My name is Daniel Dulek and I am the creator of Chemistry: An Atom Building Game and Meltdown. I have been teaching chemistry for the past 17 years and I created these games because I was tired of the traditional review games (i.e. Jeorpardy!). I wanted something new...something that would challenge my students, be entertaining while also helping to prepare them for quizzes and tests.
I am a high school chemistry teacher and I have been teaching Honors and AP chemistry for the past 15 years. I teach at Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in Palos Hills, IL, which is a suburb of Chicago. As a teacher, I have worked with TED-Ed to create two animated video lessons, The Mole & The Haber Process, which have been viewed over 400,000 times. I have also worked with Google at the Chicago headquarters to create online chemistry content. I absolutely love teaching and I believe that I have the greatest job in the world.
Besides teaching, I am also a huge board game fan. I have been playing all types of board games for as long as I can remember. I am a big fan of all types of card and board games. A couple of years back, I got an idea to take my favorite game of the time, Dominion, and turn it into a chemistry review game. As a teacher, I'm always looking for new ways to engage my students. My idea started as a personal goal: "Could I make a chemistry review game that my students would like?" After finishing the game, and I had my students play the game. I didn't tell them that I made the game; I told them I bought it online and I wanted to know what they thought. Well, the response was very positive. I had a hard time convincing my students that I really made the game.
After that, I got to thinking...if my students liked it what about other students? Maybe other teachers would want to use my game in their classes. So I started Elementally Fun Games, LLC (EFG). I got the idea to attend a science teacher convention and that is were I meet American Educational Products, LLC (AMEP). AMEP is a huge worldwide distributor of educational supplies. They supply teachers with chemicals, lab equipment, toys, games, books, and you name it. I was so excited! Not only did they buy the rights to distribute my first game Chemistry: An Atom Building Game but they also bought the rights to my second game Meltdown: A Cooperative Chemistry Review Game.
I wish that were they end of the story, but I found that in order to make any type of profit I needed to produce more games. (I'm still waiting to make some kind of profit.) Since I'm a new game designer and my games were new AMEP would only buy 500 to 1000 games at a time. On top of that, I don't have the capital to invest more in my games. I have already spent a lot of money to get to this point and I need some help with the financial part. I have about 4 more games that I am currently working on and I want to bring them to the market. I have been following Kickstarter and I have noticed how three chemistry board games, Wrong Chemistry, Compounded & Ion: A Compound Building Game have all been successful. In fact, two of those games successfully funded expansions for their games. I think my games are just as good, if not better.
Besides teaching and game designing, I am a husband to a great and understanding wife and the father of two great kids. I'm really very fortunate.
Daniel D. Dulek