Case Study: TyGirlz.com – Building the First Virtual World for Girls
What does it take to develop a kids virtual world from the ground up? From concept, to design to ongoing updates and user community issues: come find out how to develop a highly scaleable web-based virtual world. Animax Entertainment, the developers of the TyGirlz.com virtual world for toy company Ty, Inc.’s Ty Girlz brand will share best practices established during the development of the TyGirlz.com web site and virtual world.
– Michael Bellavia, Managing Director, Animax Entertainment
– creates character driven content and experiences for all screens
– founded in 2001
– hq: LA/Toronto & Kiev
– staff of 95
– 2005 winner of first ever broadband emmy
– 2006 nominated for another family
– webbys, web awards, LA Ad club
– lean back – broadcast animation
– lean forward – websites, games, vws, interatcive learning
– clients: ty, film roman, kodak, abc family, bet,
– white label apprach to vw developemnt
producers guild new media council
american film institue new media
Were charged to produce a kid safe, girl focused vw for a new product intro in a crowded competitive makrtet…
– they took it as simply “sell more dolls”
rfp was recieved in january
– finished in 2 months
– partnered with tokenzo (?)
others in space (that I haven’t explored yet)
– maple story
– shinging stars
rather inappropriate presenter
– dissed some of his competitor and had very sarcastic tone with client
– said that when users ask about boys in the world it “gets the girls all titilated” (?!)
– said 3D avs are creepy in this space/demo
– focus on kids and specifically girls
– focus on safety – clised-end, controlled, moderated environment
– no ads
– lo-fi vs hi-fi
– browser based, no downloads
– virtual economy
– virtual rewards
– no subscription fees
– pure flash front end
– as2 transitioning to as3
– mult development teams in mutl time zones
topics he think are still not resolved:
– can you launch a toy without web presence
– does a toy have value?
– is there value in being the indoctrinator of virtual world play patterns?
– can you transition kids to more age appropriate worlds as they grow older? can you “own” them?
– how many profiles will kids maintian? is there an opportunity for cooperation across species?
– does kid fickle factor ovrcome switching costs
– do kids get as jazzed as adults by new technologies wll they prefer smart toys or even playful devices over toys are toys dead?
– will parents get fed up?
question: size of support team?
– initally had moderators that were visible
– now moderators are not visible
– moderation is contracted out. didn’t say who by
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