September 17, 2009

I SPY an App!

Posted by at 8:45 am in Games | Permalink

Ispy_130 I’m Jennifer, one of the producers at Scholastic Interactive. You heard from my colleague Sam the other day about the Goosebumps app and now I’m going to tell you about the apps I got to work on. As you can imagine, I have one of the greatest jobs around because I get to think of the best ideas to entertain or inspire you in your free time. I make games! This latest blog post will give you a behind-the-scenes look at two of our newest games for the iPhoneTM and iPod touch® called I SPY Spooky Mansion and I SPY Riddle Race.

Have you ever wondered how iPhone apps are made and what goes into them? or played I SPY and wondered where the scenes come from and how the riddles are written? Well, in the next five steps I’ll tell you how we brought the most popular hidden object game to the iPhone.

  1. The first step in creating a fun game is to start with the very BEST book you can think of. Lucky for me, we started with the wonderful I SPY books created by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick. These books are a great inspiration for a game because they ask you to look carefully at scenes photographed from elaborate sets to find hidden objects. That looks like a normal gate, but wait! I think it forms the shape of a cat! I don’t know about you, but I can spend hours looking.
  2. Next, pick the best scenes. This took us some time. With so many I SPY books, there are plenty to choose from! It was clear that we had more than one game on our hands so we decided to do two games. The first would be I SPY Spooky Mansion inspired by the I SPY Spooky Night book. The second would be I SPY Riddle Race and would pull the best scenes from any book available!
    From I SPY Riddle Race


  3. So, you might be asking, “What’s the game?” Well, we came up with this by thinking, “What would be the coolest thing to do in these amazing places?” That was it! In I SPY Spooky Mansion, you’ll find yourself locked in the grounds of a creepy house, and to escape you’ll need to find and collect seven keys! So it’s very much a thematic type of hidden object adventure. In I SPY Riddle Race, we thought it would be great to combine the search and find play of I SPY with a board game, timed challenges and point scoring system. To play, you race across a game board to find hidden objects in fantastic locations, and to score as many points as you can to advance to bonus challenges.


  4. Once we had the idea, we needed to write the riddles. The basic rules of I SPY riddles are: riddles should rhyme, have easy and difficult objects to find, and incorporate a theme. Additionally, it’s always fun to add brain-teasers by using objects that have different meanings. For example, a riddle might ask for 2 pins but one is a thumbtack and one is a bowling pin. Those types of rhymes keep players thinking and on their toes!
  5. And last: play the game, play the game, and then play again. I often ask myself, “What do I like, and what would make it an even better play experience?” Then I do it!

Be sure to check back next week for Part 2 of this behind-the-scenes look at the I SPY Apps! Next week you’ll get a perspective of these apps from our Art Director’s point of view.

— Jennifer, Scholastic Interactive Staffer

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