LucasArts Entertainment Company of San Rafael, California is breaking into the children’s CD-ROM market with its first title targeted at young players.
Drawing on the flight simulation technology used in LucasArts games like Rebel Assault, Mortimer and the Riddles of the Medallion features a flying snail named Mortimer. His mission, with the help of his friends Sid and Sally, is to save all of the animals in the world, who have been turned into stone, and to recover the pieces of an ancient medallion that had been stolen by an evil-d’er called Lodious.
Collette Michaud, project leader for the title, had hoped to do a children’s game since she joined LucasArts more than five years ago. But developing a product for children required a different approach from producing a game for older players.
‘We’re so used to making games for adults here that you really have to pull back and realize that kids are definitely on a different learning level, and you can’t just take it for granted that just because it’s easy for you, it’s going to be easy for kids.’
To determine whether the game, aimed at children four to 11, was appropriate for its target audience, LucasArts conducted six focus groups of children through various stages of the game’s development.
At press time, Mortimer and the Riddles of the Medallion was slated to launch at the end of May. The game is available for Windows 95 and Macintosh in the U.S. and Canada, and LucasArts plans to release it in international markets later in the year.