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HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 1
Harnessing Entrepreneurial Spirit for Educational Impact: The Journey of ArcticGale
Games in Creating a Historically Rich RPG
Heidi L. Livengood
College of Business and Security Management, University of Alaska Fairbanks
MBA F674: New Venture Development
Dr. Ping Lan
May 1, 2024
HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 2
Author Note
Heidi Livengood is a seasoned professional in technical and gaming recruitment, with
over 7 years of experience in both startups and established enterprises. Based in San Jose, CA,
Heidi has built a successful career in the tech industry, recruiting for companies like Lyft, Apple,
and Cisco, as well as prominent gaming giants such as Disney Interactive, Activision Publishing,
and Roblox, with contributions to 3 AAA titles.
Holding a BA in Applied Management, Heidi's expertise spans project management,
operations, and people management, enabling her to found and lead Livengood LLC, a
consultancy specializing in career development and candidate search services for the tech and
gaming industries. She is passionate about lifelong learning and mentoring, contributing to
various organizations that support small business growth and job seekers' career development.
Heidi grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska, and has lived in San Jose since 2014, where she
parents six amazing children. Beyond her professional pursuits, Heidi is an avid traveler, and
enjoys exploring new cuisines, dancing, and gaming, reflecting her dynamic and well-rounded
character.
HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 3
Abstract
This paper explores the importance of entrepreneurial spirit in the development of new ventures,
focusing on the journey of ArcticGale Games, an indie game studio. The study investigates the
role of entrepreneurial spirit characteristics, such as vision, innovation, resilience, and
resourcefulness, in establishing and growing the studio and navigating challenges. It also
examines the potential impact of historically accurate games on education. The research includes
planning the new venture, reviewing literature, engaging with peers, and reflecting on the
development process.
Key findings include:
● Entrepreneurial Journey: ArcticGale Games emerged from a blend of passion for gaming
and historical storytelling, overcoming challenges through entrepreneurial spirit.
● Educational Impact: The studio's flagship game offers both entertainment and educational
value, teaching players about the Klondike gold rush era and economic principles.
● Team Development: The process fostered skills and knowledge growth within the team,
highlighting the importance of continuous learning, adaptability, and teamwork.
● Community Engagement: Building a community around the game and incorporating
feedback has influenced its development and studio growth.
The paper concludes by reflecting on the intersection of entrepreneurship, education, and game
development, and discusses ArcticGale Games' future aspirations in both sectors.
Keywords: Educational impact, game development, entrepreneurial spirit, community
engagement, team development
HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 4
Harnessing Entrepreneurial Spirit for Educational Impact:
The Journey of ArcticGale Games in Creating a Historically Rich RPG
Introduction
New Venture and Product
ArcticGale Games stands at the intersection of education and entertainment, offering a
unique twist on traditional RPG gameplay. Our flagship game transports players to a historically
rich setting, immersing them in the unique challenges and opportunities of a pivotal era. Through
meticulously researched environments, character backstories, and plotlines, the game invites
players to explore and interact with the realities of the time, including historical professions,
livelihoods, and navigating the era’s landscapes.
The game’s educational component emerges organically from its gameplay, encouraging
players to learn about the period’s cultural, economic, and environmental nuances. NPCs,
powered by innovative technology, offer historical insights and clues to guide players through
the game’s narrative, while an evolving economic system reflects the harsh realities of life
during this historical period. The open-world, 3D design provides players with the freedom to
explore, choose careers, and build a livelihood, mirroring the diverse opportunities and
challenges faced by individuals of the era. ArcticGale Games aims to bridge the gap between
gaming and learning, creating a product that not only entertains but also educates and inspires.
Importance of Entrepreneurial Spirit
The entrepreneurial spirit is vital in the gaming industry, particularly for indie studios.
This spirit drives innovation, allowing small teams to create unique products that stand out in a
competitive market. For ArcticGale Games, entrepreneurial skills such as visionary thinking,
HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 5
risk-taking, resilience, and passion have been essential to navigating the development process,
from concept to completion.
Area of Study
This research focuses on the intersection of entrepreneurship, gaming, and education,
exploring how entrepreneurial skills and strategies contribute to creating educational games.
Importance of the Study
The topic is crucial for various reasons:
● Individual: Entrepreneurial skills foster personal growth, allowing individuals to bring
ideas to life, create businesses, and drive professional success.
● Business: Entrepreneurship is key for indie studios to build sustainable ventures, manage
resources, and create products that resonate with consumers.
● Economic: New ventures drive economic growth by generating jobs, stimulating
innovation, and contributing to industry advancement.
● Social Development: Educational games can impact society by enhancing learning
experiences, developing critical skills, and making education more accessible.
Literature Review
Extensive research has been conducted on entrepreneurial skills and their role in business
development, highlighting key skills such as vision, resilience, and customer-centric focus
(Entrepreneurial Spirit: How It Drives Success 2023). Studies also explore the potential of
gaming as an educational tool, emphasizing its ability to engage learners and develop various
skills (Bouronikos, 2023). However, there is a gap in literature exploring the intersection of
entrepreneurship, gaming, and education, particularly regarding the development of educational
games by indie studios.
HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 6
Research Gap and Aim
Given this gap, this research aims to explore the role of entrepreneurial skills in
developing educational games, investigating how these skills influence the game's creation,
content, and impact on learning. This involves examining the development process,
entrepreneurial strategies employed, and the balance between entertainment and educational
value.
Research Methodology
To conduct the research, the development of ArcticGale Games' RPG was studied
through:
● Planning and Feedback: Engaging in comprehensive planning, incorporating feedback
from peers, players, and stakeholders.
