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Formed in 1997, we throw fun stuff at your eyes, and your brains.
It’s hard to top dinosaurs as an educational topic for kids. So when the BBC approached us about making a game to teach KS1 scientific method, but in the realm of dinosaurs, we couldn’t say no! It meant our team got to buy toy dinosaurs – for research of course – and allowed us to develop a lush textured visual style to bring the dinosaurs to life.
We worked with the BBC, educational experts and a dinosaur expert to identify five ‘superstar’ dinosaurs – T.rex, Triceratops, Diplodocus, Stegosaurus and the Yi. Each of those had 3 different mini-games built around them, with opportunities to bring in a whole cast of supporting dinosaurs – everything from a Nedosaurus to the deadly Velociraptor.
One of the essential things we wanted to do was place the user right in the midst of the environments where the dinosaurs would have lived. So we developed a factually-sound hub which allows users to travel between the Cretaceous and Jurassic time periods – with appropriate flora and fauna throughout, and the occasional T.rex lurking behind a tree.
The game was built using the BBC’s IVOR game engine and the 15 mini-games utilised a variety of gameplay mechanics – drag-and-drop to feed a Yi, wipe-reveal to uncover fossils, tap-to-progress to measure the size of a T.rex’s head. For each completed mini-game we then reward the user with a sticker that unlocks bonus animations in a stickerbook.
The final piece of the puzzle for this project was the social campaign to promote it. We were lucky enough to get Radio 1’s Greg James on board to narrate the game, so we played on the theme for the promo video, letting it play out like a broadcast from his studio.
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