A Partnership with PlayDate Digital
We first began talks with the partners of PlayDate Digital at GDC in 2012. As a younger studio, they wanted to match our experience in developing for a younger audience with their experience in promoting products to the same market.
With Hasbro Publishing as the first licensing partner in the collaboration, our team at Graphite Lab began working on concepts for a Play Doh app for kids. Given that Play-Doh is such a flexible product, we wanted to both educate kids as well as work in the unique properties of the modeling compound. Over time, a focus on letter writing surfaced, leading to the focus of the app being the creation of ABCs with virtual Play-Doh.
Around this time PlayDate Digital developed a great relationship with education expert Michael Cohen and the Michael Cohen Group in New York. Michael and his team were instrumental in helping surface the educational potential of the app along with being a second set of eyes on the entertainment portions of the app.
We wanted to take things a step further and create a reward system for completing letters. Hasbro came prepared with tons of wonderful sculpts ranging from Alligators to Zebras – so the decision was pretty clear that we could pair letters with Play-Doh sculpts of the corresponding letters. Granted, there were some letters that didn’t have a pre-made sculpt available so we did have to come up with some custom critters such as the Gorilla, King and X-Ray.
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Check back next week when we share more about our engine decisions and plugin choices.