Engine Updates
Biggest hurdle right now is waiting on an Unreal Engine update which should solve a few issues we are having with text entry and screen pressure. Though we have a few bugs, the gameplay is very solid and working well. The design of the game has really come together! It feels like the game we originally designed. There have been many challenges and redirections along the way, but the current state of gameplay is what we envisioned for how it would feel to play the game. The team at Media4 has done an excellent job! The current build of the game continues to test very well.

Today CarQuiz was played by several 3rd graders. They spent most of the time in Normal Mode using multiplication. The results were interesting. Just a one year difference between the previous testers made a big difference in the final score. When I solve mental math equations, I try to figure out the easiest way to solve that type of equation. As a result, there are several tricks that help and if memorized, basic math skills become a breeze. Here are some examples.

Gameplay speed is testing well. This has been one of the most crucial aspects of development - to get the feel of the car movement in line with a good pace for gameplay. At the end of each game, players can review their scores.

We are full on in to marketing the game right now, which has been an interesting journey! There are so many apps on the market - about a million. How do we get the word out about the game? The game is testing well and game testers find it fun to play! If you are interested in updates and news about CarQuiz, Like us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter. We regularly update this site, too. Thanks for your interest and support!

 

Jan 16 2015
Kickstarter Staff Pick Kickstarter Staff Pick!
Smile More Studios is happy to announce that CarQuiz was chosen as a Kickstarter Staff Pick! We are thrilled to be selected for this honor! Many thanks to all of those involved in the CarQuiz project and to all of our new fans.

Also today, we had a third round of testing with 4th graders. Lots of smiling faces and excited players doing their best to get a good score when playing the game. All of the reactions were very positive. Lots of interesting questions including "Can I get this on the App Store now?"

I discussed with one of them how we had to use algebra to determine optimum speeds for the different difficulty levels. Algebra, and lots of trial and error! We've also adjusted lane change speed and are finalizing the details of the TestFlight program through Apple. We are currently looking for beta testers who have an iPad 4 or iPad Air to help us test in the coming weeks.

 

Jan 15 2015
Featured on Cult of Mac!
Smile More Studios and CarQuiz websites have been updated! Much more organized now. Today we were featured on Cult of Mac! Mariah and Scott did a phone interview with one of their writers and today the story went live! We are thrilled with the reaction we have received from people once our first press release went out this week. Very exciting for all of us!

Our game is moving along and we are putting the finishing touches on the player profile functionality as well as the beach track environment. We have a few bugs to resolve with the Unreal Engine before we enter the TestFlight program with Apple. The latest version of the engine doesn't allow for certain features we are trying to implement, but things are moving ahead, and we hope to see these capabilities in the next build of UE4 which should be soon.

We have begun work on our character pack concepts. This has got to be the funnest job ever! :) Mariah and Scott are working on 2d concepts for a 3-character pack before we begin on their 3d production. Once we select the final design for each of the characters, we will get started with 3ds Max and ZBrush to create them. They each should take about 2 to 3 weeks to complete. Players of CarQuiz will have 6 human characters to choose from, and the character pack will be available at higher token levels.

 

Jan 6 2015
Kickstarter launches!
Smile More Studios launches a Kickstarter to finish development on CarQuiz. After investing many thousand $ in development, we are looking to raise money for the last installment of our development costs. We also built in stretch goals to create additional content we'd like to get in to CarQuiz 2.0 this spring, including a car and character pack.

CarQuiz Math Game Buggy The cars are looking cool and gameplay is working extremely well. We will be offering players several options for the type of car they want in the game. We were thrilled to get the help of Kai and Kota Davidson for 2 of our CarQuiz cars. Media4 created our first car, the Cruiser. This is a picture of our Buggy.

Character development for CarQuiz 1.0 is complete. Players can choose from several characters to drive the car during gameplay. Scott designed the character pack as well as the pets, with a lot of help from Mariah. She selected all the outfits and helped in look development for the pets, providing lots of reference material and ideas for their creation.

