Uh oh... you just blew up reality!
Written by Marion.
Flesh eating teachers, brain scanning machines, evil sky rockets and the most mighty packed lunchbox in the history of the universe all feature in Nightmare High, a new game from Channel Four which we and our brilliant collaborators at Somethin Else and Coney have been lovingly crafting throughout 2011.

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Nightmare High
Written by Marion.
After working amongst zombies teachers, the inner workings of a child's brain and digesting jam lasagne at the office for several months, we are happy to say that Nightmare High has finally opened its doors!

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Doctor Who Monster Invasion
Written by Marion.
Here is our 2nd national update to the BBC's Doctor Who Monster Invasion website.

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Nom Nation, coming soon!
Written by Marion.
Nom Nation is a delicious platform adventure coming very soon from Channel 4 Education and Playerthree.

You play as Chef, on a journey through five nutritious worlds on a mission to rescue the Book of Nom from Jabber the Gut, head of the McFatass Corporation. Only the Noms can help you succeed. Harnessing their hidden powers is the key ingredient. You can even take farting to a whole new level!
Nom Nation - All you can eat
Written by Gravy.
Nom Nation iPhone

Nom Nation, our nutritious educational game for Channel4 Education is at last live and FREE to download and play on iTunes and Web.

You can play the flash game at Play Nom Nation and download the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch game at iTunes

Featuring a huge amount of fun challenging levels and hundreds of 'Noms' (little food friends) to eat and discover, excellent music from Dave Cowen, and it's already picked up some amazing reviews for the Playstation Network version, such as "the best educational game ever" which made us blush just a little.

We'll shortly be adding it to other major free games sites as well, but please download it and give it a go.
Play three newborns
Written by Gravy.
Playerthree has lovingly nurtured three new interactive books for proud new parents, digital publisher Digital Leaf and children's writer Anita Pouroulis. We also have one more 'bun in the oven', Mum's Cronky Car which is coming soon. All the apps sit alongside a traditional printed release by Digital Leaf as well.

Due to constraints on development time and the need for cross platform products, we created these interactive books using Adobe Air, Stage 3D and Starling . We can now employ this interactive book technology for future apps and storytelling games.

Aimed at children from 1 to 7, each book is filled with beautiful illustrations, animation, interactivity and fun sound effects and music. The viewer can choose between narration by an adult or child - or no narration at all. The words dynamically highlight as the narrator reads the story so it's excellent at helping children learn to read as well.

Each book has over 20 pages in it, which is actually a huge amount of sprites and audio and it supports retina displays too so we really had to try to be efficient in our use of assets and sprite sheet creation. We've also been holding out for the latest ATF texture support from Adobe which should radically bring down texture files sizes and speed for Air based apps. The apps were initially launched with basic ATF support and will be updated to fully support it very soon.

Pancake Pandemonium on:
Google Play

Download "My Monster Mayhem":
Google Play

Oh, What a Tangle! on:
Google Play
Nightmare High wins BAFTA
Written by Gravy.
Nightmare High BAFTA

Fantastic news last night as Nightmare High won a children's BAFTA after being up against some very stiff competition in the form of CBBC's Tree Fu Tom, Disney's Where's my Water and CBBC's Deadly Planet. We developed all the games for Somethin' Else and Channel4 Education who created and managed the project and developed the story, website and all the filming.

Agency of Coney provided alot of the educational thinking and Ben Steers supplied the style for the characters. It was actually a tough project to produce games for as the there were some very specific learning outcomes that needed to be considered, many of which didn't naturally lend themselves to games.

However our aim is always to keep the games challening and fun whilst still producing the right learning outcomes. The games we produced formed modules within a tight storyline from Somethin' Else that the player has to experience. A mix of video, information, and entertainment to help encourage resilience and transition for school children moving from primary level to secondary level.

Well done to all the team involved.
Flight of the Skyman App
Written by Gravy.

Two months ago we released Skyman on iTunes, Google Play and a 2D flash promo version. Here's an update on how it did.

To give some background, we created a free to play game for Legal & General to help promote life cover and awareness of insurance to a younger audience, one that increasingly leaves decisions on life cover very late in their lives.

One could argue that insurance products don't naturally lend themselves to game mechanics, but we're big believers in being able to use games to entertain and educate as long as the 'learning' is integral to success in the game and the client was especially supportive of our thinking. If a brand message or educational takeout only exists as a series of popups the audience quickly sees through it and can be turned off.

Give them something genuinely entertaining and they're more likely to replay it, share it or take out some learning or brand awareness. Legal & General's brand is built on realism and many gamers want escapism. We created the Skyman concept to offer both.

You take on the role of a stunt man who has to perform at an air show for 20 days. You have to make as much money as possible before your virtual career ends. As you earn money you can upgrade your kit but also invest in 'insurance products' such as better armour, stunt doubles, and life cover. Investing more in kit helps you fly further but increases risk to you, whereas investing too much too early in protection gives you less to spend on flying further.

Branding in the game is minimal, yet it adheres fully to the client's brand guidelines. In fact the best feedback during testing was that consumers felt it was an existing game that Legal & General had sponsored afterwards. Players saw it as a game first and foremost and not as pure advertising, which was exactly the intention.

We released Skyman on March 10th on iTunes and Google Play and watched the chart position intently. We also placed the flash promo game on gamenet.com. Bearing in mind we had no promotion or features from either iTunes or Google and no paid advertising in place we were relying on organic growth of downloads and were expecting an initial spike and tail, Ideally making it into the top 25 and picking up a feature from Apple.

To everyone's surprise (even our own) we watched the game climb quickly and steadily through both charts by itself, peaking within a week on iTunes as the No.1 overall iPad app in the UK. It's download growth and fall on Google Play was over a much longer period, peaking at about a month after release but following a very similar cycle. To date it's had over 210,000 downloads on iTunes and 260,000 downloads on Google Play.

In making it to No.1, we were also able to get a great insight into how downloads-per-day correlate to chart position. It takes a steep mountain peak on downloads to give you a smooth hill shape on chart position. This really confirms the observations of others before us that the downloads per day are almost exponential as you get into the top 10 and up to position 1. Attached are a couple of graphs showing the difference in chart shapes.

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