Sunday, March 31, 2013

Kuato Studios Introduces a Fun, New Way to Learn Code

Kids want new ways to learn. According to studies, they want tools that are interactive, challenging, and graphically rich. Kuato Studios, a London- and Palo Alto-based development studio, is rising to the challenge of creating a gaming platform that makes learning fun and engaging. Founded in 2011 by Frank Meehan, Kuato develops apps and games that teaches the principles of code, science, and design in a supplemental non-school environment. The studio's first product, Hakitzu: Code of the Warrior, is a JavaScript-based strategy game where players build their warrior robot and write code in order to move, fight, and survive.

Meehan, who serves as Kuato's chief executive officer, says his company is focused on making coding fun. “We want to innovate when it comes to teaching our kids. The whole point is to get kids to learn, but it is targeted at anyone who wants to program.”

In Hakitzu, you are assigned a code warrior robot that you can modify in a “chop shop”. You learn JavaScript in a battle arena and write code to add weapons and make your robot perform an action. The game will tell you if you make a mistake in your coding. There is also a full tutorial to get your feet wet. According to Meehan, “Nobody has done anything like this before. By the end of it, you will learn variables, functions, core construction of code, and syntax for JavaScript. That's just the first pack.”

Hakitzu is available for free on the iPad (versions 2 to 4) and iPad Mini. Updates will be released every four weeks based on user feedback.

Backed by SRI International and Horizons Ventures, Kuato currently has 22 employees who came from notable game studios such as Konami, EA, Rockstar Games, and Sony. The team consists of award-winning education experts as well.

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