Words That Go is an early education game with the goal of using using the classic crazy cars from Richard Scarry’s books to make learning to spell an enjoyable experience for children.
- Company: Learning Touch (Intern)
- Platform: iOS
- Team Size: 10 + Child voice actors
- Production Time: 2 Months (May 2013 – July 2013)
- Tools Used: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Flash, XCode.
- Position: 2D Arist, Designer, 2D Animator.
- Created and documented a new art pipeline for optimizing, enhancing, and implementing the art assets.
- Scanned, enhanced, re-drew, and rendered the licensed art.
- Helped the Lead Designer select words for use in game.
- Created menu art and title screen.
- Animated the Bagel, Cheese, Pencil, and Pickle cars.
- Bug fixes for the animations.
- Designed the Banana to Hat transition.
- Edited and normalized the car sound effects.
- Created art for marketing materials, including the game icon.
From the App Store: “Richard Scarry’s delightfully wacky cars come to life in this interactive educational game for kids ages 2-6. When the Apple Car arrives at a Busytown stoplight, kids spell a-p-p-l-e to help it zoom through the intersection. With five playing modes, including letter matching, early phonics and spelling, this app grows with your child.”
Words That Go was the first game created by Learning Touch under the DHX Media license to use Richard Scarry’s assets. The game was created by a small team in the studio located in Montpelier, Vermont: a state quickly growing its technological pressence . As the video above demonstrates, children can learn to spell over 45 common words with the help of these amusing cars!
I was largely tasked with rendering Scarry’s art and preparing it for animation, which required the creation of an efficient art pipeline and working with the engineers to iron out animation bugs. 75% of the art in the game went through me for processing, including the menus and the marketing material, all of which had to be formatted for a number of different screen resolutions. I also consulted with Lead Designer/Producer, Chris Hancock on what sorts of elements kids would enjoy and what words would work the best.
Through focus testing and online reviews, Words That Go proved to be engaging to its target market and many didn’t want to put the game down, with the mystery of the next car being a hook to keep the young learners playing.
The game was featured for two weeks in the App Store and received a number of positive reviews, along with some criticisms, which we took into consideration for future updates. We openly asked that parents and their children share their ideas with us to make the game as engaging as possible. Overall, getting a chance to introduce a new generation of learners to one of my favorite childhood authors was a priceless opportunity.