Ozzie's World Children's Series

Discovery

A company in Oklahoma wanted to make a retail cd-rom out of a science book of experiments written for parents to perform with their kids. Interactivity was becoming the buzz. The techniques and software were being applied to everything from industrial training systems to advertising kiosks. The web hadn't arrived yet. CD-rom was the way to deliver content.

Strategy

Focus on the children not the parents. Scrap the recipe style book printed in black and white and create an interactive story world for the kids to play in and discover the experiments. And of course add games! Involve the child from the beginning so they’ll want to actually do the experiments and have a frame of reference for them.

Technology

At the time, the “major players” in the industry (Broderbund and Microsoft) were writing proprietary animation and interactive “engines”, code bases, which handled all the data compression for cd-rom. My early experience with the Macromedia tools allowed me to produce a cross platform cd-rom with the same assets for both mac and pc with a coding team of 2 people, and 3 artists.

Highlights

Ozzie’s World won Family PC’s Top Product of the Year Award in 1994. It was the first children’s interactive cd-rom to talk directly to the child bringing him or her into the story and the world. It “broke the plane” of the computer screen as a stage and involved the user in the interaction.

Ozzie’s World was translated into 14 languages.