● Literature Review: Reviewing relevant literature on entrepreneurship, gaming, and
education.
● Industry Observation: Gaining firsthand industry knowledge from game development and
community engagement.
Results and Implications
The overall results of this research are generally positive, indicating that entrepreneurial
skills significantly contribute to creating successful educational games. This implies that future
studies can:
● Expand Linearly: By exploring similar ventures on a larger scale.
● Expand Nonlinearly: By focusing on specific aspects such as educational content
integration or community engagement.
HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 7
The paper is organized into three sections. Section one is an introduction. Section two
deals with research methods and research conduction. Section three discusses the research
findings and their applications.
Analysis
Context of Issue
The topic I have selected focuses on the qualities and skills associated with an
entrepreneurial spirit, specifically in the context of creating a new venture in the gaming
industry. This exploration delves into the essential traits that drive successful entrepreneurship
and how they are particularly relevant in the development of games with educational value.
Entrepreneurial Qualities in Gaming
The entrepreneurial spirit is characterized by several key qualities that are crucial for
establishing and sustaining a new venture. In the gaming industry, these traits include:
● Visionary Thinking: An entrepreneur must see beyond the present, imagining potential
products and opportunities. In gaming, this involves recognizing emerging trends,
technological advancements, and player needs, allowing for the creation of innovative
games that resonate with audiences.
● Innovation: Creating new and engaging games requires a mindset geared toward
innovation. Entrepreneurs must think creatively, constantly seeking new ways to enhance
gameplay mechanics, narratives, and user experiences. This innovation not only sustains
business growth but also contributes to the industry's overall evolution.
● Risk-Taking and Resilience: The gaming industry is highly competitive, requiring
entrepreneurs to take calculated risks and remain resilient in the face of challenges. This
HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 8
includes navigating development hurdles, funding uncertainties, and market positioning,
all of which test an entrepreneur's resolve.
● Resourcefulness: Developing a game often involves operating within tight budgets and
finding creative solutions to complex problems. Entrepreneurs in the gaming sector must
efficiently allocate resources, collaborate with partners, and find ways to do more with
less, ensuring their venture's survival.
Impact on Education
Beyond these qualities, the entrepreneurial spirit can also play a significant role in
making a positive impact on education through gaming. Educational games serve as powerful
tools for learning, offering interactive experiences that develop critical skills:
● Critical Thinking: Educational games engage players in problem-solving scenarios,
teaching them to strategize, adapt, and overcome challenges. These skills are invaluable
for both academic and professional success, fostering an entrepreneurial mindset from a
young age.
● Contextual Learning: Games designed around historical events, scientific principles, or
professional practices bridge the gap between theory and application. For example, a
game about the Klondike gold rush can teach economic principles, while a simulation
game can train nurses in critical care scenarios.
● Cultural Awareness: Educational games can also foster cultural awareness by
incorporating diverse narratives and historical contexts. This not only enriches gameplay
but also broadens players' perspectives, helping them appreciate different cultures and
viewpoints.
Importance
HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 9
The importance of entrepreneurial spirit and skills extends beyond mere business success,
touching upon multiple facets of life. At an individual level, these qualities drive personal
growth, professional achievement, and financial stability. For society, entrepreneurial ventures
serve as catalysts for economic growth, community building, and consumer satisfaction:
● Economic Growth: Entrepreneurship fosters innovation by generating new products,
services, and jobs, thereby stimulating economic activity. This is particularly relevant in
the gaming industry, where independent studios contribute new ideas, technological
advancements, and diverse experiences for consumers.
● Community Building: The creation of new ventures strengthens communities by offering
goods, services, and employment opportunities. As seen in the gaming sector,
entrepreneurial endeavors not only provide entertainment but also engage and unite
communities through shared interests.
● Consumer Impact: Entrepreneurial products, especially gaming, offer lasting impacts,
serving both entertainment and educational needs. Educational game development
benefits children by cultivating critical thinking skills and creativity and aids in training
professionals, such as nurses, in real-world scenarios.
Reflecting on my personal journey, my passion for gaming and its potential educational
value has deeply influenced my life. As a homeschooling parent, I witnessed firsthand the
transformative power of educational games in my children's learning experiences. These games
helped them grasp complex subjects, develop problem-solving skills, and even foster teamwork
and collaboration. This personal connection further solidified my belief in the importance of
creating games that blend entertainment with education, demonstrating the immense value of
entrepreneurial spirit in achieving both personal and societal growth.
HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 10
Methods
This section outlines the methodologies employed in researching and developing a new
venture within the gaming industry. The research process includes planning the venture,
reviewing literature, engaging with peers, and reflecting on the development process. The
methods used were as follows:
● Conferences and Networking: I attended several conferences, including the Game
Developers Conference (GDC), ACM SIGGRAPH, and GameBeats Next. These events
provided opportunities to attend talks related to game development, industry trends, and
emerging technologies. They also allowed me to build my professional network by
engaging with industry leaders, developers, and business experts. In addition to the
professional conferences, I have become an ambassador for Women in Games,
GameTalk Unlocked, and TheXPlace.
● Interviews: I interviewed business leaders and game developers to gain insights into the
industry's pain points, challenges, and areas for exploration. These conversations helped
me identify opportunities for business growth and informed the strategic direction of the
venture.
● Community Surveys: I surveyed community members specifically related to the game
product we are developing. This feedback offered valuable insights into consumer
preferences, expectations, and market demands, guiding product development and
ensuring it meets the target audience's needs.
● Literature Review: I delved into various articles and publications on topics such as
entrepreneurial spirit, gaming for educational use, emerging technologies, consumer
behavior, and market trends. This research provided a comprehensive understanding of
HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 11
the gaming industry's landscape, the business side of creating a gaming studio, and
potential points of failure.
