This is a guest post by Josh Davidson, founder and MD at Night Zookeeper. Their game, Night Zookeeper is a new online game that looks to inspire children to create, whilst being a free game with no advertising.
Night Zookeeper is a story about a young zookeeper exploring a strange Night Zoo and encountering magical animals. Eventually, the zookeeper must battle the evil Lord of Nulth, who has declared war on imagination. Children unlock pages of this story with their own creative illustrations and parents can reward them via email as they go. Night Zookeeper was developed with consultancy from Dubit.
In developing the game we drew inspiration from our in-school user testing with approximately 10,000 children, refining a series of prompts to get them excited and flexing their creative muscles. On top of this an additional 25,000 children in the UK, Canada, USA, Japan and South Africa have given feedback on the game after playing it.
Alongside the website, Night Zookeeper sends parents weekly, curriculum linked educational activities that children can complete away from their computer screens. Kids also receive stickers, a poster and a t-shirt in the post for a monthly subscription of £5 (US$7.99).
I’d like to use this post to talk you through three key parts of the game’s development: how we decided on the correct business model, how and why to implement parental sharing and how to inspire creativity.