Those crazy kids at Double Fine aren't resting on their laurels now that Stacking is being played all over the world. No, they've gone straight back to work, creating an "innovative, engaging and funny, new video game" for Xbox 360 using Kinect due out later this year. It's about Sesame Street.
Yes, Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster is designed for kids (or the young-at-heart who don't mind solving simple puzzles). Tim Schafer and his team are working on bringing Cookie Monster, Elmo and other Sesame Street characters to gaming consoles, along with a swag of adventures and fun problems to solve. Kids will learn key life skills as they play - with their parents - through a "whimsical storybook adventure", and the Kinect functionality means that dancing, jumping and even flying will be integrated into the game.
Double Fine, who are still fiercely independent, have signed up to Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for the project, and Samantha Ryan, Senior Vice President, Production and Development at the publisher, couldn't be happier:
"As a mother, I couldn’t be more thrilled with the inspiring activities we’ve created for kids and families to play together in Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster. Combining Double Fine Productions’ talent for making highly creative games and the beloved Sesame Street brand, the game mixes original gameplay with a memorable learning experience."
Tim Schafer, Double Fine's President and CEO, is also pretty chuffed:
"It’s great to be working with Warner Bros., especially on a game like Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster, which brings together so many things we all care about. Sesame Street had a profound effect on me, and many members of the Double Fine team, when we were children. So did video games. Now many of us are parents and we want to share with our kids the great experiences we had, but also the completely new ones made possible by cutting-edge technology like Kinect for Xbox 360. So it’s a labour of love on many levels."
Don't believe Tim's a family man? Here's the Excellent Baby Girl Lili Schafer, helping Dad play World of Goo.
The game itself will be educational as well, and the devs are working to a social and emotional curriculum from Sesame Workshop, which is the non-profit educational organisation behind the beloved tv show. The Workshop's Vice President of Education & Research, Rosemarie Truglio, explains:
"We are excited to collaborate in the development of this game where families can play together, be physically active, and parents have the opportunity to foster the social and emotional development of their children."
While playing Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster, young players will be taught important, lasting lessons about making friends, recognising and labelling emotions, and cooperating with others. And, y'know, they'll be hanging out with Grover and having fun, too. That's important.
I like video games and music and cups of tea and noodles and beagles and colour-cycling LEDs.
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Jimmy the Geek