● Independent Research: I engaged in individual research, exploring new innovations,
game development methodologies, and the business side of establishing a gaming studio.
This research informed the venture's strategic planning, highlighting key areas to address
for sustainable growth.
Traditional and Chosen Methods
In this field, traditional research methods include literature review, peer discussions,
observations, and intuition. However, this research employed a multifaceted approach,
integrating conferences, interviews, surveys, literature review, and independent research.
I chose this method because of its comprehensive nature. It allowed me to gather diverse
perspectives from various stakeholders, gain insights into industry trends and challenges, and
inform the strategic development of the venture. This holistic approach ensures a robust
foundation for the gaming studio, balancing innovation, consumer needs, and industry best
practices.
Results
Research Applications
The research process has significantly shaped and refined the development of my new
venture. Through attending conferences, reviewing literature, and engaging with industry
professionals, I have modified the scope of the business, ensuring alignment with current trends
and market demands. I have also made adjustments to the technology used in the game's
creation, integrating innovative features and leveraging new engines to enhance gameplay and
interactivity. This process has also bolstered my entrepreneurial spirit by encouraging continuous
HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 12
learning and improvement. I have further developed essential qualities such as building my
network, seeking self-improvement opportunities by learning to code and exploring different
game engines to design games, thereby contributing to both my professional growth and the
venture's success.
New Venture Creation Process
Over the past thirteen weeks, I embarked on the journey of planning a new venture within
the gaming industry. This process began by identifying both a problem and opportunities for
business development, allowing me to define the business mission, values, and financials. I then
delved into the core elements of the venture, including the product itself, the target market, case
studies, a marketing plan, and an organizational structure. Throughout this journey, I adopted an
iterative approach, continually refining and adjusting each aspect of the business and product. This
ensured that both the venture and its offerings evolved to meet changing demands and discovered
more effective ways to develop.
New Information Discovered
New data and information were gathered during the research process. Through attending
conferences and engaging with industry experts, I learned about emerging trends in game
development, new technologies, and opportunities for growth within the gaming industry.
Interviews with business leaders and game developers highlighted key pain points, areas for
innovation, and potential opportunities. Additionally, a survey conducted with community
members provided valuable insights into consumer preferences and expectations, guiding the
design and features of our game. Finally, my own research into articles and literature on
entrepreneurial spirit, gaming for education, and market trends further informed and refined the
venture's direction and strategies.
HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 13
Research Findings and Discussion
Through my research while developing my new venture, many findings were learned and
are outlined below. Entrepreneurial spirit pushes one to explore and excel in new endeavors.
Building a balanced team and cultivating a community around the game have been key
strategies, fostering growth and ensuring that feedback is incorporated into the game's
development. Through learning from failures and adapting, I have refined my approach, leading
to a more customer-centric product that continues to bridge the gap between gaming and
learning. This journey highlights the transformative power of entrepreneurial spirit in developing
educational games that entertain, inspire, and teach, offering an experience that goes beyond
mere gameplay.
New Finding: Curiosity
ArcticGale Games’ entry into the gaming industry required a steep learning curve,
beginning with understanding the complex world of game development. This journey required a
keen curiosity to navigate various areas, from the intricacies of game design to the diverse roles
involved in development, including writers, programmers, designers, and marketers. The project
also required learning about a variety of software and technological tools, hardware and software
requirements, and APIs and language models that could enhance gameplay experiences.
Furthermore, understanding industry trends, determining target markets, and navigating resource
appropriation were key challenges that demanded curiosity-driven research and exploration.
The success of my gaming studio rests heavily on this entrepreneurial spirit of curiosity,
driving the team's constant pursuit of new ideas and perspectives. This spirit was crucial in
learning about potential customers' needs, studying the competitive landscape, and brainstorming
ways to bring new value to the marketplace. As discussed in "Entrepreneurial Spirit: How It
HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 14
Drives Success" (2023), "An entrepreneurial spirit requires curiosity about our world and new
technological advancements," and this curiosity has been integral to ArcticGale Games'
development journey. By remaining curious, asking questions, and researching extensively, the
studio will be able to create a product that is not only entertaining but also meaningful and
educational, bridging the gap between gaming and learning.
New Finding: Educational Impact
ArcticGale’s first game offers both entertainment and educational value, teaching players
about historical eras, survival skills, and economic principles. The game serves not only as an
engaging RPG, but also as an educational tool, bridging the gap between history, economy, and
gameplay. Through a narrative set during the early colonization of interior Alaska, players are
immersed in the historical context, experiencing the challenges and rewards faced by
prospectors, settlers, and business owners during this pivotal period. This interactive approach
provides insights into survival skills, resource management, and the economic principles that
shaped the era, offering a unique blend of learning and entertainment.
To ensure authenticity and depth, ArcticGale Games will establish partnerships with
historical and cultural organizations, including local museums and heritage groups. These
collaborations have enriched the game’s content, providing accurate historical details, cultural
insights, and contextually relevant narratives. Such partnerships have also contributed to a more
nuanced portrayal of the Klondike era, from economic dynamics to the cultural and societal
aspects of the time.
Educational games like this one play a transformative role in developing entrepreneurial
skills. As highlighted in Bouronikos (2023), they offer immersive experiences, allowing players
to navigate virtual business simulations, problem-solving challenges, and decision-making
HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 15
scenarios. This not only aids strategic thinking and resource management, but also nurtures
creativity, innovation, and adaptability. Multiplayer features encourage collaboration,
communication, and teamwork, enhancing essential entrepreneurial skills for building strong
business relationships. This approach bridges the gap between theory and practice, creating an
engaging learning environment that fosters real-world application, helping learners refine their
skills in a safe and controlled setting. Overall, our game product exemplifies the potential of
educational games to teach both history and entrepreneurial principles.
