Zendosaur is a puzzle game that challenges players to use experimental design and hypothesis testing to discover the gastronomic preferences of a picky dinosaur. The dinosaur only eats meals conforming to a certain rule that's hidden from the player. By building meals out of different combinations of foods, players can design experiments to discriminate between different hypotheses about the dinosaur's tastes (for example, he only eats big piles of foods, or only meals that contain at least one beetle). To win the game, players check their understanding of the hidden rule by selecting a "recipe" that describes it.
Zendosaur is based on Zendo, a game for Icehouse pieces designed by Kory Heath. We are motivated by a desire to adapt this multiplayer tabletop game to an accessible, web-based, single-player experience that wraps an engaging story around an abstract game mechanic utilizing the scientific method.
This project was conceived at the 2012 San Francisco Science Hack Day.