About this project
Imaginary Friends is how I've always wanted to play along with my kids – amazing authors and illustrators help tell a story that lets my kids be the heroes. It takes advantage of three things I love – games, books and activities with my kids – all working together in a fun, interactive way.
Imaginary Friends is a simple new platform that brings reading, games and real-life activities together in a fun way. Each Adventure Kit comes with:
- A printed book aimed at 8-12 year old reading level, divided into 7-10 chapters
- An activity you can hide in the real world like puzzles or secret notes
- A digital-connected game or video for EVERY chapter!
- Extra ideas so parents can enhance the adventure (optional to the story)
Amazing Activities between every book chapter! Here are a few examples of how you'll have HOURS of replayable fun:
- Scavenger Hunts to collect puzzle pieces hidden around your home
- GPS-enabled Hot & Cold where you create a path in your neighbourhood
- Creative ideas like theme recipes and crafts to augment the story
- Phone calls and secret websites customized for your child
- Tablet games like Solve the Maze, Combination Cracker & Story Quiz
The Kit Arrives!
Imagine the excitement your entire family will feel when a new Adventure Kit arrives at your door! But wait. Don’t show them the kit. It’s a secret for your eyes only.
So much more than a book
Each kit comes with the Imaginary Friends book of your choice divided into individually bound chapters, a parental guide, as well as puzzle pieces, recipes, telegrams, and any other supplementary materials necessary to create an amazing, interactive adventure.
Let's Go on a Mission!
At the end of each chapter, the characters ask your child for help. Sometimes this will be an online game or an activity in the real world. You'll join us online behind-the-scenes to set up the magic that will immerse your child in the plot.
Play Along with the Story
The Imaginary Friends platform will communicate directly with you to keep you informed and ask for your help. Simple email instructions are sent at just the right time to align with your child's reading habits. You and the author are going to work as a team to create magic moments around your regular routine.
Capes in the Family by Gregg Taylor and Illustrated by Remie Geoffroi. In this story, Nick and Norris think their family is boring until killer robots kidnap their grandparents! In a secret lair, the boys discover hidden gadgets and costumes to become superheroes and defeat Doctor Cyborg.
Meet ridiculous superheroes like the Scarlet Hippie and Atom Woman who need your child to pilot rocket boots and join the story as an Agent.
Gregg Taylor is the creator of the Red Panda Adventures, a classic radio series reinvented as a popular podcast. Remie Geoffroi has illustrated characters for ChickaDEE magazine and worked for many major magazines. Together they have created an adventure that will evoke nostalgia in parents for Golden Age comics and amaze your child with imagery.
Circus of Mirrors is written by Andrea Phillips and Illustrated by Mike Holmes. In this story you’ll rescue Sofia and Max, siblings who are invited to a magical circus inside a broken mirror.
Meet whimsical characters like the Bearded Man and the Strong Lady – eat cotton candy made of thunderclouds and help Sofia assemble the shards of the magical mirror which will take them home.
Andrea Phillips is an interactive writer whose work has been nominated for a BAFTA and the creator of The Daring Adventures of Captain Lucy Smokeheart. Mike Holmes is one of the artists behind Adventure Time and creates posters for Patton Oswalt. Together they’ve created a new mythology with delightfully memorable characters and a world your child will visit in his/her dreams.
Imaginary Friends is designed with a priority on child privacy and security adhering to the highest online safeguards and protections.
The story only communicates with YOU (the parent, grandparent, teacher, etc) YOU approve what the child sees in advance and can preview any activity (you can even practice the games before they do!)
What is the intended age for Imaginary Friends?
How will Imaginary Friends work EXACTLY?
How much work is this for Parents?
How long is an Adventure Kit experience?
We’ve been able to create two amazing Adventure Kits to prove the concept works, and we are testing it now with our early adopters. We've learned that Imaginary Friends needs more help to become sustainable - we cannot do a full print run and customer support without 4 or more books.
