The Forest Beyond (Canceled)
The Forest Beyond (Canceled)
A stop motion educational game for preschoolers
A stop motion educational game for preschoolers Read more
The campaign is on hold!
The adventure continues on:
Thank you friends for your support, we will resume the campaign as soon as possible.
Life in the magical forest is filled with experiences and surprises. Meet our little blue friend, Fenley Mossbury - Fenn to his friends - and join him on a fun-filled journey created by award winning stop motion animators.
Welcome to our kickstarter campaign! We are Andreas and Christophe, two young fathers who have been struggling to find quality games for our little guys. We found that most educational games are pretty dry, and that most pretty games lack educational value, and we decided to remedy that.
With The Forest Beyond we set out to create the best game ever, a game that will help teach children some useful foundations for their school life as well as offering them a charming and compelling environment to do all that learning!
We have the ideas, now we just need some funding to make it happen. By supporting us you will make it possible for us to go into full production, and to make it available on your mobile devices.
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.
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...
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 is not all about fun. Well, it is, of course, but why not put all this fun to good use and turn it into an educational experience? As Fenn walks or flies around the magic forest he will encounter many friendly creatures, and each of them will present him with an original challenge.
With the generous help of some very talented and experienced pedagogues and education professionals, we have carefully crafted the best mini games to teach children the basics of spelling, shapes, numbers, colours, music and so on... a perfect introduction to school!
The Forest Beyond is primarily designed for 2 to 6 year old kids, but personal experience with our own little toddlers tends to prove that it is accessible to them as well, and that they can learn a lot from it. The most complicated mini games based on numbers or letters might be a little over their heads, but we enjoyed seeing them guiding Fenn around the forest, giggling at the interactions and coming back to their favourite spots. Some of the easier games were also perfect for them. On occasions such as game conventions, we were also delighted to find out that older kids really enjoyed it as well. Even grown ups!
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!
So, say we reached our target early enough in the campaign... should you stop donating? Not if you want the game to be even better!
Our primary Kickstarter goal will serve to build the core product; the center of Fenn's universe, which will include his house, some forest ground filled with several interactions, and at least 4 friends for Fenn to meet who will present him with mini games.
Extra money would mean that we could develop and build more forest ground, add characters and games, and overall create a more awesome app with much more fun for your child!
Below is a map of our stretch goals targets, so you can get a clear idea of how we intend to use any potential extra money.
Noisy Neighbours is an animation company created by us, Christophe Peladan and Andreas Husballe, two young(ish) fathers of adorable little boys. This inspired us to make a quality game for the little ones.
Christophe has worked as a stop motion animator and director for almost 15 years and has been on productions such as Aardman´s “Pirates - A band of misfits”. For the last 2 years, aside from developping The Forest Beyond and other personal projects, he has worked on directing commercials for products such as LEGO. His short film "Goutte d'Or" has won many prizes internationally.
Some of his works:
Andreas has worked as an animator and storyboarder for films and tv for several years, before turning to the game industry. Amongst the animation projects can be mentionned the feature film Marco Macaco. His work with games primarily consists of concept development, environment building and game design.
But Noisy Neighbours is not just a 2 men operation! We also have our little team of delightful and talented people. We couldn't do it without them!
The Forest Beyond is more than just an app for small kids to us. It is also a way to reach out to you guys. We strongly believe that it is better to be in a constant dialogue with our audience than developing our project in the dark, and kickstarter is a great place to get our project going while experiencing this sense of community. Your thoughts and suggestions mean a lot to us and will ALWAYS be appreciated, so please give us your feedback, whether you choose to pledge something or not!
About our funding: we've had a first work grant and are currently expecting another investment to come in shortly. The kickstarter campaign is the final slice of the funding cake.
Risks and challenges
The primary challenge we face is to secure enough funding to be able to focus full time on this project as well as buying supplies. Creating stop motion animation requires a lot of materials and it is a big part of the budget. Furthermore creating stop motion animation is more time-consuming than 2D or 3D animation. The extra time is well spent, we feel, as the end product will feel that much more tactile and infused with life.
A good budget would mean for us that we could work full time on The Forest Beyond which is our passion project. We have families to feed, and if we could do it that way rather than working on commercial projects, we'd be much happier artists!
Before starting the Kickstarter campaign we developed a prototype of the game world and a simple mini-game, along with a prototype of Fenley and his house. We will need to make new prototypes and experiment further with game designs and types of materials. But we know that we can make this project come through. With your help we can make it happen sooner rather than later.
There are so few stop motion games available out there, something we aim to change. It is almost uncharted territory and we will have to make our own path to find out what works and what doesn't on the way. No doubt this will be an interesting journey, and the promise to us of many coffee-fueled days and sleepless nights spent weighing up an idea against another. We know for a fact though that we can rise to the challenge and break new ground with the potent blend of talent and dedication that we've been lucky enough to find in our team.
A huge thanks to you if you made it all the way down here! We hope you enjoyed our project, feel free to leave us any comments you might have.
Our love goes out to you guys :-)
- (30 days)