Category Archive: Games
“When you realise that there are 21 characters, each with 3 mini-games, that makes 63 mini-games that needed creating within 6 months – which seems unfeasible. But the way we got around that was by building game mechanic templates which could be reused multiple times…”
Jon Raffe, Splinter
Splinter has recently created Famous People; a suite of Flash games aimed at a Primary school audience; for the BBC’s Primary History site. The project had a fixed deadline, due to it needing to fit within the annual budgeting period for that department. The suite focused on 21 famous characters throughout history, with each person’s game containing 3 different mini-games. The total of 63 mini-games were created within 6 months. The team built game mechanic templates which could be reused multiple times. Parallel pipelines facilitated a structured process flow, gave the client a good overview of the whole process and also ensured we met the fixed deadline.
While the visual, educational authoring and audio work was in production, the game frameworks were being built which could be re-skinned and re-used across all the different characters. In total there were 6 completely distinct game mechanics, which got mixed and matched depending on the story we were trying to tell for each character. We’re really happy with how flexible they became and how different all the games still feel from each other.
To make sure we kept within the short production timescales, we started each batch of game by doing four fully worked up visuals for each character, consisting of the main scene and three embedded mini-games. Across the 21 characters there are 84 different environments, ranging from Seb Coe’s Olympic stadium through to a Shakespeare-themed quiz show!
Those initial visuals then allowed our storyboard artist to sketch out a full run-through of each character’s game. Each character’s storyboard ran to 20 pages, with 3 panels per page, resulting in an immense 1, 260 storyboard panels.
Within the timescales the games went through multiple debugging phases, as well as a structured user testing session.
To find out more about how we created the Famous People games please visit our blog.
If you wish to link to each individual games please visit the following page: http://www.splinter.co.uk/lovie/bbc-famous-people/
They are one of the most creative, reliable companies I’ve worked with and I would be happy to recommend them to anyone else. Their illustration and design work is top quality – they understand the audience completely and interpret the brief well.
Rachel Duckhouse, Producer, BBC Scotland.
Splinter were commissioned to write, design and produce 11 Bitesize KS1 interactive science games for the BBC. Once the project commenced we were also commissioned to produce a further 7 titles focused on the Scottish Level 1 curriculum.
To find out more about how we created the Max & Molly games please visit our blog.
If you wish to link to each individual games please visit the following page: http://www.splinter.co.uk/lovie/bbc-bitesize/
Wirral Council’s Road safety team commissioned Splinter and partners Liverpool John Moore’s university to produce Sophie’s Journey: a PSHE/Maths Key stage 4 learning resource for Wirral schools.
The CDROM and printed pack have been produced to address the main aims of the project which were to embed Road Safety into the National Curriculum as a means of targeting pre-drivers to communicate the principles and benefits of road safety.
Splinter carried out a consultation that included focus testing, questionnaires and interviews with 14-17 year olds, road safety specialists and teachers. We also consulted community stakeholders e.g. Road Peace, emergency services etc. The report recommended a media rich CDROM and printed pack that would appeal to teachers, parents and children with varied IT skills, road safety knowledge and curricular abilities. We also ensured the materials accommodated different learning styles. Each of the 5 lessons on the CDROM include rich media including video, flash interactives, audio, PDF downloads & html links.
There are 5 lessons, 4 with a PSHE focus and a maths lesson. They can be taught with or without the use of the interactive CDROM. By teaching road traffic awareness in the classroom we hope young people will learn valuable lessons, gain a greater understanding of risk and be safer.
The learning materials include teacher and pupil evaluation forms so the project’s long term pedagogical aims can be evaluated.
Commissioned by Merseytravel www.climatlantic.co.uk is a fun and easy to use website for Primary and Secondary schoolchildren, teachers, parents and guardians. The website and games promote carbon reduction activity and environmental awareness, such as turning off lights, using public transport or planting a tree.
Climatlantic is a partnership of European countries: Ireland, UK, Portugal, Spain and France, located along the Atlantic coastline and working together to reduce their collective carbon footprints. Visitors to the website’s homepage are invited to make a pledge and help save the planet. After pledging you/schools are automatically sent advice to help fulfill that pledge.
The multi-lingual website has been designed with help from Holy Spirit School in Merseyside and Connah’s Quay High school in Flintshire. The children choose the colourful funky style of the website, the cool animal characters, including their names and also helped develop the game concepts. Climatlantic’s eco-guides are called Ollie the orangutan, Ula the parrot and Roofus the polar bear and appear throughout the site and games. Thanks to the fabulous illustrator Tracy who helped bring the children’s ideas to life.
Following on from the award winning Clued up in Hull children and young people’s website, Splinter were asked to design and produce an additional game to add to the ’13 and over’ section of the site. The game was made primarily to inform young people on the various forms of environment related crime that Hull City Council sees as a problem.
It’s split into four mini-games, each dealing with a type of crime, including fly tipping, littering, graffiti and dog fouling. Play the game here.
I have really, really enjoyed working with Splinter; the game was designed exactly how I had originally planned it and the extras they added were very creative. Even at an early stage I knew I had something special that I could show other authorities and will have no problem, I believe, in finding you more work for this type of game for other social landlords.
Carl Stephenson, Practice Manager
Following on from the award winning Clued up in Hull children and young people’s website, Splinter were asked to design and produce an additional game to add to the ’13 and over’ section of the site. The game was made primarily to inform young people about the issues surrounding homelessness and to educate them on the best choices to make when attempting to get a job and pay rent.
There are three different characters in the game, each facing a different challenge – from budgeting for how to live alone, the best choice when moving away from parents or the best methods for job hunting. Play the game here.
For the past 6 months Splinter have busily been developing the games for Conker Media’s multi-platform digital fiction event, The Well; created for BBC Switch.
The Well aired on BBC Two on Saturday afternoons and extended online where the audience immerse themselves further in the story – exploring a spookily-atmospheric recreation of the main drama location in a multi-level game. By engaging in a series of tasks and challenges the audience unlock hidden drama content which reveals the backstory to the TV drama.
Are you good at mini-games? Do you think you can beat the hag? Then have a go at The Well game, over on the BBC site.
We have recently completed content and design of the Hull Children and Young Peoples website. Splinter, in partnership with Mair education, produced full design templates, illustrations and written content for two websites targeted at under and over 12s. The sites are appealing and dynamic and the content we supplied was wide-ranging and original.
The project won the following awards:
• Gold Award in the Digital Media category at the National Local Government Association Awards 2009
• Best website at the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire CIPR Awards 2009
Junction K a strategic communication company commissioned Splinter to develop Make It Global as part of a wider web initiative on behalf of the Northwest Regional Development Agency. Make It Global is a content rich, interactive micro-site which sits within the main www.makeit.org.uk site. The site explains, and promotes the potential of careers within the manufacturing industry.
Our solution features a bank of six screens, with each screen focusing on a particular manufacturer and stage of the manufacturing process such as product development, design, sourcing, and fair trade. Each screen features a combination of video, animation, interaction and gaming to produce six engaging individual pieces. These are supported by more in depth fact files and teaching resources.
Splinter provided all elements of makeglobal including: concept development, research, copy, video, flash animation and illustration.