Speeldorp

A digital playground where kids in preschool can socialize with each other and communicate with each other by playing small sandbox games. 

You can download the game right here: https://breaddysticks.itch.io/speeldorp

For more information, you can also check the Fontys made page: https://fontysmade.nl/speeldorp/

Introduction

Demo

Summary

BeamItUp is a company that focuses on using new technology for kids to learn and play. Their latest project, Remote Playful Learning, involves helping kids with the Learn and Play aspect during Covid. The project consists of 3 design challenges and our group was working on: ‘The Online Playground’. We had to design and create an online learn-and-play playground where kids could play games with each other.

The game starts off in Speeldorp. The player can use their finger to click on a spot on the street and the player will follow that position. The camera scrolls with the player, revealing a bunch of unique houses. When a player clicks on a house, they will be teleported inside the house. Inside the house, players can play a small sandbox minigame. Players can also talk with players that are nearby, this is called proximity voice chatting.

My Contribution

During this project, I worked on the designs of the houses where the kids could play the sandbox games, coding the avatar customization, and implementing the system with our multiplayer network. The project was my first time having an external stakeholder, so I learned on how to act professional with stakeholders and how the industry works.

Process

Houses

The houses are designed in a way so that kids can recognize instantly what kind of sandbox game is inside to play. The houses are mostly object-shaped which fits the theme of the minigame. The style of the houses is similar to the style used by Kurzgesagt, which is a very simplistic and colorful style.

Network

Multiplayer was important for this project, so we used the Photon package for a quick implementation of online multiplayer. The game features proximity voice chat where kids can talk to each other only when they are close to each other within a distance. This is done to prevent from chaos, kids screaming in the mic while others are trying to plan what games to play.

Avatar Customization

The pickaxe is not the only item the player obtains. In the second room, the player unlocks the Hookshot, which allows them to launch a hook in the direction they are looking at. The hookshot is programmed to activate switches when in contact, but also to pull the player towards them whenever it hits a pillar. The pillar is programmed so that the hookshot would snap to the middle of the target once it hits it. This was designed to feel fairer for players who hit the target but don’t get pulled.