- More BOOKS allow us to reach a wider audience interested in different types of stories
- More ADVISORS will help us make the right decisions at this pivotal time
- More ACTIVITIES will help bring down the cost of future publishing, as we build a library of digital tools for future authors
Find out more at ImaginaryFriendBooks.com
Our aim is to provide you with one new Adventure Kit every three months to get us to a year’s worth of adventures for your family. This pipeline will allow Imaginary Friends to become a full-time operation to provide your children with a lifetime of stories.
Risks and challenges
HOW PREPARED ARE YOU WITH THE TECHNOLOGY?
We’ve built the technology that will drive Imaginary Friends and tested it with friends and family. We’ll have to test again if we hit thousands of concurrent users, but we’ve already proven that our team can produce games and websites to handle this traffic.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MAKE THIS SAFE FOR MY KIDS?
One of our priorities has been to protect the children who use Imaginary Friends first and foremost. We’ve designed the system to capture contact information for parents or caregivers and we’ll send all information to the child through that contact. In this way, we’re never exposed to the risk of violating that trust we have with parents. To protect parents’ personal information, we’ve designed Imaginary Friends to host data on an encrypted server on a proven third-party service.
HOW WILL YOU DELIVER BOOKS SO QUICKLY?
Our first two books are 90% complete and we’re planning to ship them this fall – this funding goal will allow us to devote much more time to making sure the next two books happen faster and start a pipeline to produce more books with proven market demand.
WHAT IF I DON'T LIKE YOUR STORIES?
We think our first books are pretty fantastic and testers have agreed, but there is always the risk that we don’t satisfy our readers. We’ll be implementing a return policy for books that have not been completed once our storefront is operational.
CAN YOU AFFORD TO SHIP/PRINT THESE REWARDS?
As for fulfilling orders, we have calculated shipping (for North America) and printing costs into the cost of each reward so we know we’ll be able to meet these obligations.
WHAT IF YOU GET MORE ORDERS THAN YOUR FUNDING GOAL?
One of the welcome risks is that we get an order larger than our small team can handle and we will need to source a larger-scale printing/fulfillment service. Our research has shown us that these are well-established for the books industry and our online component will be distributed... online.
Our dream is to make Imaginary Friends long-term with our creative team and that means any additional funds will be spent making additional stories, better activities and more FUN together with you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
This is really the most important question - I'm a busy parent of a 5 & 7 year old and I get it. We considered creating an 'auto-pilot' to make this ZERO work ("Set it and Forget it") but early tests showed that all the magic was missing in the experience.
Imaginary Friends is going to send you an email every chapter - less than 20 in total. Each of these emails will have relevant information for you as the parent, and a BIG BUTTON you press to approve.
Some of the activities (1 or 2 per book) are going to take 15-20 minutes to set up but they'll be worth it - much better experiences for you and your child.
So in total we expect Imaginary Friends could take 45-60 minutes of your time, and will create a few hours of amazing experiences for your child!
The books that currently exist are aimed at 8-12 year old reading levels. We don't like to talk about ages because some kids read outside their grade level. These are illustrated chapter books with art on every second page. They're about 10,000+ words in chapters that feel about the size of a comic book.
If your child is not ready for independent reading, then the books are perfect for bedtime stories - one chapter per night. You will have even more insight into the story when the activities begin and the games are great for younger kids who are skilled on the iPad.
The story could fill a busy weekend day or a solid week of bedtimes.
Yes they are! Each activity between book chapters can be replayed. The first time the child
'wins' it will trigger the next part of the storyline but if he/she replays it will work for repeated play. Some of the activities require setup like the 'Hot/Cold Game' but parents can go back and edit locations or data to add variety to replay.
Yes yes and YES! We've designed Imaginary Friends in HTML5 which is compatible with nearly all of your devices. You can experience the games on tablets or web and the parent's interface looks great on smartphones. The games for your child will work on smartphones, but the experience is better on your desktop or tablet - trust us.
Definitely - your Kickstarter account won't be tied to the reward and you can easily transfer it to someone once we hit our goal. When we send you the survey at the end of the Kickstarter, just let us know you'd like to hold on to the reward for someone else.
Not at all - we say it's for 'grownups who interact with kids'. If you're the 'cool uncle' or grandparents hosting the kids for a weekend, it's perfect to run. Teachers are going to love using these stories too!
Support this project
- (31 days)