Students join the Ploobs to learn the best way to resolve a variety of social situations targeted at their age group. Social situation are encountered in an interactive game that is instructive but fun and addictive. Students will learn, along with clay animated characters called Ploobs, how best to react to others resulting in the best outcome for all. Each scenario is focused on core social and emotional competencies developed by CASEL. In the game, the player will be presented with a variety of social situations acted out by the Ploobs. The situations are common ones – homework, walking to school, in the school hallway, etc. Students encounter actions by Ploobs which challenge the student to select the best possible outcome for the scenario. As students successfully complete a scenario, the Social Tool will be added to their toolbox. Subsequent similar social encounters will allow students to sharpen existing tools. Retention of social skills is tested in the BOSS Level where the player must retrieve the appropriate previously collected social tool to solve a social situation under the clock. If all Social Tools are used successfully before the clock runs out, the player wins the BOSS Level.
PART 1: The Platform Racer
The Platform Racer section adds more excitement, addictiveness, and competitiveness to the game. These timed levels allow children to beat the clock by rolling a Ploob to a specific goal as fast as possible while at the same time being presented with basic positive social tasks along the way. Each positive task will slow down the rolling Ploob but will also add more points to the overall score. Completing without missing any task will add multipliers to the score, enticing the player to complete them all.
- Helping a ‘stuck’ Ploob
- Standing patiently at the back of a line without cutting to the front
- Consoling a crying younger Ploob
- Cleaning up trash and disposing the trash into the correct recycle or trash bins
- Saying hello to another Ploob who greets you
Goals for levels include:
- Get to class on time down the endless Ploob school hallway
- Bring the cold fruit punch to grandma before it becomes too warm to drink
- Delivering the hot potato pie to your teacher
- Arrive at an after-school event before the whistle blows
- Being first in line at the library on opening day before the clock strikes 12:00
- Get to the bus stop on time
A visual icon displays the time the player must complete the level. Failed levels must be played again. Difficulty will be automatically adjusted during gameplay. If the student fails to complete the level, the game will automatically and invisibly become easier. Players who complete the levels will be challenged by a slightly more difficult level at the next platform round of play.
At the end, the score screen will congratulate and show the number of tasks completed, the player’s time and score. Players will manually close this section and then the Ploob will roll into the next portion of gameplay.
PART 2: The social saying WORD JUMBLE
See a sample of the gameplay here:
These scenarios will automatically occur at the end of each platform round of word jumble gameplay These scenarios are short animated scenes depicting Ploobs in a variety of social situations and will show some form to marginal or bad social behavior.
These charming animations will provide the child more insight on the character of the Ploobs and will expose them to scenes that will focus on familiar and age appropriate situations that could use some help in order for everyone in the scene to be contented.
Oops! Uh Oh!! What Happened Here?
Which one needs to change their actions?
The player will select a character in the scene by tapping or clicking one of them. The character will highlight.
The scene will fade into the background and the child will play the Word Jumble game. A phrase will be shown with blank areas that indicate where words should be completed. The words which belong to the phrase, but are not included in the phrase, will appear around the partially completed phrase. The screen will show a countdown “1-2-3 GO!” and the player will be given a chance to see all the words for a moment before the timer begins. To complete the phrase, the player will select the words and drag them onto the correct blank places to complete the phrase. Correctly placed words will lock into place, incorrectly placed words will float back to their original location. Once the phrase is completed, the round will end and the timer will highlight indicating the final time. The player will be notified of a better score if the player completed this phrase previously and within a shorter time.
- Do the RIGHT thing not just what’s popular.
- Say it Nice! Can you think of a friendlier way to say it?
- Put yourself in their shoes and think how they feel.
- Calm is Contagious. If you feel yourself getting mad slow down and take a breath first, then talk.
- Respect is a two-way street, if you want to get it, you’ve got to give it.
- Play Fair. Life is not a competition. Sharing victories with others helps everyone.
- Everyone makes mistakes. Apologize and learn from your mistake.
- Let it go with a laugh. Try smiling or laughing in tense moments. Ask yourself if it’s such a ‘big deal’. Probably not, so let it go and laugh it off.
- Sharing is Caring. One of the most sincere forms of respect is listening to what another has to say. Let your friends talk and pay attention to their feelings.
- It isn’t big to make others feel small. Compliment someone and imagine the other person is trying to be helpful.
Once the scene outcome animation has played, the child will ‘collect’ the ‘Social Tool’ in their The Ploob’s Sociable Tools. Children will be encouraged to try to collect all 10 tools.
The ‘Social Tool’ phrase will be used more than once to allow the children who memorized the phrases to put them together more quickly and beat their previous times to earn more points. This will allow for repetition of the phrases to help in the memorization process.
3) The BOSS level: Once the child has collect 3 or more phrases, they will encounter a Boss Level. These will be rapid fire animated scenes depicting Ploobs who say or do something which is obviously a display of poor social behavior. The child will choose from their collected “The PloobTools”to use on the Ploob to win the round. If the player cannot find the corresponding tool or saying in their toolbox, they will be prompted to go back into the platform game level to collect more sayings.
These three portions of the game help to keep it varied and entertaining while at the same time, with a complete focus of the game’s goal aimed at social behavior issues. This game does not have social behavior as a by-product of the gameplay, but has created engaging play which is solidly steering the young players towards better behavior throughout all of the interactivity.