About Gamestar Mechanic

Packages & Purchasing FAQ

General Questions

Q. Who is eligible to use Gamestar Mechanic in educational settings and to purchase the Exclusive Educational Package?

A. To be eligible to register an Educator Account, you must be a professional educator or homeschooling parent/guardian/instructor who will use Gamestar Mechanic in one of the following environments:

  1. A K-12 or higher educational institution, non-profit, accredited by a generally accepted accreditation body;
  2. A registered United States 501(c)(3) charitable organization, accredited by a generally accepted accreditation body;
  3. A homeschool setting.

Note that Gamestar Mechanic is also made available to individual consumers, and Commercial Licenses are also available for companies, organizations and groups not meeting the above criteria. For more information, please contact us at support@gamestarmechanic.com.

Q. What is the difference between the Exclusive Educational Package and the Free Edition of Gamestar Mechanic?

A. The Exclusive Educational Package includes features that help you manage your class and help you and your students collaborate more effectively, plus more content for you and your students. Some of the features include

  • Access to the 'Addison's Quest' Premium Pack for you and your students, which includes more than 3 times the learning material and gamemaking content as compared to the Free Edition;
  • The ability to track your students' activity and progress;
  • Access to a library of assignable game design projects;
  • Tools for managing student accounts;
  • The ability to unlock instant access to 130+ components your students use to make their games.
  • An exclusive 'My Class' section of Game Alley;
  • Students can customize their games with their own art;
  • Ability to associate your students' real names with their user account names for administrative ease;
  • Support for multiple classes within a larger school or institution;
  • Option of having a private, "walled" online community for your organization (with a minimum purchase commitment);
  • Premium technical support.

Many of the above features are available only in the Exclusive Educational Package, which is offered at a 90% discount as compared to the consumer pricing for the 'Addison's Quest' Premium Pack alone. Your students will also keep access to this Premium Pack forever — even when their time in your class ends.

The Free Edition contains the same features and content freely available to all Gamestar users: access to an initial game design learning Quest, the ability to make and publish your own games and access to the Gamestar Mechanic community. The features and content listed above are not included.

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Purchasing Questions

Q. How does the pricing for the Exclusive Educational Package work?

A. Pricing is at a flat rate, per-student price of $2 USD per student. You may purchase access for as many students as you'd like (with a minimum initial order size of 10).

Q. How do my students access the Premium Packs I purchased for them?

A. Premium Pack purchases can be redeemed in several ways:

  • During the checkout process, you'll be able to select students from your existing class roster that you'd like to redeem packs for;
  • You'll receive a special 'Quick Link' that you can share with your students. This link will allow them to create their user accounts, join your class and redeem a Premium Pack you have purchased;
  • You can access your student roster at any time from your Workshop inside Gamestar Mechanic and select students that you'd like to redeem packs for (and purchase more packs, too, if you'd like).

Q. When I purchase access for my students, may I 'reuse' or 'recycle' licenses?

A. The pricing is on a lifetime, per-student basis, so you must purchase a Premium Pack for each distinct student (each student receives their own individual user account). The students may continue to access the content for as long as they wish, even after their time in your class ends (we believe strongly in students being able to continue their learning experiences outside of the classroom!). Please note that the sharing or 'recycling' of user accounts is expressly prohibited by our Terms of Service and Educational Licensing Agreement.

Q. Do I have to purchase Premium Packs for all the students in my class?

A. No. You may purchase Premium Packs for some, all or none of your students. Only those students for whom you purchase packs will have access to the premium content and features.

Q. Do I need to purchase a Premium Pack for myself (i.e. as a teacher)?

A. No. Premium Access is provided to all teachers in a class on a complimentary basis as long as you have students in your class for whom you have purchased Premium Packs.

Q. Can I purchase Premium Packs for my students now (i.e. all at once), even though some of them may not start using Gamestar until later in the school year?

A. Yes. You may purchase Premium Packs now and redeem as many (or as few) as you'd like with your current students. Any purchased packs that you do not redeem now will go into a 'bank' for you to redeem later.

Q. Can I purchase some Premium Pack for my students now and purchase more later?

A. Yes. You may purchase additional Premium Packs for your students at any time.

Q. What is your refund policy?

A. Within the first 90 days following the purchase of a Premium Pack, you are entitled to, upon request, a full, "no-questions-asked" refund of your purchase, provided that the pack has not yet been redeemed. Note that purchased but unredeemed packs do not expire and may be redeemed and applied to students in the future.

Within the first 7 days following the redemption of a pack, you are entitled to, upon request, a full, "no-questions-asked" refund of your purchase.

To request a refund, please email us at support@gamestarmechanic.com.

Q. I have questions or special requirements concerning my purchase. What should I do?

A. Please contact us at educators@gamestarmechanic.com and we'll be glad to help.

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Payment Questions

Q. What methods of payment are accepted?

A. You may pay for your educational purchase via credit card or via our 'send me an invoice' option.

Q. Is my payment information secure?

A. We collect and store payment information in a secure manner and use it only for the purpose of processing subscription transactions. With the exception of vendors we use to process payment transactions, we will never share information concerning your method of payment with any third party.

Q. My school/district/organization requires that payment be made through a Purchase Order (PO) process. Can I do this?

A. Yes. Our "send me an invoice" checkout process gives you the option to supply a Purchase Order Number. If you have additional questions or requirements, please contact us at educators@gamestarmechanic.com.

Q. Will I receive a receipt for my purchase?

A. Yes. Once you complete the checkout process, we will send you an email with information about your educational package and a receipt for your purchase.

