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$4,970 pledged of $32,000 goal
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By Little Bird Games
$4,970 pledged of $32,000 goal
backers

About this project

New rewards added!

PENNSYLVANIA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CLASSROOM GIFT $500
We will spend a half day in any elementary school classroom in Pennsylvania reading The Lost Bee, playing educational games, and learning about bees. The school’s library will also receive a hardcover copy of the book, 5 copies of the eBook app on the platform of their choice, and the PDF. Also includes special recognition in the eBook credits. This can be gifted to any classroom in Pennsylvania.

PENNSYLVANIA MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM GIFT $500
We will spend a half day in any Middle or High school classroom in Pennsylvania and teach the students about game design. The school’s library will also receive a hardcover copy of the book, 5 copies of the eBook app on the platform of their choice, and the PDF. Also includes special recognition in the eBook credits. This can be gifted to any classroom in Pennsylvania.

ORGANIZATION/SCHOOL SPONSORSHIP $500
Special recognition for your organization or school in the eBook credits as a sponsor of the project. Everyone who reads The Lost Bee eBook will know you love bees.

PENNSYLVANIA TRAINING COURSE BUNDLE $1000
We will come to any classroom or organization in Pennsylvania and do a one day course on educational game design. Special recognition in the eBook credits, 10 copies of the eBook app on the platform of your choice, and the PDF. Please contact us for more information if you are considering this option.

Reminder:
Rewards at all levels can be gifted. We especially encourage gifts to schools and libraries.

Narration is no longer a stretch goal!

It will be now included in the eBook if we meet our funding goal. Listen to a sample from voice actress: June Connell

Bees and other pollinators have been in the news a lot lately and unfortunately not much of it has been good. Colony collapse disorder (CCD), harmful pesticides, genetically modified organism (GMO) crops, and monoculture farming have put not only bees, but also all pollinators in danger. Little Bird Games sees this as a call to action and a good opportunity to use its medium of educational games to teach the next generation (and hopefully some adults too) about the importance of honey bees, bumble bees, and other pollinators. We know we cannot do this alone. So, we contacted two groups to act as subject matter experts—the Xerces Society, and the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State University. Both groups are experts on and advocates for bees and other pollinators.

(Concept art) Honey bees find a larva
(Concept art) Honey bees find a larva

“The Lost Bee” is a children’s eBook app filled with an inspiring story and games that parents and children can enjoy together while they learn about honey bee biology and the importance of protecting pollinators. Hand-painted scenes will tell the story of a bumble bee larva named Bumble who is accidentally raised by honey bees. In order to become part of the hive, she must learn to do honey bee jobs with the help of her honey bee trainer, Beatrice. Later in the story when the bees in the hive become sick it is up to Bumble to save the colony.

(Concept art) Beatrice and Bumble in the nursery
(Concept art) Beatrice and Bumble in the nursery

During the experience, readers will help Bumble learn how to be a honey bee by playing games that replicate real honey bee activities. The games are meant to not only instill a fascination for bees, but also to teach readers about activities like honeycomb cell building, hive cooling, and foraging for nectar and pollen. In addition, the story and games will address larger issues like the importance of organic farming and biodiversity.

We think that the format will give us the opportunity to educate and inspire two important demographics. The first group is kids, who represent the future and are like little sponges when it comes to new information. Getting kids interested in science and environmental issues at an early age can have a lasting effect on the decisions they make for the rest of their lives. The second group is parents, who can have an effect on protecting pollinators immediately. Parents can spend time/money building a garden, donate to worthy causes concerned with bees and other pollinators, and change the impact their families have on the environment.

This is no regular eBook! It is an eBook app.  Think of it as an educational game arcade, a science class, and a story book all in one. We love the idea of embedding educational games into the pages of a children’s book to make the story come alive and let kids interact with the subject matter. We envision parents reading this book with their kids and playing the games together. Although the story is for kids, the games will be challenging enough to entertain any age group. We will be including an arcade mode for anyone who just wants to get their "bee on" without reading.

We have six games planned for the initial build. These are optional for readers and can be loaded on pages with a bumble bee icon in the lower right corner.

(Concept art) Arcade Mode screen
(Concept art) Arcade Mode screen
(Concept art) Larvae feeding and cell cleaning game
(Concept art) Larvae feeding and cell cleaning game

First we have to make sure the story and game designs are accurate and educational. This is where our subject matter expert partners will come in. Before we begin programming we will work with them to edit the story and playtest paper prototypes of all the games.

The artwork for the project will come in two types: hand painted book scenes and digital game art. All art will be approved for accuracy by our subject matter experts and inspected for awesomeness by our playtesters.

When we are ready to begin development we will be using the Corona SDK to accomplish the ambitious goal of embedding games inside an eBook app. This software will also allow us to publish to multiple platforms so no one is left out of the fun.

