Industry

http://www.boston.com/businessupdates/2013/04/12/houghton-mifflin-harcou...

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has purchased the Montreal-based app developer Tribal Nova. Tribal Nova does excellent work-- well played HMH!

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Too often in kids' gaming, I find that clients want to build overly complicated, sometimes convoluted story lines to help their games along. I can certainly understand the instinct to do so. The idea is to contextualize the action, to give the user a call to action and motivate gameplay. That having been said, I'm coming to the conclusion that less story, if handled nicely, can be better.

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Several weeks ago, after much thought, I finally ordered a set of the Blackwing 602 pencils recently re-issued by the Cal Cedar Pancil Company as The Palomino Blackwing. I've long been fascinated by Blackwings-- for those uninitiated with the them, Blackwings were a pencil produced by Eberhard Faber and noted for their very even, thick black lines and even strokes. A small amount of wax was mixed with the lead, making the effort of drawing or writing easier. Chuck Jones, Stephen Sondheim, and John Steinbeck were each 602 enthusiasts.

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George Pfromm is Boston-based illustrator, animator, and cartoonist. I don't know anyone who's a better action and adventure illustrator or who's better with a brush pen. The fact that he happens to be a helluva guy and a joy to work with is an added bonus. George is a real student of illustration: a terrific and fearless draftsman with a flair for dramatic visuals most pros would be too intimidated to try. His cities of the future were born in a foward thinking past.

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As a developer of young children's educational games, I often find in my work that clients are hesitant to develop games in which children have negative consequences, either by losing games or getting negative feedback during gameplay. Some games are designed around the notion that the child is never given any indication that they've done anything incorrectly.

 

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