Q. I am an international (i.e. non-US) educator. Can I make a purchase?

A. Yes. In most cases, you can use your non-US credit card to make a purchase and the transaction will be converted to US dollars by your credit card provider. You may also pay via check (drawn at a US bank) or via wire transfer by contacting us at educators@gamestarmechanic.com.

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Free Trial Questions

Q. How does the Free Trial of the Exclusive Educational Package work?

A. The Free Trial includes full access to all the features and content of the Exclusive Educational Package (described above) for you (as the teacher) and up to 3 student accounts for 30 days.

Q. How does the Free Trial differ from the Free Edition of Gamestar?

A. The Free Trial includes access to all the features and content of Exclusive Educational Package (described above) for you (as the teacher) and up to 3 student accounts for 30 days. The Free Edition includes only the features and content available freely to all Gamestar Mechanic users, does not contain any of the special features and content in the Exclusive Educational Package and is not time-limited in any way.

Q. What happens at the end of the 30-day trial period?

A. If you do not choose to purchase the Exclusive Educational Package, your access will convert to the Free Edition at the end of the trial.

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Free Edition Questions

Q. Is there a limit to the number of students or teachers I can have using the Free Edition of Gamestar?

A. No.

Q. If I start using the Free Edition with my class now, can I upgrade to the Exclusive Educational Package later?

A. Sure! You may upgrade and purchase Premium Packs for some or all of your students at any time.

Q. Why must my students use a 'Quick Link' to create their accounts when using the Free Edition?

A. We ask your students to create their accounts using the Quick Link so we know their accounts are associated with you as a teacher and that you (or your institution) have consented to their use of Gamestar Mechanic on their parents' behalf. It also makes it easier and more convenient for you to upgrade your existing students to the Exclusive Educational Package should you decide to do so in the future.

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Using Your Educational Account

Q. When will my Exclusive Educational Package/Free Trial/Free Edition access be available for use?

A. You and your students will be able to use Gamestar as soon as you complete the setup and/or checkout process.

Q. How do my students (and other teachers) join my class and start using Gamestar?

A. During the setup process, you will be provided with a set of Quick Links that you can share with your students and other teachers so that they can set up their accounts and join your class. These links are also accessible from your Workshop inside Gamestar Mechanic.

Q. Can I add another teacher to my class?

A. Yes: we'll provide you with a Quick Link you can share with the teacher to allow them to create their account and join your class. If you're using the Exclusive Educational Package and would like to group multiple classes together under a single 'parent' institution, we're happy to help there, too. Please contact us at educators@gamestarmechanic.com.

Q. I'd like to make sure I can track my students' progress effectively. Is it possible to see my students' real names inside Gamestar?

A. Users of the Exclusive Educational Edition have the option of asking their students to provide their real First and Last names when they create the user accounts. This information is stored securely in our system and is only ever shown to those students' authorized teachers. We provide this feature to allow teachers to more easily track student progress and to help identify unauthorized users who may have joined their classes.

Q. Help! I think an unauthorized student joined my class (or redeemed one of the Premium Packs I purchased). What do I do?

A. Don't panic! We'll get it sorted out. Please use the 'Report Abuse' feature in the Student Tracking section of your Workshop or send email to educators@gamestarmechanic.com to contact us. We will then investigate the issue and help you reclaim any Premium Packs that were redeemed inappropriately.

Q. I've got some students in my class in Gamestar who are no longer in my 'real' class. I've got some new students starting. What do I do?

A. Using the Student Tracking feature in your Workshop, you can remove students from your class at any time. These students will still be able to use their Gamestar accounts and have access to all their progress, content, etc. (including any Premium Packs purchased for them when they were in your class). You just won't see them in your class any more. New students can join your class using your Quick Link.

Q. I understand the Exclusive Educational Package includes 130+ components my students can use to make their games. How can they access these items?

A. We call the components you use when making games (e.g. avatars, enemies, blocks, etc.) 'sprites'. As your students progress through quests and learn about game design, they will earn sprites by completing game design missions. By going through these missions, they're not only learning the principles of game design, they're also learning how to use the sprites they earn. We think this is a great way to learn and highly recommend it.

That being said, if you prefer to structure your own learning experience using Gamestar, are pressed for time or just want to have your students dive in and start designing, the Exclusive Educational Package allows you to 'unlock' all 130+ sprites in Addison's Complete Quest. This will let your students use any of the sprites in games they make in their Workshops without having to earn them in the Quest first. To turn this feature on, use the 'About My Institution' link in the 'Clases' section of your Workshop and toggle the 'Unlock Sprites' setting for your class.

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Legacy Subscription Questions

Q. I heard educational access to Gamestar Mechanic was offered on a subscription basis. This doesn't seem to be the case. Can you explain?

A. This used to be the case, however effective September 14, 2012, we have discontinued the educational subscription plans for new educational users and have moved to a simplified, lifetime per-student pricing model.

Q. I am a legacy user with a premium educational subscription to Gamestar Mechanic. What happens to me under this new structure?

A. If you had an active premium educational subscription created prior to September 14, 2012, your subscription is still valid and you and your students will continue to have access under the terms of your original subscription plan. If you had a monthly subscription, it will continue to renew at the same rate until you choose to cancel it. When your subscription comes up for renewal, you may renew it at the terms of the original subscription or you may elect to switch to the new pricing structure. If you'd like, we're also glad to convert your existing subscription to the new lifetime structure. For more information, please contact us at educators@gamestarmechanic.com.