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Calling all captains! Quandary Episode 4:
Mixed Messages now available
Think you’ve got the hang of being Captain? Know what it takes to solve Planet Braxos’s ethical challenges? Then get ready for a brand new episode with two new characters! Developed with input from Quandary users, our partners at Learning Games Network are excited to announce the introduction of a fourth dilemma. This all-new storyline addresses privacy, prejudice, and cyberbullying, and features new audio and comics.
Thirty-two light years from earth, the settlers on Planet Braxos have to deal with space-age problems. Settlers face alien animals and need clean drinking water, however they also deal with social issues like favoritism and cyber bullying. Quandary strikes a perfect balance between being fun and addictive—there are no right answers, so players can work through the game multiple times in different ways—and being thought-provoking and instructive in the difficult areas of teamwork and ethics.
The player, in the role of the captain, must read through each settler’s viewpoint on an ethical dilemma and come to the best decision for the community. Teachers have used Quandary in the classroom to teach a number of problem solving and comprehension skills.
Quandary has garnered numerous awards, including 2013 Game of the Year by Games for Change. The game is available for private use at home, and is also available in Spanish. Play the game online, or download the app in iTunes and Google Play stores.
The Long, Strange Journey of Zoombinis Heads to Windows, Mac, and Kindle Fire on October 28
Following the incredibly successful Kickstarter and iPad and Android tablet launch from earlier this year, the beloved educational game, TERC's Zoombinis, is now available on Windows, Mac, and Kindle Fire. The game is designed for players nine and older and is a faithful recreation of the original with updated modern design principles and refinements. Including all the latest updates, the Windows and Mac version will also come packed with extras such as the game soundtrack, iOS and Android ringtones, a digital poster, and desktop backgrounds.
Zoombinis is developed in conjunction with FableVision Studios, along with Learning Games Network.
"Just as children and adults first came to love the timeless logic puzzles in the '90s, players can with the click of a mouse on their PC or Mac help bring Zoombinis home once again," said David Libby, Director of Technology, TERC . "In addition to the more modern look and added gameplay refinements, desktop players will get access to never before released goodies including the soundtrack and ringtones featuring characters such as Arno, the pizza troll."
Numbering in the hundreds, the Zoombinis need your help. The small blue creatures, each with distinct personalities and appearances, are all imprisoned by the evil Bloats who took over their home - and you need to help them reach the safety of Zoombiniville. The PC and Mac controls are simple, using only a click of the mouse to control the Zoombinis, but the puzzles are not as easy as they may appear. Using logic, data analysis, pattern finding and problem solving skills, children and adults will face a series of increasingly difficult challenges, 12 in total. The game is available for Windows and Mac for $9.99, and on Kindle Fire for $4.99.
After the Storm Earns Award in International Serious Play Competition
Classroom, Inc.’s literacy learning game After the Storm has won the Bronze award in the International Serious Play Awards competition. Aligned with the Serious Game Association’s philosophy that games have the capacity to revolutionize learning, After the Storm won the award as it continues to make a remarkable impact on students who are struggling with reading and writing.
Following up on the success of After the Storm (the game is developed by FableVision Studios), Classroom, Inc. is preparing to grow its product offerings with the release of a new learning game Community in Crisis later this summer, also being created in collaboration with FableVision Studios.
More than 25 studios, publishers, companies, and academic student groups addressing the growth of games for learning or “serious games,” won gold, silver and bronze honors across multiple categories in the 2015 International Serious Play Awards competition.
The program recognizes outstanding examples of titles that deliver a high quality of engagement and learning opportunities for students, employees, or other education/training situations.
For a full list of winners, read more on the Serious Play website.
Now that’s some Good Thinking!
New Animated Web Series by Smithsonian Science Education Center and FableVision Studios Addresses Need for Engaging,
On-Demand Professional Development
Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) presents “Good Thinking! The Science of Teaching Science” – a free, engaging, and entertaining new web series designed to support science educators. Developed in partnership with FableVision Studios, the series debuts with three episodes; additional episodes will premiere throughout the summer. “Good Thinking!” is the latest initiative in SSEC’s comprehensive professional development program for science educators.
