Research

‘Fabulous Beasts’ Kickstarter campaign brings innovative family game closer to market

Enjoying 'Fabulous Beasts', which blends a physical with a digital game.

Enjoying 'Fabulous Beasts', which blends a physical with a digital game.

A research collaboration between Mechanical Engineering and a game studio has resulted in a brand new family game which combines digital and physical technologies.

The new game, ‘Fabulous Beasts’, is a stacking game, somewhat akin to Jenga, but with an extra, added dimension – an immersive digital world that is affected by each new layer stacked.

It has been developed by the company Sensible Object, in partnership with Dr Elies Dekoninck from the Department of Mechanical Engineering through the Arts & Humanities Research Council’s REACT project.

Online Kickstarter

Billed by industry experts as one of the most anticipated games for 2016, an online Kickstarter campaign is underway hoping to raise £150,000 to bring the game to market. With just under a week to go, it has so far racked up support right around the world, raising over £140,000.

Dr Elies Dekonnick Industrial Designer and Programme Leader at Bath for the MEng in Advanced Design & Innovation explained: “Our role in the game’s early development involved taking a systematic design approach to developing the technology whilst working extensively with children on the dynamics of the game play. The resulting product is right at the forefront of a new genre of games which combine digital and physical elements. In my opinion, Fabulous Beasts can re-engage the whole family in game play.”

Alex Fleetwood, Director of Sensible Object, the makers of the game added: “Play Sandbox and the support of Elies and her team accelerated our development process and provided invaluable resources for reflection and creativity."

Play Sandbox

Play-testing an early prototype of Fabulous Beasts created at the University.

Play-testing an early prototype of Fabulous Beasts created at the University.

The REACT ‘Play Sandbox’, through which this idea came to life, brought together collaborations to support and develop new products or services that would benefit children. Other projects also involved Bath researchers from the Departments of Education and Psychology.

Professor Danaë Stanton Fraser, lead investigator for REACT from our Department of Psychology, said: “The whole process of being involved in the REACT Play sandbox has enabled our researchers to work with industry partners on a range of projects that have the potential to really impact young children’s lives. It’s fantastic to see how ‘Fabulous Beasts’ has developed and I very much hope to see it on the shelves in the near future.”

To pledge support via the online Kickstarter see: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sensibleobject/fabulous-beasts-a-new-kind-of-game?ref=hero_thanks

According to the latest Research Excellence Framework 2014, research from our Department of Mechanical Engineering was judged to be sixth nationally for impact. For more on our research performance across all areas see http://www.bath.ac.uk/research/performance.

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