The CloudKid crew is bubbling with excitement over the launch of our latest project with Sesame Workshop: Ernie’s Dinosaur Day Care! Dinosaurs are so in right now, (thanks in part to Jurassic World), and this mobile-friendly game takes you straight into the prehistoric lands of these friendly giants. Join Ernie as he imagines going back in time to take care of dinosaurs in his very own day care, and help him to feed the dinosaurs, stomp with them in the mud, wash them up until they’re squeaky clean, jump rope, and even tuck them into bed! There are five different dinosaurs and five activities, with unlimited possibilities for fun and engaging play. Head over to the Sesame Street website and check it out!
We’re super excited to announce Detective Elmo, our latest collaboration with Sesame Workshop and PBS KIDS. Connected to Sesame Street’s hour-long TV special, Cookie Thief, this mobile-friendly HTML5 game picks up where the TV special left off—a string of copycat thieves have begun stealing more art from The Museum of Modern Cookie Art. These cookie crooks must be stopped, and Elmo takes it upon himself to solve the crime! Help Elmo navigate through the museum at night, search for clues at the scene of the crime, and catch the art thieves. Check it out here!
Big news from our block in Brighton!
A while back, we collaborated with our friends and neighbors down the street at WGBH on converting some Peep and the Big Wide World Flash games to mobile apps. We were excited to help them bring this content to a new generation of users and were so happy to hear the news today that five of the apps we ported have been honored with Parents’ Choice Awards. Check out the reviews, and the apps if you have a chance!
Earlier this month, the inventor of the computer mouse, Douglas C. Engelbart, passed away. His contributions unquestionably altered the future of computing for the better, but since hearing the news of his passing, we’ve been contemplating if the “death” of his famous invention might also be imminent.
Like many others, we’ve been thinking a lot lately about the future (or lack thereof) of desktop-specific gaming for kids. With Flash-based browser games a huge part of our portfolio, it’s in part a hard pill to swallow that there might not be a long shelf life for this content as it continues to come against tablet competition. We’ve even noticed in kid testing on both computers and touch-screen devices recently that there’s a huge divide, with younger users struggling to understand the mouse, and even attempting to swipe and tap the computer screen.
In response to this shift, we’ve been doing a lot more work over the past couple of years creating device-native apps and porting Flash content to apps via AIR. This has allowed us to repurpose existing content that might otherwise become obsolete as the paradigm continues to shift toward touch devices. More recently, we’ve also produced a lot of projects in HTML5, including a website, as well as several games and activities (all of which are launching in the fall). While we were initially hesitant about the limitations that HTML5 would put on design, animation and audio, we’ve been continually surprised with how quickly the technology is evolving to allow for engaging games that are playable across platforms. We’ve also been trying to push the boundaries of what’s doable as much as possible to make great games that meet our (ridiculously high) standards!
We’re excited to see how this technology continue to evolve, and whether or not desktop browser-only games will be a thing of the past before we know it…
We know we always say we’re busy with exciting work, but this time, we REALLY mean it. It’s been a crazy packed spring here at CloudKid HQ, and it’s shaping up to be an even busier summer. We’re thrilled to announce that one of many exciting projects we’re working on is our first short pilot for Nickelodeon Digital. With all of the exciting coverage recently about Nick’s app and shorts, we’re pumped to be working on our first project with them at such an innovative time.
We wish we could share more about the project, but just trust us that it’s going to be worth the wait! Stay tuned!
Last week was rough for those of us in the Boston area. Despite all the craziness, we managed to have a bright spot in our week – this year’s Sandbox Summit at MIT. We’re always energized by gatherings of fellow kids’ media professionals, and this year’s summit was no exception. With folks in attendance from all over the country, it was a great forum to discuss the current and future landscape of children’s media.
This year’s summit was titled “Pixel the Possibilities: Nurturing Kids’ Imagination in the Digital Age”. We were welcomed by Scott Osterweil of MIT’s Education Arcade, and then treated to a series of diverse presentations that related to creativity in the digital age. Among the highlights for us was a conversation with Harvard professor Howard Gardner, who spoke about his concepts of five minds for the future, and his concerns that the disciplined mind will be threatened by an increasingly digital world.
In addition to thought provoking conversations and presentations like Howard’s, we were inspired by our time in break-out sessions. We attended workshops on timeboxing (which resulted in the brainstorm session pictured above), IP creation and marketing, and digital creativity tools. We took a lot away from each of these, and have already been putting new brainstorming practices to work at CloudKid HQ. All in all, the Sandbox Summit and the CMA Boston Kickoff event that followed were great opportunities for us to grow as content creators and connect with others who love what they do as much as we do.
Spinning off of the “digital” theme of the summit, here are some great online resources for those who were unable to attend the event in person. Enjoy!
It’s been a crazy busy couple of months at CloudKid HQ. We’ve been hard at work on a ton of exciting projects, and can’t wait to share more with you all in the upcoming months (we promise, the blog is officially coming out of winter hibernation!).
In the meantime, we couldn’t contain our excitement about one of our favorite organizations, Children’s Media Association, making its official Boston debut next week. CloudKid’s very own Dave Schlafman had the pleasure of presenting a talk to their NYC members back in December, and we’ve been itching for more CMA in our lives ever since!
Well, the wait is up, as CMA’s kicking off Boston membership with a happy hour mixer after Sandbox Summit next Tuesday. We’re honored to be involved in bringing this amazing organization to our city, and can’t wait to attend this and future events with fellow Boston-based kids’ media folks.
We hope to see lots of you there on Tuesday!
It’s a beautiful day in the CloudKid HQ Neighborhood! The Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood App that we produced for PBS and the Fred Rogers Company was released last week, and it’s already having a ton of success! The app has spent nearly a week straight on the “new and noteworthy” section of the app store, and it is already the #2 education app. We were honored to work on this project, for which we ported three of Schell Games’ experiences from Daniel’s website. We also created an original sticker book experience for the app, and handled the design and animation for the main menu/wrapper experience. As big fans of the original Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, we were so excited to have a part in this next generation. Check out the app, and the new show, when you get a chance!
Back in November, we excitedly announced that we’d be producing our first interactive game for Sesame Workshop. Now, we’re even more excited to announce that the game, “Count Me to Sheep,” is live on the Sesame Street website! We were so honored to work on this project with some of our favorite characters and had an amazing time producing the game. Hope you all check it out 1 or 2 or 3 times (“Ah ah ah ah!”). Enjoy!
Last week, four members of the CloudKid team ventured to the City of Angels for the Daytime Emmy Awards. It was our third nomination in as many years for our work on Fizzy’s Lunch Lab. While we didn’t win (again), our good friends and neighbors from WGBH took home the bling in our category. A big congrats goes out to Dave Peth and the Design Squad team for a rad project that encourages kids to build stuff and share it online.
Overall, the night was a blast. Some highlights included: our friend Jack Ferraiolo winning his second Emmy for his writing on Wordgirl, Lunch Lab writer Ryan Raddatz taking home two Emmys for his writing on Wordgirl and The Ellen Show, as well as hanging out with Linda Simensky, Chris Bishop and a handful of the PBS Kids crew.
While it’s always nice to get recognized, it’s time to roll up the sleeves and dive back in.