“Here at SSEC we identified a crucial need for accessible, professional development tools that help educators break down misconceptions and other barriers to understanding scientific principles,” said Marjee Chmiel, Associate Director of Curriculum and Communications for Smithsonian Institution. “‘Good Thinking!’ meets that need head on – shining a light on the classroom and pedagogical challenges teachers face, and providing solid, science-based, experiential ideas that can keep their teaching on track. Through these engaging videos, which we expect teachers will share with their colleagues, we aim to enhance K-8 science education, and deepen understanding of STEM topics for teachers and students alike. No other on-demand resource like this exists.”
“Good Thinking!” comprises short, animated videos that explore pedagogical ideas across a range of subject-matter topics like energy, cells, and gravity, as well as cognitive research findings on topics such as student motivation, or the myth of left- and right-brained people.
“We’ve long known animation as a wonderful medium through which to explore complex topics,” said Gary Goldberger, President of FableVision Studios. “It helps visualize and make sense of scientific phenomena that may be too small, too large, too slow, or too fast to observe as live action footage. The humorous approach of the visuals and writing here, combined with a recurring cast of characters, makes the content relatable and digestible – for teachers and for anyone interested in science. The Smithsonian Science Education Center has shown leadership and creativity in guiding this landmark project, and a keen understanding of how entertainment can be used to present significant content.”
Led by teacher Isabella Reyes, each episode centers on interactions with her students in class. But Ms. Reyes also encounters a cast of recurring characters who spring to life from classroom objects and guide her through fine points of teaching. These characters include a talking orchid (who’s an expert on life sciences), a talking Bunsen burner (a physical sciences guide), and Gummerson, a gruff but wise wad of gum who’s “stuck around” the school for a long time, and provides advice on pedagogical strategies.
Ms. Reyes is smart, curious, funny, and self-reflective in her interactions with students and the other characters.
“By uncovering misconceptions about science content and the nature of science education, Ms. Reyes helps viewers assess and develop techniques for their own classrooms in a relatable way,” Chmiel said. “We want educators to feel she is in the trenches with them, helping with their toughest challenges.
Research has shown that the students of teachers who understand common student misconceptions are able to achieve greater learning gains, and the development of the “Good Thinking!” series is informed by this research. The production team consulted with and sought input from a group of science and education experts, and the writing team boasts three Emmy Award winners for television writing.
Chmiel says the series provides a convenient supplement to traditional professional development efforts that often require substantial investments of time and money, and can be difficult to tailor to specific teacher needs. SSEC will publish a professional development guide later this year as a companion to the videos, providing a comprehensive package that is free and accessible to educators across the country
Go Above & Beyond with FableVision
CEO Paul Reynolds at National Maker Faire
What: National Maker Faire
When: Friday, June 12 at 3 p.m.
Where: University of the District of Columbia, Washington DC, Library (41-A03)
The White House will celebrate a “Week of Making” on June 12-18. The week coincides with the inaugural National Maker Faire, at the University of the District of Columbia, featuring makers from across the country and will include participation by federal agencies. On Friday, June 12, FableVision CEO Paul Reynolds will be sharing his insights in a talk entitled GOING PLACES: The Power of Makers to Go Above & Beyond!
The National Maker Faire is a collaboration between NationOfMakers.org, the DC Government, the University of the District of Columbia, and Maker Media bring inventors, tinkerers, and makers of all ages to our Nation’s capital.
NCFL’s Renegade Buggies wins
2015 AAP REVERE Award
Renegade Buggies, National Center for Families Learning’s financial Literacy app, took home an Association of American Publishers (AAP ) REVERE Award in the Beyond the Classroom, Play category. Winners were announced at the REVERE Awards Gala on June 3, 2015, at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC.
