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I work for a small company which is developing an educational software for children. The target ages are kindergarten (0-3 years) and pre-scholar (3-6), although exact categories differ from one country to another. It will be collection of very simple games, but there will be quite a few of them, therefore there is a lot of work to do!
In the past, we programmed the games in Java. We created a mature framework which properly hosted every new game that we developed. However, the only Java API that we used was Java Media Framework (JMF), as user interaction was very simple at that time: drag & drop some objects, click on moving objects but always with constant movement, ... We played video in order to give instructions to the user and to congratulate him/her upon successful completion of the game. The software was not completed, so it does not yet exist as a commercial product.
Now we would need a more sophisticated framework/API which can handle things like gravity, multiple object collision, water waves emulation, ... We also want to run the games on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). We think that we will need a development environment like the Unity3D framework: it seems like you only need to program once, then it generates optimized code for different platforms (Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, Windows Desktop, ...). At this point, we can consider any other choices, so please make your own suggestions.
We will be starting from scratch, as I do not think that we can reuse anything from the old Java code (only the graphic material, I guess). The team has now grown into a multidisciplinary team and it is being directed by an expert psychologist. We do not need awesome games, we need effective educational games instead. However accurate realism is required so that the children can easily understand what they see on the screen. Besides several psychologists, there are also some teachers who will approve that games are suitable for the target ages. We keep contact with one graphical designer and one 3D animator who are very good in developing graphical material for children, in case we need their help. On the other hand, we will not keep any Java programmers in the team, as we want to fully externalize the software development into someone who can understand our new requirements.
We are looking for a small company (or experienced freelancer) which can develop the games for us, while we will be keeping the source code ownership. We need to establish a long term relation (minimum 1 year) and we also need the job done quite fast (which implies availability). We have some business opportunities which require providing some prototypes to the stakeholders very soon.
I am attaching 3 examples in order to show you what are the kind of special effects which we will need in our games:
Box and balls: you can see how the balls collision against the box and other balls (note that I emulated it with manual mouse movements so it is not as smooth as it should be). (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkx7tqOQ8i0)
Falling blocks: some of our games will require falling objects. Realism regarding gravity acceleration-deceleration is the important point here. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dml0wLi6jZU)
Duck fishing: some of our games will have water. Realism regarding the waves and the corresponding movements of the objects floating on the water are the important points here. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opZQ9G0km1Y)
We would like to check your portfolio of previous works. If possible, please send the links from where we can download any android games developed with Unity3D. Thank you.
Please note that the indicative budget is for implementing the first simple game only, as a demostration of skills. Specifically, it could be the "Box and balls" above.
Carles de Haro
Technical Development Director
BitDistrict Technologies S.L.