New Finding: Team Development
Team development has been a pivotal aspect of ArcticGale Games’ journey, fostering
skills and knowledge growth within the team, and emphasizing the importance of continuous
learning, adaptability, and collaboration. Building a successful business requires not only a
dedicated internal team but also a supportive network of advisors, mentors, and investors. This
process has been crucial in helping identify the essential studio team members, from game
designers and developers to marketers and support staff, as well as key advisors and financial
backers who have guided the studio's growth.
The importance of a strong, well-balanced team is discussed in "7 characteristics of a
successful Game studio" (2015), noting that successful studios start with a "gelled core team of
four to six professionals," expanding organically as needed. The lean approach ensures new
members accelerate progress, avoiding the obstacles of an oversized team that can hinder
development. This organic growth model is one that will be used in ArcticGale Games'
development process, allowing the studio to adapt to each stage of game development.
HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 16
New Finding: Maintaining Customer-Centricity
Surveys with potential customers revealed that creating an educational historical game
significantly reduced the target audience. This finding highlighted a key challenge in balancing
educational content with broader market appeal, requiring adjustments to the product's design
and marketing strategy.
Throughout the development process, several challenges arose, including research,
funding, technology, and market positioning. The need for continuous improvement was most
apparent during surveys with prospective customers, leading to adjustments in major product
specifications, features, and pricing. By engaging with customer feedback, entrepreneurial
thinking and creativity were essential to overcoming these obstacles, ensuring the game’s
success.
As discussed in "Entrepreneurial Spirit: How It Drives Success" (2023), "Entrepreneurs
must always put their customers first. They are the ultimate judge and recipient of the
entrepreneur’s idea. Customers hold great power and can spread the word about a new idea or
business, bringing in consistent profits or opportunities for growth. Listening to and engaging
with customers during service or product development helps ensure top results." Staying engaged
with customers and responding to their concerns with realistic solutions has led to a more
customer-centric product, showing how maintaining a focus on customer needs can solidify
success. Continuously keeping customer needs at the forefront of business decisions is a great
characteristic of entrepreneurial spirit.
New Finding: Learning through Failure
In the world of entrepreneurship, failure serves as a valuable learning opportunity. For
ArcticGale Games, embracing the possibility of failure is a mark of resilience and adaptability.
HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 17
The process of developing a game studio or product may encounter setbacks, technical glitches,
or even catastrophic failures, yet each of these instances offers a chance to grow and improve. As
discussed in "Entrepreneurial Spirit: How It Drives Success" (2023), "Failure is always possible.
However, turning failure into a positive experience can make the setbacks sting less." The ability
to see failure as a divergence from expectations rather than a personal failing allows ArcticGale
Games to reflect on mistakes, avoid repeating them, and emerge stronger. This approach fosters
continuous improvement and adaptability, essential traits for any entrepreneurial venture,
ensuring that each failure serves as a steppingstone toward future success.
Discussion
My research has been instrumental in guiding my new business development, knowledge,
and skills accumulation. It has provided insights into the multifaceted nature of game
development, including project management, market research, and product positioning,
enhancing my ability to navigate the complex gaming industry. The experience of developing a
historically rich game has deepened my understanding of key entrepreneurial skills such as
vision, innovation, resilience, and adaptability. This journey has also fostered my entrepreneurial
spirit, emphasizing the importance of curiosity, learning from failure, and maintaining a
customer-centric approach.
My research contributes to expanding knowledge on the intersection of education and
gaming, offering a model for balancing educational content with entertainment. It provides a
framework for improving skills in dealing with the complexities of game development,
particularly in integrating historical narratives, economic principles, and interactive gameplay.
Additionally, my research presents a different way of viewing entrepreneurship, highlighting
HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 18
how entrepreneurial spirit can drive innovation and educational engagement, bridging the gap
between gaming and learning.
The uniqueness of my research lies in its contribution to the relatively small knowledge
pool on combining historical accuracy, gaming, and education. My approach involves
conducting research on the gaming industry, collecting data on market trends, and exploring how
to integrate learning experiences into an engaging game format. The geographical location,
historical focus, and integration of up-and-coming technologies set this project apart, offering
unique opportunities for interactive storytelling. The research also incorporates new business
planning alongside game development, providing a holistic view of the entrepreneurial journey.
The limitations of my research include its scope and scale, particularly in terms of data
collection and literature review. The research provides only a glimpse into the process of
creating and launching a new venture. Additionally, the conclusions drawn are limited by time
and resources, preventing a comprehensive exploration of all aspects of game development and
entrepreneurship. Future iterations of the research could benefit from broader data collection,
deeper literature surveys, and further exploration of clear evidence to support conclusions.
Future research opportunities are present, particularly in exploring the positive impact
that entrepreneurial spirit can have on education through gaming and vice versa. My research
touches only the surface of this topic, and further investigation could delve deeper into how
educational games can foster entrepreneurial skills, including strategic thinking, resource
management, and innovation. Additionally, studying the relationship between game development
and educational content integration could provide valuable insights into creating products that
are both entertaining and instructive, benefiting both the gaming industry and the broader
educational landscape.
HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 19
References
Bouronikos, V. (2023, May 25). How do educational games help develop entrepreneurial skills
in youth? Institute of Entrepreneurship Development. https://ied.eu/blog/education-
blog/educational-games-enttrepreneurial-skills-in-youth/
Entrepreneurial Spirit: How It Drives Success. Robert F. Smith. (2023, October 19).
https://robertsmith.com/entreprenurial-spirit/.