Renegade Buggies combines basic budgeting and money management practices with entertaining gameplay. The app is made available by NCFL with funding from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, a longtime partner in providing families with resources to learn together regardless of the parents’ educational or economic background. FableVision Studios adapted NCFL’s concept into the game.
Paul Reynolds to Keynote STEM Summit at Virginia Tech
What: 2nd Annual Southwest Virginia STEM Summit
When: May 7-8, 2015
Where: Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
The advancement of high quality education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is a top priority across the nation in terms of K-12 education, higher education, communities, and business and industry. Across Southwest Virginia, all of these sectors are uniting to focus efforts to promote economic development and quality of life. The purpose of this second annual Southwest Virginia STEM Summit is to provide increased opportunities for building strong partnerships among our regional stakeholders, as well as bring new ideas to our extant efforts.
To showcase and celebrate current successful STEM educational innovations and partnerships.
To continue to forge the types of connections that create and sustain high quality STEM education programs in the region.
To develop a systematic and on-going process to track our innovations and partnership activities, as well as the outcomes of these efforts, to create a knowledge base that supports and sustains new initiatives, as well as make public the affordances of our region.
Paul Reynolds will give his keynote on Friday, May 8. More information on the Summit website can be found here.
FableVision President Gary Goldberger
to talk about Game-Based Learning at
MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge event
On April 13, 2015, The MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge will host The Big Game Theory: Gaming Beyond Gaming, a half-day conference that will explore how we can use games to rewire our mind, ultimately motivating ourselves to engage, learn, change bad habits and more…all while we play.
The Big Game Theory: Gaming Beyond Gaming
When: April 13 from 12:30 - 6 p.m.
Where: Microsoft New England Research and Development Center
1 Memorial Drive #1
Cambridge, MA 02142
President Gary Goldberger will be on two panels: Game-Based Learning: Shifting the Responsibility of Learning to The Learner and Driving Engagement: Getting (and Keeping) Your Players Hooked.
NCFL’s Renegade Buggies wins the Institute for Financial Literacy’s Instructional Game of the Year
Renegade Buggies, a financial literacy app developed by the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), in partnership with the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and FableVision Studios, recently won an Excellence In Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Award for Instructional Game of the Year by the Institute for Financial Literacy.
“NCFL’s game engages parents and children in a joint-learning process,” said John Linfield, president of the Institute for Financial Literacy, which provides financial education, counseling and information to nearly 500,000 consumers and is a national authority on adult financial education. “[The game] reinforces money-saving tips that parents may or may not know while instilling the value of fiscal responsibility in children from a young age,” Linfield said.
Renegade Buggies combines basic budgeting and money management practices with entertaining gameplay. The app is made available by NCFL with funding from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, a longtime partner in providing families with resources to learn together regardless of the parents’ educational or economic background. Renowned educational game developer FableVision adapted NCFL’s concept into the game.
“Renegade Buggies utilizes technology and fun to teach important financial concepts,” said Emily Kirkpatrick, vice president of NCFL. “Receiving the honor of Instructional Game of the Year acknowledges NCFL’s pioneering spirit and tremendous partnership with Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Together, we are paving novel ways for parents and children to learn simultaneously.”
FableVision Studios Sponsors
Sandbox Summit at M.I.T.
When: March 23-24
Where: M.I.T., Cambridge, MA
By creating a dynamic forum for conversation, Sandbox Summit strives to ensure that the next generation of players becomes active innovators rather than passive users of technology. For the third year in a row, FableVision is a proud sponsor of Sandbox Summit.
Want to get a hands-on look at the new Zoombinis? Meet us at the New Product Showcase on Monday, March 23 at the Microsoft N.E.R.D. Center, from 5-7 p.m. We’ll be demoing Zoombinis with our partners at TERC!
