The Woodlands, Texas - June 17, 2010 – Anyone who has ever tried to master college statistics knows that it can be a daunting task. Well, help is on the way in the form of a video game designed to teach students some of the key concepts of the subject, while allowing them to have fun in the process. Texas A&M University has awarded a contract to the epic software group, inc. to develop “Blood Sample” a web based game that may change the way many college students view statistics.

The game is the brainchild of Dr. Alan Dabney, an Assistant Professor of Statistics at A&M.  In 2009, Dr. Dabney was presented with a Montague award that honors innovation in teaching at the school.  Dr. Dabney chose to use the funds from his award to create a prototype of the game. “Our challenge here is to design a game that teaches such concepts as sampling, probability and confidence intervals in a way that is fun and entertaining,” said Dr. Dabney.

To build the prototype game, the University hired the epic software group, inc. of The Woodlands, Texas.  “We have worked with Dr. Dabney in the past." said Vic Cherubini, president of the company, "His passion about the subject, coupled with his creative nature and energy is incredible.” Dr. Dabney wanted a game that would resonate with college students, so in an early brainstorming session he decided to build the game around a popular theme in today's entertainment culture – Vampires. 

Adam Smith, the project manager in charge of the development team at epic shared a few details about the game: “The name of the game is ‘Blood Sample’ The storyline goes as follows:

At some point in history vampires rose to power and took over large sections of the northern hemisphere. To survive, humans were forced to flee to the south where they establish a colony. But, humans needed resources available only from the north and in turn, the vampires needed a fresh source of blood.  A truce was formed. The vampires would provide food and resources from the north in exchange for blood from the human colony in the south. It turns out that depending on their origin, a vampire’s taste for blood varies from sweet to bitter

Your mission is to balance the import and export of resources and keep the vampire population satisfied. Exporting blood will require sampling the vampire population to determine taste preferences. Sampling takes time and resources, resources which you can replenish by distributing the correct flavor of blood to the appropriate groups. If resources drop too low, the human population will begin to drop, and if that happens, extinction. As your resources grow, you’ll be able to afford upgrades to your distribution methods, making exchange easier.  If you get enough resources you can head north and if you master the concepts you can reclaim the planet that’s rightfully yours.”

The release date for the prototype of the game is September 1, 2010.  “We have opted to make this an ‘open source’ project and will be sharing information on every aspect of development in the Blog section of the epic web site,” said Zaki Hughes, a game developer at epic.

If you would like to follow the team’s progress check it out at: www.epicsoftware.com/blog