Katkoff, M. (2015, October 9). 7 characteristics of a successful Game studio. Game Developer.
https://www.gamedeveloper.com/design/7-characteristics-of-a-successful-game-studio.

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MBA 674 Final Research Paper Livengood Harnessing Entrepreneurial Spirit .pdf

  • 1. HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 1 Harnessing Entrepreneurial Spirit for Educational Impact: The Journey of ArcticGale Games in Creating a Historically Rich RPG Heidi L. Livengood College of Business and Security Management, University of Alaska Fairbanks MBA F674: New Venture Development Dr. Ping Lan May 1, 2024
  • 2. HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 2 Author Note Heidi Livengood is a seasoned professional in technical and gaming recruitment, with over 7 years of experience in both startups and established enterprises. Based in San Jose, CA, Heidi has built a successful career in the tech industry, recruiting for companies like Lyft, Apple, and Cisco, as well as prominent gaming giants such as Disney Interactive, Activision Publishing, and Roblox, with contributions to 3 AAA titles. Holding a BA in Applied Management, Heidi's expertise spans project management, operations, and people management, enabling her to found and lead Livengood LLC, a consultancy specializing in career development and candidate search services for the tech and gaming industries. She is passionate about lifelong learning and mentoring, contributing to various organizations that support small business growth and job seekers' career development. Heidi grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska, and has lived in San Jose since 2014, where she parents six amazing children. Beyond her professional pursuits, Heidi is an avid traveler, and enjoys exploring new cuisines, dancing, and gaming, reflecting her dynamic and well-rounded character.
  • 3. HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 3 Abstract This paper explores the importance of entrepreneurial spirit in the development of new ventures, focusing on the journey of ArcticGale Games, an indie game studio. The study investigates the role of entrepreneurial spirit characteristics, such as vision, innovation, resilience, and resourcefulness, in establishing and growing the studio and navigating challenges. It also examines the potential impact of historically accurate games on education. The research includes planning the new venture, reviewing literature, engaging with peers, and reflecting on the development process. Key findings include: ● Entrepreneurial Journey: ArcticGale Games emerged from a blend of passion for gaming and historical storytelling, overcoming challenges through entrepreneurial spirit. ● Educational Impact: The studio's flagship game offers both entertainment and educational value, teaching players about the Klondike gold rush era and economic principles. ● Team Development: The process fostered skills and knowledge growth within the team, highlighting the importance of continuous learning, adaptability, and teamwork. ● Community Engagement: Building a community around the game and incorporating feedback has influenced its development and studio growth. The paper concludes by reflecting on the intersection of entrepreneurship, education, and game development, and discusses ArcticGale Games' future aspirations in both sectors. Keywords: Educational impact, game development, entrepreneurial spirit, community engagement, team development
  • 4. HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 4 Harnessing Entrepreneurial Spirit for Educational Impact: The Journey of ArcticGale Games in Creating a Historically Rich RPG Introduction New Venture and Product ArcticGale Games stands at the intersection of education and entertainment, offering a unique twist on traditional RPG gameplay. Our flagship game transports players to a historically rich setting, immersing them in the unique challenges and opportunities of a pivotal era. Through meticulously researched environments, character backstories, and plotlines, the game invites players to explore and interact with the realities of the time, including historical professions, livelihoods, and navigating the era’s landscapes. The game’s educational component emerges organically from its gameplay, encouraging players to learn about the period’s cultural, economic, and environmental nuances. NPCs, powered by innovative technology, offer historical insights and clues to guide players through the game’s narrative, while an evolving economic system reflects the harsh realities of life during this historical period. The open-world, 3D design provides players with the freedom to explore, choose careers, and build a livelihood, mirroring the diverse opportunities and challenges faced by individuals of the era. ArcticGale Games aims to bridge the gap between gaming and learning, creating a product that not only entertains but also educates and inspires. Importance of Entrepreneurial Spirit The entrepreneurial spirit is vital in the gaming industry, particularly for indie studios. This spirit drives innovation, allowing small teams to create unique products that stand out in a competitive market. For ArcticGale Games, entrepreneurial skills such as visionary thinking,
  • 5. HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 5 risk-taking, resilience, and passion have been essential to navigating the development process, from concept to completion. Area of Study This research focuses on the intersection of entrepreneurship, gaming, and education, exploring how entrepreneurial skills and strategies contribute to creating educational games. Importance of the Study The topic is crucial for various reasons: ● Individual: Entrepreneurial skills foster personal growth, allowing individuals to bring ideas to life, create businesses, and drive professional success. ● Business: Entrepreneurship is key for indie studios to build sustainable ventures, manage resources, and create products that resonate with consumers. ● Economic: New ventures drive economic growth by generating jobs, stimulating innovation, and contributing to industry advancement. ● Social Development: Educational games can impact society by enhancing learning experiences, developing critical skills, and making education more accessible. Literature Review Extensive research has been conducted on entrepreneurial skills and their role in business development, highlighting key skills such as vision, resilience, and customer-centric focus (Entrepreneurial Spirit: How It Drives Success 2023). Studies also explore the potential of gaming as an educational tool, emphasizing its ability to engage learners and develop various skills (Bouronikos, 2023). However, there is a gap in literature exploring the intersection of entrepreneurship, gaming, and education, particularly regarding the development of educational games by indie studios.