Zoombinis is back! FableVision Joins Stellar, Innovative Team for Relaunch
Studio joins TERC, Learning Games Network to bring back beloved educational game, to homes & classrooms on iPad & Android tablets
“We are excited to relaunch Zoombinis this summer, a game that quickly caught interest in homes and across schools in 1996,” said David Libby, Director of Technology, TERC. “Utilizing touch-screen technology and vibrant graphics, children and adults will solve entertaining puzzles to once again bring Zoombinis to safety.”
TERC, a not-for-profit leader in K-12 math and science education, announced today the revival of the classic educational puzzle game, Zoombinis, coming this summer to iPad and Android tablets for $4.99. Zoombinis is developed in conjunction with award-winning game developers at FableVision Studios along with Learning Games Network.
The award-winning game tells the intriguing tale of the Zoombinis, small blue creatures with differing characteristics. Children and adults test their logical reasoning, data analysis, pattern finding, and problem solving skills as they help Zoombinis complete unique challenges, escape imprisonment from the evil Bloats, and reach the promised land of Zoombiniville. On their epic journey, they must face a series of increasingly difficult challenges, including Pizza Pass, Titanic Tattooed Toads, and Mudball Wall. The Zoombinis travel in groups across multiple levels until all 625 blue creatures are saved.
FableVision Studios is the primary partner working in tandem with the Learning Games Network. Learning Games Network is a not-for-profit game company and brings one of the Zoombinis' original creators at TERC, Scot Osterweil, back to the table for the redevelopment effort.
“This collaboration is a dream team experience,” said Gary Goldberger, President, FableVision. “We’re thrilled to take a classic, beloved game from so many people’s memory and refresh it for modern platforms. Zoombinis has a timeless educational backbone that’s reinforced by story and fun, and we can’t wait for a new generation to experience it.”
Fans old and new of the game can pledge their support on the newly unveiled Kickstarter to expand future platform support. If successful, it will assure that the modern remake reaches an audience beyond the iPad and Android tablets to include PC, Mac, and tablets of all sizes. The full Kickstarter campaign details and how the game is evolving are available here.
KICKSTARTER UPDATE: Our first stretch goal is here! If Zoombinis raises an additional $80,000, we'll be able to finalize development on an enhanced Zoombiniville and some fun extras to be peppered throughout the game.
An enhanced Zoombiniville will create a more rewarding experience as each pack of Zoombinis arrive and add a few extras to unlock, as well as improve the grand finale! Help us reach this goal by sharing our Kickstarter with your friends and family. Thank you for your support!
Just to be clear, the stretch is for an additional $80K, to bring us to $130K total. Read more about the stretch goal here.
FableVision and Lulu Jr. partner to create
My Awesome Publishing Company!
“Educators, their students, and kids everywhere deserve more engaging tools to nurture writing of all kinds. And the good news is that publishing is an almost magical invitation to get kids writing,” said Bob Young, founder of Lulu. “Holding a book in your hands with your name printed on it is really exciting, and that’s what My Awesome Publishing Company! enables.”
My Awesome Publishing Company! will be a web-based writing and book publishing platform designed for young learners, initially grades K–5. FableVision's founder Peter H. Reynolds will host the online platform.
“I’m on a mission to encourage creativity and self-expression for all ages, which is why I’m so excited to connect the dots with Lulu—the pioneer in open publishing for grown-ups,” Reynolds said. “We can now provide the same access to print-on-demand books for kids, giving every child a chance to share their voice with the world.”
The partnership was announced recently at FETC 2015 where key members from the My Awesome Book Publishing Company! team met with educators who will pilot the program.
Designed for mobile and desktop accessibility, My Awesome Publishing Company’s creativity tools can travel beyond the classroom to libraries, community centers and the home—so the creative process doesn’t have to stop when the school bell rings. Because the final output can be a physical book, creative work is easily shared with family and friends, and becomes a family heirloom that can be treasured for generations
Save the date! Two FableVision panels
at FETC Conference
FETC Panel: Making 3D a Reality
Featuring Paul Reynolds, CEO
When: Jan. 22, 10 a.m.
