Play-testing Stories With Friends at NYC BigApps

June 21st, 2014

The Quill team ran a playtest of Stories With Friends at the NYC BigApps event. Stories With Friends is a free educational game in which student learn new words by writing stories together. The prototype is live at Over a dozen people reviewed the app, and they provided a ton of great feedback.

The Nanohackers, a group of pre-teen developers, were particularly enthused. Stories With Friends presents students with a prompt and a list of vocabulary words. These kids played through the prompt:

The story included words such as disclose, prod, and deliberate.

Here is a snippet from Olivia and Kiera’s story:

Olivia: “What treasure?” I wondered if the parrot was delirious.
Kiera: He deliberately told me there was treasure to confuse me.
Olivia: I chose to loosely tether the bird to the wall.
Kiera: I had figured that he was a culprit.
Olivia: I decided he was employed to plot against me.
Kiera: I shouted in victory and triumph because I had discovered who he truly was.
Olivia: He said his wing was numb so I set him free.

The nanohackers then came up with a number of new story prompt ideas, such as a UFO invasion and scuba diving adventure. They also suggested new features, such as adding a timer, including a prompt for user names, and making the page more colorful. Stories With Friends is still in its alpha testing phase, and we will launch the complete app in September.

We’d like to thank the following people:

  • Jean Pena helped coordinate the playtest and is now hacking on Quill.
  • Pedro Ha coordinates the Nanohackers and made time for the playtest.
  • Darren Kong tested Stories With Friends and provided critical feedback.
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