 

DEC 21 2014
New Build is Awesome!
It's a lot of fun to see the pets ride along with the player. Pets were a feature that Mariah wanted in the game. We developed the idea over many months. Why get them? What can they do? How much should they cost? Once the player accumulates enough tokens, they will unlock different pets. Players will be able to trade in tokens for pets to ride along in the car. Players earn one token per correct answer. Once a player accumulates 300 tokens, they can trade them in for the bird, then collect more tokens to get the rabbit, cat, or dog. The pets ride on the car and help the player once each lap, plus it is a lot of fun to see them during gameplay!

Pet animations are in and working well. The pet functionality and player profile setups are almost complete. We are testing final settings for the math equations and speeds. The difficulty levels have different ranges of numbers for each of the operatives and each level is slightly faster than the previous one. Three levels of difficulty are available - Normal, Challenge and Hero. Equations are designed so that younger kids can be comfortable playing in Normal mode, and older kids can work up to Hero mode.

It is great to see track02 come to life! This environment was completely designed by our partners at Media4. It looks awesome and has been getting a lot of great feedback. Cruise by giant rock formations and cacti, drive through western towns and pass the train as you solve math equations.

 

NOV 28 2014
Latest build for CarQuiz tests great!
About a dozen kids tried the game and the reactions were great!
"This is cool!"
"I like the music!"
"Cool character!"
"My Mom would buy this game!"
"This is fun!"

UI almost finalized. Style looks fantastic. We are especially thrilled with the icon and look development. The balance of colors, the sizes, the shapes - all working very well.

Load times are great. Update process to the iPad is taking longer due to more content being integrated.

Music in the game is also getting a lot of great feedback. We hear that the developers whistle the tunes while they are working! Thanks to MelodyLoops for the awesome website and helping us find the talents of Alex Grey, Matthias Harris, and Owen Mulcahy who created the music tracks for CarQuiz.

Our beach track is almost complete! Players ride by palm trees, tiki huts, surfboards and giant tiki statues. Enjoy the scenery but not for too long! Here come the answers to the equation! Learn to focus on the math equation and get it solved quickly with tutorials we will develop for the game.

 

OCT 29 2014
The game is very fun to play!
It is so fun to see the latest developments when we test CarQuiz. With the latest updates, CarQuiz is becoming what its original vision sought to achieve - an exciting and challenging way to practice math. Gameplay is fun and the better you are, the faster the car goes!

We have started to integrate the pets in the game along with their animations. Scott created the rigs and animations for the pets. Pets react to the car turns and player actions. We now have all 3 cars in the game.

Tools we use for creating the art include ZBrush, 3ds Max, Topogun, xNormal and Photoshop. We are developing with the Unreal engine.

UI design is working well. Track choices are now integrated giving access to 3 separate environments - City, Desert and Beach. Plans are in place for other tracks once we launch CarQuiz in the App Store.

 

Kickstarter Backers
Funded with Kickstarter Many thanks to all of our Kickstarter Backers! Our Kickstarter was successful thanks to you! Here are some of the awesome people that supported us while we were in development.

    Amy Dean
    Anthony Schwartz
    Apostrophe Apps, LLC
    Ben Cuyle
    Bruce Sharp
    Calum Lawler
    Danica Gorlewski
    Diane Winch
    Ed Fries
    Eric Gorlewski
    George Gibbs
    Gina Heitkamp
    Guergana Tantcheva
    Innervision Games, LLC
    Jim Tavernetti
    Jochen & Karen Brosien
    John Alves
    John Naegele
    Kathleen Kotomaimoce
    Michael Hughes
    MiniMonetCrayons @ Etsy
    Pearl Amaechi
    Praktijk Jongleer
    R. John Martin
    Robert Martin
    Tony Davidson
    Very Serious Films LLC