Note: Please read over this job description carefully and only respond if you are able to meet the below criteria. Thank you.
We are a startup children's educational group in need of games that will be aimed at helping children with special needs. We are looking for the right talent who can help us design and code the flash games. If you are a designer and not a coder or vice versa, that is ok, we would still like to know about your talent. We would prefer to work with one person, but if need be we can work with a team of a designer and coder to create these games.
The games we are looking to create must have a certain uniform look and feel to them. In other words no matter which game is played (there will be exceptions) the person will know that this game came from our group. So in other words we plan to have certain characters that will appear in the games every now and then, a tree in one game will look like a tree in the other, the way the houses are shaped in one game will look like the way they are shaped in another etc.
The games that we will create will not be complex. Since they are for kids who have suffered traumatic brain injury, autism, have vision problems, have various attention deficit issues, and who have other related life skills needs, the games will be simple, basic, and with few graphics so as to not cause confusion to the children. Another important feature will be that the games will need to span the entire height and width of a player's computer screen that way the game will envelope the child's visual field.
After looking at many graphical styles we would like the graphics in the games to have the same look and feel as the ones you see here:
Starting off we would not need any characters. We want to create a large series of function games at first, and then later create games that have creative elements like characters, transition animations, etc. Also please note as you look at the above link, we are only looking for the same look and style. The images that you see above are too intense and too much in each frame. Again, we will never very clutter free graphics so the child can focus on the task at hand.
Please note, for these games the transitions will need to be smooth, not jerky. I found a web site with graphics similar to what we are looking for, that has very smooth transitions. We hope to accomplish the same kind of transitions and movement with these games. See here for an example: [url removed, login to view]
Also for the audio, we want the audio to be as clear as possible, as flash games will allow. We want to try to avoid the typical scratchy sound you get with a lot of flash games.
As for the games, for an idea of the kinds of games we are looking for (but much better quality) please see this site: [url removed, login to view] This site has a few games made specifically for kids with autism.
Here are a few game sketches of games that we are going to need:
A Tracking Game – The main character is at the playground. It is a beautiful sunny day with blue skies with a few clouds. The character walks over to a patch of flowers and notices a butterfly on a flower. He leans in to sniff the flower. The butterfly then flutters and flies across the screen (horizontally left and right going all across the screen back and forth about 3 times at a slow pace. Finally the butterfly lands on the character's nose, and the character giggles. Then at the bottom of the screen, options pop up and line the bottom of the screen for the child to let them choose which pattern they want the butterfly to fly in…horizontally back and forth, vertically up and down, diagonally, zig zag, circle 8, and then finally random, and then a choice for fast, medium, and slow. Each time a choice is clicked the character kind of blows upward making the butterfly get off his nose, and then the butterfly does the selected procedure 3 times before landing again on the character's nose as he giggles. After each time it lands, then maybe have something that lets the child know they can click on one of the options below to “play again.”
Other Tracking Games – Would want a number of other tracking games, perhaps without the main character, where there is a panel at the bottom with buttons that control the path of the object that moves, again allowing the child or parent to have it move, up, down, left, right, etc. We could create the main viewing area with the buttons and then just change out what moves across the screen, for example a large background picture of the sky with an airplane that flies around, a mouse that scurries across the floor, a car that travels around a parking lot, etc. etc. etc.
Matching Memory Game – In this game the main character's dog is playing a game with the player. They are playing a card game where the dog narrates the game as he places 12 cards face down on the main character's bedroom floor. All of the cards flip over showing the player the kinds of pictures that are on the cards. Each card has a picture of some item in the main character's room (a toy, a sock, a shoe, etc.) Immediately all the cards flip over face down and the game begins. The child then has the ability to click 2 cards, and each time they click it turns the card over exposing the picture on the back. The object of the game is to get two images to match. Once they click two that match, then they see the cards magically disappear, while they hear an applause sound. “Good job!” the dog says to the player. Over and over again the child matches until they are all done.
Labeling Game – The game opens with you in the kitchen on the main character's home. You see a typical kitchen. Then one by one various items in the kitchen highlight asking the child to point to it and click it with the mouse. Once the child clicks on it, the word pops up that says what it is. This happens with about 10 kitchen items. Then the child does it again, but this time the person narrating says “Not find the…” whatever it is. The child has to rightly find the object and click on it. If they get it right they hear a sound indicating their correct answer, etc.
Coloring Game – To teach a child their colors. Have a blank page, like a coloring page where the child can either free style or by guidance click a palette of colors and then click the area that needs color to color a picture. Once done the child can print off the picture if they want. Erase and start over, etc.
Problem Solving – The game opens with a beautiful background, perhaps a green lawn. A maze is overlaid on the ground. On one side is an inchworm that wants to get to the other side. Using the mouse a child can click in front of the inchworm making the inchworm move. The objective is to get the inchworm through the maze to the other side.
I understand that some games will have more complexity than others. Some will have sound effects, voiceovers, and music, some will have characters and some will be as simple as a bug or butterfly flying across the screen in varying patterns, so cost will vary from game to game.
I am ok with the designer leaning on premade graphics, whether they be an airplane, a tree, a flower, a car, a house, cards for the memory game, etc. as long as they fit within the overall look and feel of the theme of the games.
As for finances we have a budget of about $6,000 to create, ideally about 50 games. I understand that many of them at first will be the more simplified games, probably leaning more on the premade graphics. Please understand we are not looking for people who say, “That can't be done.” We are looking for people who like to ask, “How can that be done.” We know that the budget is not the largest, but here is what we do know…
This project is only the beginning. Our plan is to establish ourselves and then begin creating numerous games monthly. So we are looking for people who can help see our vision of helping these kids reach their developmental goals in a way that allows them to have fun while they do the not so easy task of learning things that are simple for most kids. This is not just a job, this is a calling and a service to “pay it forward” in ways that go far beyond the monetary value of the work. We would like to be able to work with people who understand this on the front end, who can suffer with us a little at the first, to look forward to the long term relationship and the larger payoff per game later once we are established.
As for creativity, we will be able to provide examples of game objectives, main characters, etc. in our game sketches. Every game sketch we provide will be evaluated by a panel of physical, occupational, speech, vision, and music therapists and will have their stamp of approval.
So if this job sketch seems like the perfect fit for you, please respond to us asap. Let us know how much you estimate a per game cost on the examples of games we have provided above. What would be the turnaround time to complete these games? Are you willing to work with us for a time early on, so that later we can all be rewarded with our efforts financially?
Finally, because of the numerous responses we expect to receive, for the sake of time, those who respond with portfolio examples of their work that fit within the look, feel, genre, of what we are looking for will be given priority in our interviewing process.
Those who are able to provide the following with be given the greatest priority: We would like to see either an flash animation or a static still picture of one of the game sketches that we outlined above. If you can provide this as an example, we will evaluate your bid first.
At the end of the day we are looking for visually appealing, interactive, and educational games that will help our kids develop.
Finally please bid based on the above need of 50 games. Again, please bear in mind that many of these will be simple and variations of the same game, just different graphics (like the tracking games, memory games, etc.)
Thank you and look forward to hearing from you.
P.S. I am personally invested in this project. My motivation is because my 2 year old son was injured last year in an accident. He suffered traumatic brain injury. Every game I create will have him in mind and how I can help him. Thank you!