The Forest Beyond is an interactive world with educational mini games specifically designed for kids aged 2 to 6, but aiming at remaining accessible to a broader age group. It will be available on IOS and Androïd devices, as well as PC/MAC.
It is first of all a game of free exploration: there is no order in which to play the games or discover the hidden treasures. The child is free to roam around the beautiful enchanted forest and visit his favourite friends and places again and again, all in a colourful stop motion environment!
Fenn lives in a small house perched in a tall tree, in the center of a magical forest. The place is filled with little monsters, animals and plants that you would not encounter anywhere else. Many of them are already his friends, and he is eager to meet the others.
Our hero is an enthusiastic and inquisitive little monster with a friendly nature. He loves to go out explore the forest and to walk around the woods. When the fancy catches him he can also fly, as he has propeller leaves on his head which he uses to explore the treetops and to visit those who live there.
The Forest is packed with little interactions and events for Fenn to encounter. The next surprise is never far away and many stones are waiting to be turned, many sticks to be picked or bugs to be poked. The place is filled with magic, and more than once will Fenn get an unexpected response to his prodding around!
The Forest Beyond has a strong focus on positive reinforcement: as Fenn wanders the woods he always tries to help his friends along the way. The game also aims at initiating in the young ones an early interest in nature and its wonders...
WHY A GAME IN STOP MOTION?
Stop motion is the art of moving an object frame by frame in front of a camera to give it the appearance of life. Most often these objects are armatured puppets, as is the case in the Forest Beyond, and they are photographed one frame at a time, as the animator changes their position ever so slightly to create an illusion of movement.
"Stop-motion is sort of twitchy; you can feel the life in it. If we were to remove that completely, there'd be no point in it." Henry Selick, Director of The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline
Have you ever watched a Wallace and Gromit short film and felt that this was special and different from other animated movies? Have you felt like it was a real physical world you were looking at, and thus felt closer to the characters? Did they manage to make you feel at home in their cosy little brick house? Then you get it!
That's why we love stop motion, and that's why we think that a game made in stop motion would be a great means to engage your child in playful yet educational activities.
There are very few stop motion games out there, Neverhood being the most memorable one. There is, therefore, little material for us to draw inspiration from, or clues as to what works and what doesn't from a technical point of view. But we're not starting from scratch here; we have spent a lot of time working on a prototype to experiment with the technique and to find out if it was something we could achieve... and it turns out that it is!!!
Here is a little video of the prototype. Bear in mind that it only served the practical purpose of nailing the technique, and the final designs will look WAYYYYYYYY better!
he Forest Beyond in a few words:
Stop motion animation
Dwell into this rich handmade world, with fully animated stop motion characters, bringing a unique warmth and authentic touch to this app. Everything from the main character Fenn and his friends to Fenn’s house and the mini games will be made using physical props and stop motion animation.
The Forest Beyond is an interactive app, filled with small learning games for preschoolers. The child will play with the fun and charming characters inhabiting the forest, mainly Fenn and the friends he meets on his way as the child explores the forest and finds interactive elements and mini games.