Children will travel on a spaceship with Hero and Astra, as friends and support in the adventure, adopting a leading role and being the heroes of the story. When they land, they will explore different areas of the Earth, make new friends and learn from them and their different habitats.
The children will exercise the different cognitive abilities through different mini-games (piloting the ship, making the backpack, crossing a river jumping obstacles, recognising traces …). The minigame format allows each cognitive ability to be exercised more efficiently.
With Animal hero, children strengthen their cognitive abilities such as memory, sustained attention, divided attention and executive functions, among others.
The project is supported by different foundations and professionals in the Down Syndrome field. We are mainly working with Astrid21foundation, that collaborates with us to ensure that the game will be effective and that children will achieve the most benefit from the video game. The workflow is the following: They show us the exercises they do in the center, and we make a game design of a game, adapting the exercises. We go through it with the professionals in Astrid 21 and make some changes. We implement it in our video game and then test the prototype with the children of the center. From there, we adjust the level of difficulty, and other things that need improving. Animal Hero is based on a clinical study directed by the doctor Mara Dierssen, a famous Down Syndrome investigator. Mara and her research group had discovered that a green tea based compound was capable of improving the brain function, if combined with cognitive stimulation.
We were asked to do a prototype, adapting the cognitive exercises they had, because the children found them boring and didn’t do them. We developed a prototype which we tested with the children in Mara’s study in PRBB (Parc biomédic de Barcelona).
If there’s one thing that children master, that would be having fun. They set their own rules and through playing, they discover the world around them.
Children learn through what creates an emotion on them, therefore, while playing they are in the perfect state for learning. Our goal is to create a video game with a story and adventures, where children feel like heroes and get motivated to play. The therapeutic excercises are concealed within the game, so that the children don’t have the feeling that they are doing homework.
Depending on each child’s needs, the difficulty level adapts as the video game goes forward, in order to maintain a level where children are challenged without feeling frustrated.
In order to achieve this, every level is divided into different sections. And the level is re-adjusted when each section begins. There is an internal counter, which keeps a score: the player gains and loses points depending on their performance during the game.
At the beginning of each level section, this counter is taken into account, and depending on the performance of the player, the game will continue in the same level, change into an easier level, or into a more difficult level.
Although Animal Hero is a video game with history and can be played along the timeline, it is intended to be a cognitive training tool, where each level can be played and replayed over and over.
For this, we have created a mini-game system with many variables that make the game unique and different each time the same level is repeated. The elements and their arrangement change each time, so that the child does not get bored or perform the actions mechanically and by memory. In this way, every time a new challenge is presented that the child will have to solve.
The video game is designed especially to help children with Down Syndrome and other disabilities. Even so, any child with or without a disability, can enjoy and benefit from Animal Hero.
The target age for disabled children starts from approximately 8 years old, although the age depends highly on the abilities and the uniqueness of each individual. For the children without the disability the age range is expected to be lower, from 6 onwards, due to their more advanced cognitive abilities.
The video game is composed of different mini-games or levels. Each level trains different cognitive abilities.
LEVEL 3. Backpack Part 2: You can see the inside of the backpack, there are different silhouettes and objects that must be placed aside. The player must drag the objects in their correct shadows.
LEVEL 4. Following footprints: Children will enter the forest where there will be several bifurcations, they will have to find the right path following the footprints of the lynx they are looking for.
LEVEL 5. Mecha-Rabbit confrontation: At the end of the maze children find themselves in a gallery full of holes. They will have to face the Mecha-Rabbit and remove its mechanical parts to save it.
LEVEL 6. Maze of footprints: Children have to go along the right path with their finger, following the footprints of the lynx.
LEVEL 7. Gaspar Dam: Children are in a water dam which is being destroyed by a cyborg eagle. The player must tell the beaver Gaspar how many logs he has to get according to the holes in the dam, so, with the help of Bubo, he can fix it.
LEVEL 8. Combat against the eagle: Fight against the eagle cyborg.
