PBS KIDS

Rebuilding a classic Flash game for modern day play

For the last two decades, Cyberchase has been teaching kids how to solve problems using math and science. PBS Kids wanted to keep a good thing going by developing a new and improved game to complement the Cyberchase TV show. Cyberchase partnered with DEPT®  to harness the power of innovation in the realm of education and entertainment, providing children with engaging tools to excel in math and science.

Bringing a classic game into the modern era

Cyberchase’s ‘Mission Motherboard’ is a very popular online game that was created to reinforce the lessons introduced in the Cyberchase TV show. Both were created by PBS Kids in 2002—the show stayed on the air for so long that the game eventually became outdated. They looked to the team at DEPT®  to bring this classic game into the modern era with updated storylines and a technical revamp.

We updated and streamlined the gaming experience

In order to make the game more accessible on modern platforms, we had to rebuild the whole thing from the ground up as we converted it from Flash to HTML5. This process is really detailed and takes a ton of time so we got to know the game really well. As we worked, we also found ways to streamline the user experience, providing simpler interactions while promoting ease of understanding.

Aiding comprehension through constant reinforcement

The platform’s updated experience teaches classic Mission Motherboard lessons streamlined into four types of mini-games: multiple choice, prioritisation, classification, and sorting. Kids are directed to replay these mini games throughout the journey. This way, each game’s core concepts can be fully internalised and understood at a deeper level.

During the process of converting the artwork from Flash assets to HTML5, we also took the time to reanimate many of the characters and items. We even added new animations that never existed in the original game, making it feel more alive and modern. Along with making the entire game larger in terms of screen space, we also updated and modernised the UI, the character selection screens, and removed the surrounding border in the game – allowing the player to see more of the game world.

Refreshing an old game with new technology

We  embarked on a mission to breathe new life into a classic educational game, and the results have extended the legacy of Cyberchase in teaching kids how to solve problems using math and science.

The game now stands proudly on modern platforms, ready to engage a new generation of young minds. The transition wasn’t just technical; it was about enhancing the user experience. We carefully streamlined interactions, making it more accessible and intuitive for players of all ages.

The heart of the upgrade lies in the gameplay itself. Kids are encouraged to revisit engaging mini-games, solidifying their grasp of core concepts in math and science.

Questions?

VP Games & Emerging Technology

Joey Egger

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