The story and games will be tested internally for our alpha builds and tested externally for beta builds with our partners. We plan on finishing the project by early summer of 2014.

We will use the funds from this campaign to cover the cost of programming the eBook and games, music, sound effects, story editing, play testing, and marketing.

Little Bird Games
An educational and therapeutic indie game developer operating in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and State College, Pennsylvania.

The Xerces Society
A nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat.

The Center for Pollinator Research
The Center for Pollinator Research at Pennsylvania State University is committed to developing and implementing integrative, multidisciplinary approaches to improving pollinator health, conservation, and management for ecosystems services through research, education, outreach and policy.

Risks and challenges

The most difficult part of this project is going to be making games that are fun, educational, and as biologically accurate as possible. We have already taken some liberties with the storyline (e.g., a bumble bee living with honey bees) to make sure it is entertaining for kids. So we want the game content to be accurate. The good news is turning complex subject matter into educational games is what we specialize in and we have the Xerces Society and the Center for Pollinator Research to check our work.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $4 or more About $4

    OLD SCHOOL - A high resolution DRM free PDF version of the book (does not include games).

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    Pledge $8 or more About $8

    NEW SCHOOL - The eBook app with six awesome games on the platform of your choice (iOS/Android).

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    Pledge $11 or more About $11

    I WANT IT ALL - The eBook app on the platform of your choice and the PDF.

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    DOUBLE THREAT - Two copies of the eBook app on the platform of your choice and the PDF. Great for a gift or a school donation!

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    Pledge $21 or more About $21

    TRIPLE THREAT - Three copies of the eBook app on the platform of your choice and the PDF. Great for a gift or a school donation!

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    GONNA BEE FAMOUS - Your name in the eBook credits as a BRONZE level supporter. The eBook app on the platform of your choice and the PDF.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    SOFTCOVER BUNDLE - A limited edition softcover copy of the book signed by the author, editor, and illustrator. Your name in the eBook credits as a SILVER level supporter, the eBook app on the platform of your choice, and the PDF.

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    HARDCOVER BUNDLE - A limited edition hardcover copy of the book signed by the author, editor, and illustrator. Your name in the eBook credits as a GOLD level supporter, the eBook app on the platform of your choice, and the PDF.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    PRINT BUNDLE - A signed limited edition print of a scene of your choice from the book. Your name in the eBook credits as a PLATINUM level supporter, a copy of the hardcover book signed by the author, editor, and illustrator, the eBook app on the platform of your choice, and the PDF.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    BUNDLE OF JOY - You can pick a name for one of the cells in the nursery scene (only visible in ebook version) Pending approval, this is a children's book after all! Your name in the eBook credits as a DIAMOND level supporter, a copy of the hardcover book signed by the author, editor, and illustrator, the eBook app on the platform of your choice, and the PDF.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    ART CONNOISSEUR BUNDLE - An original painting of one of the book pages. First come first serve choice on the pages. We only have one of each page! Your name in the eBook credits as a QUEEN BEE level supporter, a copy of the hardcover book signed by the author, editor, and illustrator, the eBook app on the platform of your choice, and the PDF. Also included will be a copy of The Xerces Society book "Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies."

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    PENNSYLVANIA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CLASSROOM GIFT - We will spend a half day in any elementary school classroom in Pennsylvania reading "The Lost Bee", playing educational games, and learning about bees. The school’s library will also receive a hardcover copy of the book, 5 copies of the eBook app on the platform of their choice, and the PDF. Also includes special recognition in the eBook credits. This can be gifted to any classroom in Pennsylvania.

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    PENNSYLVANIA MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM GIFT - We will spend a half day in any Middle or High school classroom in Pennsylvania and teach the students about game design. The school’s library will also receive a hardcover copy of the book, 5 copies of the eBook app on the platform of their choice, and the PDF. Also includes special recognition in the eBook credits. This can be gifted to any classroom in Pennsylvania.

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ORGANIZATION/SCHOOL SPONSORSHIP - Special recognition for your organization or school in the eBook credits as a sponsor of the project. Everyone who reads "The Lost Bee" eBook will know you love bees.

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    PENNSYLVANIA TRAINING COURSE BUNDLE - We will come to any classroom or organization in Pennsylvania and do a one day course on educational game design. Special recognition in the eBook credits, 10 copies of the eBook app on the platform of your choice, and the PDF. Please contact us for more information if you are considering this option.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    TRAINING COURSE BUNDLE - We will come to any classroom or organization (continental US) and do a one day course on educational game design. Special recognition in the eBook credits, 10 copies of the eBook app on the platform of your choice, and the PDF. Please contact us for more information if you are considering this option.

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Funding period

- (30 days)