LEVEL 9. Infinity Runner: Infinity runner where the main character is running and the player has to dodge the obstacles that are presented moving left / right, jumping, bending down or clinging to moving vines until they reach the laboratory door. In the course of the trip he meets different friendly characters.
LEVEL 10. Final lynx: The player meets with the final boss, the Lynx. For this purpose, Bubo and Lulu will be helping the player.
There is much more planned for the Animal Hero universe! Help us by sharing the campaign to unlock this goal and discover new levels!
The game is inspired by the mystery and puzzle video game series Professor Layton. As for the artistic style, we are inspired by Disney movies, as it is a familiar drawing style for all the children in the world.
Currently, the videogame is being developed in English, Spanish and Catalan.
Nonetheless, in the future, we have the intention of translating the video game into other languages. For now, if we reach our goal of € 50,000, the game will be translated into Portuguese, French, and Latin Spanish. Help us achieve this goal by sharing the campaign with friends and family!
If you are interested in having the video game translated in a specific language, leave a comment and we’ll try to make it possible.
The story in Animal Hero is very important since we want the children to fully immerse into the adventure and feel like heroes, so as to motivate them even more to play the levels. Throughout the game there will be animated kinematics before and after each level, in order to tell the story between the minigames.
Our main characters are Hero and Astra, two 11-year-old children that are traveling full speed towards the earth in their spaceship.
They will have to overcome a series of obstacles and difficulties in order to retrieve Hero’s pet, Axel, who had to stay behind when everyone migrated from the planet due to a deadly virus that only affects humans.
This won’t be an easy task, because when they arrive, they will hear about Zud, an evil doctor who is kidnapping all the animals on earth in order to create an army to get revenge from humanity, who left him behind, blaming him for the expansion of the virus.
Animal Hero World is where the main story of Animal Hero is told, but in the transmedia project of Animal Hero Universe there are different parallel stories of the same universe.
For now, we have the storybook: “Animal Hero: And you, what do you eat?” Hero finds a starving sheep on his morning walk, with the help of his animal friends, he tries to find out what’s wrong with the sheep and help her. We currently have the physical version with a cut-out of the memory game, and a free digital download version in AppleStore and Google Play, dubbed and written in English, Spanish and Catalan.
Hero is an 11-year-old boy that migrated from the planet along with the rest of the earth’s population 5 years ago. He is very cheerful, curious and kind. He always helps his friends when they need him.
Astra is an 11-year-old girl, active, brave and with initiative. When she finds out about her best friend and neighbor Hero’s situation, together they plan how to go to earth and save Axel, Hero’s pet.
Axel is Hero’s loyal friend. He had to stay on earth when his master had to migrate to another planet.
Durante el videojuego habrá otros compañeros que Hero y Astra se irán encontrando durante el viaje, como la ardilla Lulu, la conejita Susy y sus hijos o el castor Gaspar.
We are Yolanda Peregrín as designer and UX/UI artist, Silvia Quera as project manager and level designer, Alba Bosacoma as 2D&3D artist, and Aniol Batallé as programmer.
Grow in Games Studio is a small indie studio. Animal Hero is the company’s first project and we are still learning as we move forward in the project.
Although our first goal in the Kickstarter is € 15,000, ideally we would like to offer the game as we have set it with all the goals, in order to offer a more complete and fun experience to the children.
As it is a Serious Game it could happen that at the time of testing the game with the children, we have to make modifications and it takes a little longer. Sometimes we come up with exercises together with the specialists that do not work as expected and we have to rethink the whole exercise. For that reason we have to test it well so that the cognitive abilities are trained properly at each level and that it does’t become frustrating for children.
Taking it to other languages means an increase in work and money. As the game is completely dubbed, in order for the children to have an auditive support, we find it harder to translate it into other languages, although we would like to. If we have the necessary budget, we will dub it to other languages.
Más información sobre el concepto de responsabilidad en Kickstarter
¿Tienes preguntas sobre este proyecto?
Respuestas en nuestras preguntas frecuentes