  • 6. HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 6 Research Gap and Aim Given this gap, this research aims to explore the role of entrepreneurial skills in developing educational games, investigating how these skills influence the game's creation, content, and impact on learning. This involves examining the development process, entrepreneurial strategies employed, and the balance between entertainment and educational value. Research Methodology To conduct the research, the development of ArcticGale Games' RPG was studied through: ● Planning and Feedback: Engaging in comprehensive planning, incorporating feedback from peers, players, and stakeholders. ● Literature Review: Reviewing relevant literature on entrepreneurship, gaming, and education. ● Industry Observation: Gaining firsthand industry knowledge from game development and community engagement. Results and Implications The overall results of this research are generally positive, indicating that entrepreneurial skills significantly contribute to creating successful educational games. This implies that future studies can: ● Expand Linearly: By exploring similar ventures on a larger scale. ● Expand Nonlinearly: By focusing on specific aspects such as educational content integration or community engagement.
  • 7. HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 7 The paper is organized into three sections. Section one is an introduction. Section two deals with research methods and research conduction. Section three discusses the research findings and their applications. Analysis Context of Issue The topic I have selected focuses on the qualities and skills associated with an entrepreneurial spirit, specifically in the context of creating a new venture in the gaming industry. This exploration delves into the essential traits that drive successful entrepreneurship and how they are particularly relevant in the development of games with educational value. Entrepreneurial Qualities in Gaming The entrepreneurial spirit is characterized by several key qualities that are crucial for establishing and sustaining a new venture. In the gaming industry, these traits include: ● Visionary Thinking: An entrepreneur must see beyond the present, imagining potential products and opportunities. In gaming, this involves recognizing emerging trends, technological advancements, and player needs, allowing for the creation of innovative games that resonate with audiences. ● Innovation: Creating new and engaging games requires a mindset geared toward innovation. Entrepreneurs must think creatively, constantly seeking new ways to enhance gameplay mechanics, narratives, and user experiences. This innovation not only sustains business growth but also contributes to the industry's overall evolution. ● Risk-Taking and Resilience: The gaming industry is highly competitive, requiring entrepreneurs to take calculated risks and remain resilient in the face of challenges. This
  • 8. HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 8 includes navigating development hurdles, funding uncertainties, and market positioning, all of which test an entrepreneur's resolve. ● Resourcefulness: Developing a game often involves operating within tight budgets and finding creative solutions to complex problems. Entrepreneurs in the gaming sector must efficiently allocate resources, collaborate with partners, and find ways to do more with less, ensuring their venture's survival. Impact on Education Beyond these qualities, the entrepreneurial spirit can also play a significant role in making a positive impact on education through gaming. Educational games serve as powerful tools for learning, offering interactive experiences that develop critical skills: ● Critical Thinking: Educational games engage players in problem-solving scenarios, teaching them to strategize, adapt, and overcome challenges. These skills are invaluable for both academic and professional success, fostering an entrepreneurial mindset from a young age. ● Contextual Learning: Games designed around historical events, scientific principles, or professional practices bridge the gap between theory and application. For example, a game about the Klondike gold rush can teach economic principles, while a simulation game can train nurses in critical care scenarios. ● Cultural Awareness: Educational games can also foster cultural awareness by incorporating diverse narratives and historical contexts. This not only enriches gameplay but also broadens players' perspectives, helping them appreciate different cultures and viewpoints. Importance
  • 9. HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 9 The importance of entrepreneurial spirit and skills extends beyond mere business success, touching upon multiple facets of life. At an individual level, these qualities drive personal growth, professional achievement, and financial stability. For society, entrepreneurial ventures serve as catalysts for economic growth, community building, and consumer satisfaction: ● Economic Growth: Entrepreneurship fosters innovation by generating new products, services, and jobs, thereby stimulating economic activity. This is particularly relevant in the gaming industry, where independent studios contribute new ideas, technological advancements, and diverse experiences for consumers. ● Community Building: The creation of new ventures strengthens communities by offering goods, services, and employment opportunities. As seen in the gaming sector, entrepreneurial endeavors not only provide entertainment but also engage and unite communities through shared interests. ● Consumer Impact: Entrepreneurial products, especially gaming, offer lasting impacts, serving both entertainment and educational needs. Educational game development benefits children by cultivating critical thinking skills and creativity and aids in training professionals, such as nurses, in real-world scenarios. Reflecting on my personal journey, my passion for gaming and its potential educational value has deeply influenced my life. As a homeschooling parent, I witnessed firsthand the transformative power of educational games in my children's learning experiences. These games helped them grasp complex subjects, develop problem-solving skills, and even foster teamwork and collaboration. This personal connection further solidified my belief in the importance of creating games that blend entertainment with education, demonstrating the immense value of entrepreneurial spirit in achieving both personal and societal growth.
