In 2014, I was contracted to develop an educational web game with Little Bird Games. This game would be one of many in a browser-based suite intended to help build attention skills in children with ADHD.

The basic concept is a kid’s club house that requires a secret passphrase for entry. To learn this passphrase, the player must successfully answer basic true/false prompts (e.g. “8 is a number” would be “true”) and remember the part of the passphrase that is revealed afterward.

revealing part of the passphrase
revealing part of the passphrase

By promoting long-term concentration over a span of a series of shorter “distractor” tasks, the game is intended to combat attention deficit and build the day-to-day skills necessary for a child to thrive in a information-rich learning environment.

Behind the scenes, the game collects gameplay data including how long each trial took to complete and how many incorrect answers were given. Building on these metrics, the game is geared toward long-term development - successive plays become more challenging as the player must remember a greater number of words in the passphrase.

the difficulty increases!
the difficulty increases!

Art direction and game design were all handled by Little Bird; UI, UX, and the front end web implementation were all handled by me.

In addition to native HTML5 + JS, I used the CreateJS library (notably EaselJS and SoundJS and PreloadJS) for the convenient APIs they expose on top of HTML5 Canvas.

It’s now been a number of years since this project, and as is tradition it’s a mixed bag of emotions looking back at my old code (it’s hard to not notice things I could have done better). But it was a very rewarding learning experience and my first foray into the world of web games (which primed me for later work with the same company).