Southern Methodist University (SMU) Guildhall, SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development and Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT) have joined up and formed People ForWords to participate in the Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPrize. Together they are linking their expertise in game development, education and adult literacy to build an immersive fun mobile application that will advance the Adult Literacy industry.
SMU Guildhall is a premier graduate video game education program, ranked #1 Graduate School for Video Game Design, and first in the world to offer a Master of Interactive Technology degree. We also offer a Professional Certificate, and are the only program with specializations in all four cornerstones of video game development: Art Creation, Level Design, Production and Programming.
The Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development promotes excellence by engaging in and disseminating scientifically-based research, preparing exemplary professionals in education and human development, collaborating with other schools and institutions in the development of model programs and furthering positive learning experiences in all stages of life.
Literacy Instruction for Texans (LIFT) is the only adult literacy provider in the Metroplex serving very low-literate adults. Beginning with basic phonics, our programs are designed to address the needs of many different kinds of learners.
Here are samples of concept art, screen shots, and photos from the development of our XPRIZE application.
Female Adventurer. Portrait of the female main character, from sketch to final look.
Male Adventurer. Portrait of the male main character, from sketch to final look.
Library Reward Book. The library reward book, where players can learn about the places in the game.
Codex. The Codex in use, learning sight words.
Real-world locations. View locations around the world, like the Great Sphinx in Egypt.
Atlantis Jungle. The jungle engulfs the ruins of the Great Library of Atlantis.
Codex Gameplay. A sampling of gameplay, from learning letter-sounds to reinforcing vocabulary through a hidden object game.
Atlantis Library. 3D Rendering of Atlantis Library.
In October, SMU Guildhall, SMU Simmons and LIFT all came together to start discussing how to participate in the Adult Literacy XPRIZE.
People ForWords is formed, and the development team begins ramping up.
Development team is assembled and technology has been selected. Game Development is now in full swing!
Codex: Lost Words of Atlantis Closed Beta Begins.
SMU Simmons, Guildhall, and LIFT wish to acknowledge the Communities Foundation of Texas for its grant to develop People ForWords’ smartphone game for competition in the Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE.
Codex: Lost Words of Atlantis Pilot Testing with local literacy groups.
Codex: Lost Words of Atlantis Submitted to XPRIZE.
Codex: Lost Words of Atlantis was selected as a semifinalist for Adult Literacy XPRIZE.
This time we concentrated our research on native Spanish speakers wanting to learn English. "Before I was able to understand a little and I couldn't speak. But now I can speak more."
After an additional 5 months of development, Codex: Lost Words of Atlantis was submitted for the Adult Literacy XPRIZE Finals
PeopleForWords makes the finals! Our team is one of five finalists in the Adult Literacy XPRIZE competition. The winners will be announced January, 2019.
Codex: Lost Words of Atlantis was featured on Google's Play Store!
PeopleForWords won $2.5MM tieing for Grand Prize and winning English Language Learners achievement award.
Corey Clark, Ph.D.
Anthony Cuevas, Ph.D.
Linda K. Johnson, Ph.D.
President and CEO, LIFT
Diane Gifford, Ph.D.
Dawn Woods, Ph.D.
Asst Dean/XPRIZE Liaison
Rukuan 'Young' Yang
Stephanie Knight, Ph.D.
Dean of Simmons
Director of Marketing & Communications, LIFT
Chief Development Officer, LIFT
PeopleForWords would like to thank founding members, Lisa Hembry, LIFT President Emerita, and Dr. David Chard, former dean of SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development, for starting our collaboration, and getting us to compete for The Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE Prize.
LIFT President Emerita
David Chard, Ph.D.
Former Dean of SMU's Simmons School of Education and Human Development