Where: Rm. S310EF
Envision a school classroom where students are the engineers—and every student walks away with a working machine, pop-up, or another 3D object they designed. The Reynolds Center TLC and FableVision, with Dr. Peggy Healy Stearns, are designing and developing Fab@School Maker Studio, the first digital fabrication software tool specifically for use in elementary and middle school classrooms.
FETC Panel: Anatomy of a Learning Game
Featuring Leigh Hallisey, Creative Director
When: Jan. 23, 10 a.m.
Where: Rm. S230H
Ever wondered about the process of making a learning game? It involves a lot more than just good programming. This panel shares perspectives from BrainPOP, Learning Games Network, Classroom, Inc., and FableVision on different aspects of developing Classroom, Inc.'s After the Storm. Developed by FableVision, After the Storm is a literacy learning game designed to CCSS, and is integrated into school-day and after-school environments.
The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office: AG Healey, GE Foundation Unveil New Online App, Announce $450,000 to Middle Schools for Substance Use Prevention Education
Animation Magazine: AardBoiled Series "Don’t Mix Us Up" Prevents Commonplace Catastrophes
Kidscreen: Aardman bolsters YouTube content output
Boston Voyager: Meet Leigh Hallisey of FableVision Studios in Fort Point Channel
District Administration, June 2017: Game On
REVERE Awards Profile: Zoombinis Combines Computational Thinking with Engaging Game Play
The Players' Tribune: Game Break: Martellus Bennett
Good Morning America: 11-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Creates and Directs Animated Film
Los Angeles Times: Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss! Students celebrate Read Across America Day
Huffington Post: Neshama: 10-Year-Old Battling Cancer and Directing Animated Film
USA Today: The long, strange journey of 'Zoombinis'
Lab Out Loud: Good Thinking! from Smithsonian Science Education Center
Entertainment Weekly: ‘90s computer game Zoombinis to return this summer
U.S. News & World Report: 7 Apps to Teach Your Kids Personal Finance Skills
Dig-It! Games: Q&A With Paul Reynolds, CEO Of FableVision, Inc.
Examiner.com: Lightning strikes twice for puzzle game Zoombinis
EdTech Times: Zoombinis: Bringing a beloved ’90s game back for tablets
Renee Kurilla and Keith Zulawnik:
Living and Working Happily Ever After
Parka Blogs: 5 Questions for Renee Kurilla
Kidscreen: Stories that Matter
Gloucester Times: A Think Tank for the fisheries game
Maritime Gloucester: Opening for "Think Tank" Interactive Fisheries Exhibit on World Oceans Day
Let's Get Busy Podcast: Renee Kurilla (Ep. 54)
Animation World Network: FableVision Adds Tone Thyne as VP, Creative
Naplesnews.com: Discovery Day Academy "Lighting the Way" with New Animated Video
Association of American Publishers: Visionary Award Winner 2013: Peter H. Reynolds
Wall Street Journal: Can Vampires Make You a Better Investor?
Cartoon Brew: Artist of the Day: Bob Flynn
Association of American Publishers:
Ranger Rick's Tree House: Profile in Innovation
Association of American Publishers: International Dot Day Celebrates How One Book Has Encouraged Children to "Make Their Mark"
Boston Magazine: How a Local Company Got To Illustrate an Astronaut’s Book for Kids
Boston Herald: Astronaut finds out of this world Boston illustrator
Boston Globe: FableVision creates smart phone apps for early learning
The Economist: Blood bars and debt bunnies
Boston Business Journal: Gary Goldberger on creating multiple learning platforms
Boston Globe: Selectman and brother donate educational software
Boston Globe: A whole new ‘neighborhood’
Boston Business Journal: Startups tackle Flash with animation tools
Game Industry News: Autism DVD Released By FableVision
Animation Magazine: Toon Boom, FableVision Debut Animation-Ish
Animation Magazine: Toon Boom Goes to School with Fablevision
Boston Business Journal: Jumpstart, Fablevision Inc. to move into Children's Museum