Spooky Fun!

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“Arthur’s Tricks and Treats” combines the thrills of Halloween with systems thinking! Arthur is giving out treats, and it’s the player’s job to help him dole out each trick-or-treater’s requests. Sounds simple? It is! However, what would Halloween be without tricks? Once the scary spiders, spooky ghosts, annoying bats, and eerie power outages appear, it’s a true challenge to juggle everything — but careful planning can help lead to a new high score! Bonus: to be accessible to players of different abilities, this game is self-leveling! The better a player does, the harder the game gets, and vice versa. So give it a try — if you dare…

Arthur’s Tricks and Treats will launch October 20 in the PBS Games App.

Congratulations to the digital team: Gentry, Jeff, Sophie, Alan, Jolin & Hilary.

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We’re Live: All New Ruff!

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Everyone’s favorite canine returns this week to star in THE RUFF RUFFMAN SHOW, an all-new short-form animated PBS Kids multiplatform series designed to help kids ages 4-8 learn core science concepts through videos, a new website with digital games, a new photo app, and hands-on activities as part of the Ready to Learn grant program from the Department of Education.

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In each video, Ruff, along with his assistants Blossom and Chet, answers questions from real kids, takes on challenges, and learns the value of perseverance—all while modeling science inquiry skills. All 20 videos of the show are available on PBS Kids digital platforms, including the free PBS KIDS Video App and pbskids.org.

The videos roll out on the PBS Kids YouTube channel has begun, and segments from the series are airing on the new PBS Kids 24/7 channel and live stream this fall.

The free app, Photo Stuff With Ruff, is available in the main app stores.

Resources for educators abound at PBS LearningMedia.

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Many were involved including Carol, Marcy, Jess, Nicole, Mia and Deb on the animation side with many more on the digital side: Bill, Melissa, Kit, Tara, Anessa, Elizabeth, Gentry, Louise, Jesse, Stefan, Sophie, Elles, Carlyn, Jolin, Kal, Colin, Kevin, Jay, Ken, Carl, Alan, Glen Berger, and Jim Conroy.

Bugball!

The latest ARTHUR game, D.W.’s Island Bugball, is now live!

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You can find it on the ARTHUR web site, and in the PBS Kids games app as the featured game.

 D.W.’s Island Bugball is a minigolf-style game celebrating D.W.’s birthday! In PLAY mode, players can enjoy the nine-hole bugball course, with the ability to adjust the difficulty level. In MAKE mode, players can create their own hole, customizing it however they want. Full of variability, and fun and challenging gameplay, D.W’s Island Bugball gives players the chance to experiment and test levels — and even offer challenges to their friends and family!

 Mad “Monster Island” props go out to Gentry (Senior Producer), Jeff (designer), Jolin (developer), and Mollie (production coordinator) for all their skill and creativity in bringing this game to life. Also, a big thanks to Tara (designer) and Alan for their support and guidance; and to Carol, Nicole, Deb and Tolon for providing great feedback along the way.

So, head on over to D.W.’s Island Bugball, and play a few rounds! 🙂

Feed the Fidgits: Our Latest Game

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This week the Design Squad team launched our newest game: Feed the Fidgits! at PBS KIDS and in the PBS KIDS Games app.

Players design and manage an aquaponics farm to grow food for our Fidgit characters.

Congratulations to the creative and hard-working team led by Melissa Carlson who made this happen: on development: Colin Egge with support from Kal Gieber; Stefan Mallette and Tara Taylor on design; Bill Shribman, Louise Flannery, and Lizzy Walbridge for production support; and our project leader, Marisa Wolsky. 

Hackathon!

The First 8 Years: A Public Media Hackathon

On November 18-19, First 8 Labs at WGBH hosted its first hackathon! Parents, preschool teachers, and health professionals spent the first part of the event brainstorming everyday challenges that they face in supporting children’s development. From getting kids to eat healthier to strengthening the relationship between parents and pediatricians, attendees had many ideas to contribute. Then, designers and developers spent the evening and next day creating digital prototypes to solve these problems. At the end of the event, early childhood experts judged the prototype and selected a winner.

For more about the process please check out the First 8 blog.

This project is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Photos by Anna Fort 

Fidgits to the Rescue

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Today the Design Squad team launched our latest game: Fidgits to the Rescue! Players step into the role of first responders as they design ways to deliver emergency supplies to our Fidgit characters after a natural disaster.

(Also coming soon to the PBS KIDS Games App!)

A BIG thanks to the incredibly creative & dedicated team who made this happen: on development, Kal; Stefan and Tara on design; Louise and Lizzy for production support; and project leader, Marisa. And this awesome team is led by Melissa.