  • 10. HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 10 Methods This section outlines the methodologies employed in researching and developing a new venture within the gaming industry. The research process includes planning the venture, reviewing literature, engaging with peers, and reflecting on the development process. The methods used were as follows: ● Conferences and Networking: I attended several conferences, including the Game Developers Conference (GDC), ACM SIGGRAPH, and GameBeats Next. These events provided opportunities to attend talks related to game development, industry trends, and emerging technologies. They also allowed me to build my professional network by engaging with industry leaders, developers, and business experts. In addition to the professional conferences, I have become an ambassador for Women in Games, GameTalk Unlocked, and TheXPlace. ● Interviews: I interviewed business leaders and game developers to gain insights into the industry's pain points, challenges, and areas for exploration. These conversations helped me identify opportunities for business growth and informed the strategic direction of the venture. ● Community Surveys: I surveyed community members specifically related to the game product we are developing. This feedback offered valuable insights into consumer preferences, expectations, and market demands, guiding product development and ensuring it meets the target audience's needs. ● Literature Review: I delved into various articles and publications on topics such as entrepreneurial spirit, gaming for educational use, emerging technologies, consumer behavior, and market trends. This research provided a comprehensive understanding of
  • 11. HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 11 the gaming industry's landscape, the business side of creating a gaming studio, and potential points of failure. ● Independent Research: I engaged in individual research, exploring new innovations, game development methodologies, and the business side of establishing a gaming studio. This research informed the venture's strategic planning, highlighting key areas to address for sustainable growth. Traditional and Chosen Methods In this field, traditional research methods include literature review, peer discussions, observations, and intuition. However, this research employed a multifaceted approach, integrating conferences, interviews, surveys, literature review, and independent research. I chose this method because of its comprehensive nature. It allowed me to gather diverse perspectives from various stakeholders, gain insights into industry trends and challenges, and inform the strategic development of the venture. This holistic approach ensures a robust foundation for the gaming studio, balancing innovation, consumer needs, and industry best practices. Results Research Applications The research process has significantly shaped and refined the development of my new venture. Through attending conferences, reviewing literature, and engaging with industry professionals, I have modified the scope of the business, ensuring alignment with current trends and market demands. I have also made adjustments to the technology used in the game's creation, integrating innovative features and leveraging new engines to enhance gameplay and interactivity. This process has also bolstered my entrepreneurial spirit by encouraging continuous
  • 12. HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 12 learning and improvement. I have further developed essential qualities such as building my network, seeking self-improvement opportunities by learning to code and exploring different game engines to design games, thereby contributing to both my professional growth and the venture's success. New Venture Creation Process Over the past thirteen weeks, I embarked on the journey of planning a new venture within the gaming industry. This process began by identifying both a problem and opportunities for business development, allowing me to define the business mission, values, and financials. I then delved into the core elements of the venture, including the product itself, the target market, case studies, a marketing plan, and an organizational structure. Throughout this journey, I adopted an iterative approach, continually refining and adjusting each aspect of the business and product. This ensured that both the venture and its offerings evolved to meet changing demands and discovered more effective ways to develop. New Information Discovered New data and information were gathered during the research process. Through attending conferences and engaging with industry experts, I learned about emerging trends in game development, new technologies, and opportunities for growth within the gaming industry. Interviews with business leaders and game developers highlighted key pain points, areas for innovation, and potential opportunities. Additionally, a survey conducted with community members provided valuable insights into consumer preferences and expectations, guiding the design and features of our game. Finally, my own research into articles and literature on entrepreneurial spirit, gaming for education, and market trends further informed and refined the venture's direction and strategies.
  • 13. HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 13 Research Findings and Discussion Through my research while developing my new venture, many findings were learned and are outlined below. Entrepreneurial spirit pushes one to explore and excel in new endeavors. Building a balanced team and cultivating a community around the game have been key strategies, fostering growth and ensuring that feedback is incorporated into the game's development. Through learning from failures and adapting, I have refined my approach, leading to a more customer-centric product that continues to bridge the gap between gaming and learning. This journey highlights the transformative power of entrepreneurial spirit in developing educational games that entertain, inspire, and teach, offering an experience that goes beyond mere gameplay. New Finding: Curiosity ArcticGale Games’ entry into the gaming industry required a steep learning curve, beginning with understanding the complex world of game development. This journey required a keen curiosity to navigate various areas, from the intricacies of game design to the diverse roles involved in development, including writers, programmers, designers, and marketers. The project also required learning about a variety of software and technological tools, hardware and software requirements, and APIs and language models that could enhance gameplay experiences. Furthermore, understanding industry trends, determining target markets, and navigating resource appropriation were key challenges that demanded curiosity-driven research and exploration. The success of my gaming studio rests heavily on this entrepreneurial spirit of curiosity, driving the team's constant pursuit of new ideas and perspectives. This spirit was crucial in learning about potential customers' needs, studying the competitive landscape, and brainstorming ways to bring new value to the marketplace. As discussed in "Entrepreneurial Spirit: How It
  • 14. HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 14 Drives Success" (2023), "An entrepreneurial spirit requires curiosity about our world and new technological advancements," and this curiosity has been integral to ArcticGale Games' development journey. By remaining curious, asking questions, and researching extensively, the studio will be able to create a product that is not only entertaining but also meaningful and educational, bridging the gap between gaming and learning. New Finding: Educational Impact ArcticGale’s first game offers both entertainment and educational value, teaching players about historical eras, survival skills, and economic principles. The game serves not only as an engaging RPG, but also as an educational tool, bridging the gap between history, economy, and gameplay. Through a narrative set during the early colonization of interior Alaska, players are immersed in the historical context, experiencing the challenges and rewards faced by prospectors, settlers, and business owners during this pivotal period. This interactive approach provides insights into survival skills, resource management, and the economic principles that shaped the era, offering a unique blend of learning and entertainment. To ensure authenticity and depth, ArcticGale Games will establish partnerships with historical and cultural organizations, including local museums and heritage groups. These collaborations have enriched the game’s content, providing accurate historical details, cultural insights, and contextually relevant narratives. Such partnerships have also contributed to a more nuanced portrayal of the Klondike era, from economic dynamics to the cultural and societal aspects of the time. Educational games like this one play a transformative role in developing entrepreneurial skills. As highlighted in Bouronikos (2023), they offer immersive experiences, allowing players to navigate virtual business simulations, problem-solving challenges, and decision-making
  • 15. HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 15 scenarios. This not only aids strategic thinking and resource management, but also nurtures creativity, innovation, and adaptability. Multiplayer features encourage collaboration, communication, and teamwork, enhancing essential entrepreneurial skills for building strong business relationships. This approach bridges the gap between theory and practice, creating an engaging learning environment that fosters real-world application, helping learners refine their skills in a safe and controlled setting. Overall, our game product exemplifies the potential of educational games to teach both history and entrepreneurial principles. New Finding: Team Development Team development has been a pivotal aspect of ArcticGale Games’ journey, fostering skills and knowledge growth within the team, and emphasizing the importance of continuous learning, adaptability, and collaboration. Building a successful business requires not only a dedicated internal team but also a supportive network of advisors, mentors, and investors. This process has been crucial in helping identify the essential studio team members, from game designers and developers to marketers and support staff, as well as key advisors and financial backers who have guided the studio's growth. The importance of a strong, well-balanced team is discussed in "7 characteristics of a successful Game studio" (2015), noting that successful studios start with a "gelled core team of four to six professionals," expanding organically as needed. The lean approach ensures new members accelerate progress, avoiding the obstacles of an oversized team that can hinder development. This organic growth model is one that will be used in ArcticGale Games' development process, allowing the studio to adapt to each stage of game development.
