Monday, October 22, 2007

Rainbow Dragons 1

The project I am currently concentrating time on is The Rainbow Dragons. I think it has real potential to be a ground breaking, entertaining, educational and even commercial. The Rainbow Dragons could be many things but I think the core of the project is the interactive stories, toys and computer games. All these components I feel are inter-related and therefore should come together - but being realistic they could be developed one at a time - but which first?? I am exploring all the options like- what funding might be available, who might want to get on board and be part of it.

I had the opportunity to develop the CGi at the Animation Centre at the FTI through the Key Frame programme at the start of 2006. I got teamed up with two great guys Dave Ronnert and Bryce Jones who worked incredibly hard over just three months to realise my designs and concepts and do some awesome animations. The wonderful composer and percussion guru David Pye created sounds for the Oobly Dooblies, Fijity Wiks and Scatterbats and wrote (and sung) the theme tune.

Chris Hunt made a promo for the interactive stories and also laid out a treatment for the project. As some time has passed since then, some new ideas of how to progress it have bubbled up making this treatment a little out of date but if you want to take a look email me on

The Rainbow Dragons are Goo, Rhomby and Tina. Basically equivalent to five year old kids. They do the sort of things five year old kids do, like baking cakes or playing tag and come across the same problems such as how to measure ingredients or to decide who has won a game. In the photo at the top they are being surprised by the Scatterbats which are a chaos causing whirlwind akin to baby siblings or parents on the tidy up. Rhomby is a 'steady eddy' - ponderous, cautious, sensible but also playful and determined. He occasionally accidentally breathes fire which has a tendency to get everyones attention. Rhomby has smiling and grimacing Fijity Wiks (aka shapes that tesselate) in his hands that can be called out to help deal with problems of a spatial nature.

Tina has 'ants in her pants' and is highly excitable and silly but has flashes of pure inspirational genius.

Tina has a pouch full of helpful Oobly Dooblies (aka numbers) that bounce and creep and beep and squeak into action to illustrate number in action. There are all sorts of games and programmes about counting and sums but Rainbow Dragons really tries to help kids build a strong conceptual understanding of number instead of just the abililty to count (recite words in order!) The Oobly Dooblies all have a different texture, sound, movement, colour and size to appeal to different sorts of learners. The plan is to have these for real in kids hands when they are watching stories. The kids can then choose to 'be' an Oobly Doobly and get right inside the problem solving. When the kids then hop onto the computer and get into the virtual world to play games, they can customise their own set of Oobly Dooblies (unlimited number) with hats, spines, feet, eyes, tentacles and so on.

I am going to SPAA fringe in Sydney at the end of this week and I have had a T-shirt printed up with half a customised set of Oobly Dooblies and the words "What are your Oobly Dooblies called?" There is so much snigger snigger stuff in writing for preschoolers - if you can't beat it, use it! I will let you know how it goes!

And Goo - I haven't forgotten him - he is the incisive and proactive one the plus or minus or multiplication action in a sum. Yes he is a little bossy and a bit of a trophy collector ie everything they do or make is his, but they wouldn't get anywhere without him. Here is Goo in another one of the four uncluttered locations full of space for action and problem solving.

No comments: