By the age of 21, the average American has spent 10,000 hours playing computer and video games. That almost equals the number of hours spent in the higher education system. Our conclusion?
Combine learning and gaming! For the Tyrolean forest authorities, we created an app combining film, point-and-click adventure, forest wiki and mini quizzes. The whole app serves the purpose to sensitise and inform children about forest topics.Toni Kittel from the Tyorlean band 'Bluatschink' was our double for all characters. He was our muse for motion capture and face capture. As a professional singer, he has a fantastic, versatile voice, so he is the voice of all three characters. If you don't know, you can't tell!Attention to detail. This is how the three characters Alamajuri, Piet and Dr. Grün were born.
How to tell kids between the age of 6 and 10 all about the forest? It took us some time to come up with the right answer. Again, developing a story was the key. The protagonist is Almajuri, old guardian of the woods.
He is met by Piet, a curious firefly who wants to know everything about the forest. In return, Piet makes Almajuri aware about current issues such as climate change and pollution.
In regard to character design, we were inspired by big brothers like Pixar and Disney. Today, they are key players when it comes to media consumption habits and shape the perception of our kids. Characters developed by these two houses are iconic figures of identification.
Creating characters that keep up with these role models is a noble aim. However, we didn't want to set our goals too low. The outcome is respectable. Meet Almajuri, Piet and Dr. Grün and you will see it was worth the effort.
Our friend Toni Knittel, singer and founder of the band Bluatschink, played a key role in the project. He came to our studio and choreographed gesture and mimics of all characters. We motion-captured his movements to later map them with the characters.
For the infopages, the so-called Waldwiki, elaborate sites were built with detailed graphics putting every plant and animal into special context.
We did our best to develop a child-friendly app that combines the difficult mix of learning and playing. The heart of the application is a point-and-click adventure consiting of seven levels. Each level deals with another aspect of the forest. Still, we are fascinated by the idea of conveying knowledge via gaming (we don't produce another chocolate covered broccoli though).
The app "Almajuris Welt" is now available for all mobile devices in the app store and in the google play store.
To inform teachers and parents, we were assigned to build a web-based information platform. We set up a page that makes everything relevant around Almajuri accessible.
The site explains crucial functions of the app, provides a download area with print materials for school and the desktop version of the Waldwiki.