  • 16. HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 16 New Finding: Maintaining Customer-Centricity Surveys with potential customers revealed that creating an educational historical game significantly reduced the target audience. This finding highlighted a key challenge in balancing educational content with broader market appeal, requiring adjustments to the product's design and marketing strategy. Throughout the development process, several challenges arose, including research, funding, technology, and market positioning. The need for continuous improvement was most apparent during surveys with prospective customers, leading to adjustments in major product specifications, features, and pricing. By engaging with customer feedback, entrepreneurial thinking and creativity were essential to overcoming these obstacles, ensuring the game’s success. As discussed in "Entrepreneurial Spirit: How It Drives Success" (2023), "Entrepreneurs must always put their customers first. They are the ultimate judge and recipient of the entrepreneur’s idea. Customers hold great power and can spread the word about a new idea or business, bringing in consistent profits or opportunities for growth. Listening to and engaging with customers during service or product development helps ensure top results." Staying engaged with customers and responding to their concerns with realistic solutions has led to a more customer-centric product, showing how maintaining a focus on customer needs can solidify success. Continuously keeping customer needs at the forefront of business decisions is a great characteristic of entrepreneurial spirit. New Finding: Learning through Failure In the world of entrepreneurship, failure serves as a valuable learning opportunity. For ArcticGale Games, embracing the possibility of failure is a mark of resilience and adaptability.
  • 17. HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 17 The process of developing a game studio or product may encounter setbacks, technical glitches, or even catastrophic failures, yet each of these instances offers a chance to grow and improve. As discussed in "Entrepreneurial Spirit: How It Drives Success" (2023), "Failure is always possible. However, turning failure into a positive experience can make the setbacks sting less." The ability to see failure as a divergence from expectations rather than a personal failing allows ArcticGale Games to reflect on mistakes, avoid repeating them, and emerge stronger. This approach fosters continuous improvement and adaptability, essential traits for any entrepreneurial venture, ensuring that each failure serves as a steppingstone toward future success. Discussion My research has been instrumental in guiding my new business development, knowledge, and skills accumulation. It has provided insights into the multifaceted nature of game development, including project management, market research, and product positioning, enhancing my ability to navigate the complex gaming industry. The experience of developing a historically rich game has deepened my understanding of key entrepreneurial skills such as vision, innovation, resilience, and adaptability. This journey has also fostered my entrepreneurial spirit, emphasizing the importance of curiosity, learning from failure, and maintaining a customer-centric approach. My research contributes to expanding knowledge on the intersection of education and gaming, offering a model for balancing educational content with entertainment. It provides a framework for improving skills in dealing with the complexities of game development, particularly in integrating historical narratives, economic principles, and interactive gameplay. Additionally, my research presents a different way of viewing entrepreneurship, highlighting
  • 18. HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 18 how entrepreneurial spirit can drive innovation and educational engagement, bridging the gap between gaming and learning. The uniqueness of my research lies in its contribution to the relatively small knowledge pool on combining historical accuracy, gaming, and education. My approach involves conducting research on the gaming industry, collecting data on market trends, and exploring how to integrate learning experiences into an engaging game format. The geographical location, historical focus, and integration of up-and-coming technologies set this project apart, offering unique opportunities for interactive storytelling. The research also incorporates new business planning alongside game development, providing a holistic view of the entrepreneurial journey. The limitations of my research include its scope and scale, particularly in terms of data collection and literature review. The research provides only a glimpse into the process of creating and launching a new venture. Additionally, the conclusions drawn are limited by time and resources, preventing a comprehensive exploration of all aspects of game development and entrepreneurship. Future iterations of the research could benefit from broader data collection, deeper literature surveys, and further exploration of clear evidence to support conclusions. Future research opportunities are present, particularly in exploring the positive impact that entrepreneurial spirit can have on education through gaming and vice versa. My research touches only the surface of this topic, and further investigation could delve deeper into how educational games can foster entrepreneurial skills, including strategic thinking, resource management, and innovation. Additionally, studying the relationship between game development and educational content integration could provide valuable insights into creating products that are both entertaining and instructive, benefiting both the gaming industry and the broader educational landscape.
  • 19. HARNESSING ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT FOR EDUCATIONAL IMPACT 19 References Bouronikos, V. (2023, May 25). How do educational games help develop entrepreneurial skills in youth? Institute of Entrepreneurship Development. https://ied.eu/blog/education- blog/educational-games-enttrepreneurial-skills-in-youth/ Entrepreneurial Spirit: How It Drives Success. Robert F. Smith. (2023, October 19). https://robertsmith.com/entreprenurial-spirit/. Katkoff, M. (2015, October 9). 7 characteristics of a successful Game studio. Game Developer. https://www.gamedeveloper.com/design/7-characteristics-of-a-successful-game-studio.