A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
About this project
A Simulation to Save Kitten Lives
Orphaned neonatal kittens present complex problems for foster caretakers and have historically had high mortality rates. This simulation aims to present a solution through more effective and efficient instruction. The design is complete and has been reviewed several times over. Now, it needs funding to hire a coder and graphic artist to finish the project!
Think about it - each download of the simulation has the potential to save at least one kitten life. Isn't that worth it?
What Am I Backing?
Here's the plain English version before the details that follow after some friends reviewed this and said this would be helpful.
First, you're backing bringing a simulation from pen-and-paper into the real world.
A simulation is like an app in a tablet almost like a game. Think about those fancy computer programs that reach pilots to fly airplanes... now shrink that down to teach you to bottle feed a kitten. It isn't a game because it's based on real life situations, not reward coins, so it teaches you through practice.
It is designed to go on any touch-screen tablet to be in the hands of most anyone. Again, this is about getting it out there for real-world use to save kitten lives.
Most simulations, like the airplane ones, are so complicated they become too expensive for real people to use. As a result, only advanced students like pilots and doctors use simulations, but the truth is they are a great way to learn. This one is simplified by using a cartoon cat, but the "rules" inside are real.
So you are backing the part where I pay someone else to bring this creation to life. I've got the idea, I've designed it and shown it to people, improved it, shown it again, and now I need someone to help me make it for real this time.
What is a Neonatal Kitten?
After a lot of research on this question, experts disagree on where the line is, but for non-experts, it is easiest to say these are baby/newborn kittens who cannot eat or go to the bathroom (pee/poop) on their own yet and thus depend entirely on the care of another for survival or will die.
Background of the Need
There are an estimated 10,000 rescue groups and animal shelters in North America. These groups offer programs to raise the orphaned and abandoned neonatal kittens found each year, but the volume of kittens typically outnumbers the quantity of capably trained volunteers. Additionally, Good Samaritan community members who find and keep neonatal kittens of their own accord need training. Current training methods utilize apprenticeship models and infrequent workshops which can be too slow and still rely on live neonatal kittens for training, risking undue harm in the process of learning. A tablet-based simulation allows the learner to train without risk to a live kitten and without waiting for workshop availability. The first shelter interviewed took in 956 kittens between April and September’s breeding season and the few trained volunteers were burnt out - they need a way to train more hands!
The simulation will provide training and practice for the critical care of a neonatal kitten. Neonatal kittens are 0-28 days of age; however at this time the simulation design draft is only being coded for 0-2 days of age until I can afford to have the rest coded as age identification is extremely important. Each kitten will be cared for during a 48-hour period of "in-sim" time and will come with an illness or a disease based on real-life probability factors.
Solid Instructional Design
This simulation may look cute and simple, but studies show low fidelity is better for the novice learner, which is why this simulation looks more like an app than an advanced nursing simulator. However, the design and background model are grounded in pure instructional design. The simulation is not a game. The majority of the simulation follows a procedural model based on cause and effect with the addition of tactical-decision making design in the diagnostics of the kitten’s condition and/or illness as it relates to the situation for the procedural application(s). An instructional overlay begins each phase of learning paired with immediately reported feedback in most cases. Help menus are available for further assistance and a report is generated at the conclusion of each kitten.
I've paid for a few things and also accepted as much free help as I could get thus far. While this is not a non-profit, it has been set up under a B Corporation in California, which is often called an "of Benefit" corporation because it serves to solve a social/environmental problem. What is left is:
Final coding of the simulation (Construct): $3,000
Final Graphics and Sprites: $500
Bonus Items for Over Cost
If this funds for more than what I need, the first thing I will do with the extra money is pay for a conference I have already been accepted to show it at. This is a leading industry conference in November which is a HUGE deal. Potentially over a thousand people might see it which could get it in more shelters. But the conference is in Florida and I'm in California, making it an expensive trip.
Event Registration: $327
Demonstration tablets: $450
If it funds for more than that, I want to get this into the hands of shelters pre-installed on a rugged tablet. Using rugged kids' touch-screen tablets should work if the only program on them is this simulation (I still need to test this but I need a demo of the simulation finished).
Tablet, labor, and shipping: $150ish.
All funds will go into a B Corporation (the B basically mean "of benefit," look at bcorporation.net to learn more about what this means).
Most of the rewards involve adding your name to a Thank You page in the simulation itself. You may also elect a reward involving a download of the "developer's version" of the simulation which is the version being used in trial studies. But of course, every Kickstarter has a t-shirt option, so I had to add that in, too. You will be able to select men's or women's cut and size. This is a draft of the design for the t-shirt:
ASPCA (2016). Shelter Intake and Surrender. Pet Statistics. Retrieved from: http://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics
Humane Society of the United States. (2016). U.S. Pet Ownership, Community Cat and Shelter Population Estimates. Retrieved from: http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/pet_overpopulation/facts/pet_ownership_statistics.html
SFSPCA. (2000). Neonatal kitten care. San Francisco, CA: The San Francisco SPCA.
Risks and challenges
I had a lot of trouble finding a graphic designer and coder. I met with an expert (free of charge through a mentorship program) and got a lot of help. I tested some graphic artists and settled on one, but but giving money over to a coder is scary business and a risk. However, I know a few attorneys (family and friends, thankfully) and feel more comfortable that at the very least if I don't get my simulation I can get my money back and start over with someone else. The company I found is a large enough company that I doubt they would risk their reputation on an upset client. I've seen other games, apps, and simulations they've made. The trick was having this built in a way that would work on all touch-screen tablets, which took a surprisingly long time!
Includes: Pink Feet reward plus...
You will receive a download code for the Developer's Version of the neonatal kitten training simulation. It is being developed for all touch, color screen tablet devices with Internet access. This will be a special pre-release for the planned pilot study on the effectiveness of the simulation training at reducing neonatal kitten mortality rates.
Includes: Pink Feet and Whiskers rewards plus...
You'll have an exclusive survey code to provide feedback to the developer on changes you would like to see made to the simulation before it is released to the public. Your contributions might make an added impact on reducing neonatal kitten mortality rates! All evaluations will be detailed with room for open commentary. You may participate anonymously if preferred.
Show off your cat and kitten dedication with a feline enthusiast t-shirt featuring the artwork from the kitten simulation! Men's and Women's cuts of a basic white t-shirt are available. You will be able to pick your size. See the project story for a draft image.
It's just like the Pink Feet reward, but Pay It Forward donors will go at the top of the "thank you" page because your gift will supply an animal shelter or rescue group with five downloads of the simulation. My goal is to keep this project's archive page updated as these donations are distributed. If you have a specific shelter you wish to gift, please let me know!! They will receive the final version.
The design for this simulation was accepted to show at a leading conference in the instructional design field. In fact, one of the reviewers gave it a 10/10 in all categories!! But the conference is in Florida and I'm in California. This Kickstarter is only for the cost to produce the simulation and get it in the hands of shelters. Anything extra will help me take the simulation to Florida to show it to thousands of people. The pledge minimum is $100, but please pledge more. Plane tickets are expensive! This reward will get you a special thank you section similar to the Paw It Forward reward and conference photos of my behind-the-scenes mischief as I demo the simulation at conference. I'll even throw in a postcard from Florida!
Includes: Pointy Ears, Pink Feet, and Whiskers rewards plus...
Before next kitten season, I will travel to your shelter in the USA for two business days of training with the simulation to show you how to use it as a shelter training protocol (including the reports). This will allow you to launch the simulation as your new training procedure!
Deluxe Thank You page placement
Download of Developer's Version of Simulation
On-site simulation training with me at your shelter for 2 days