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September 11, 2009

Introducing MiniMonos Team Member: Deborah Todd

We are thrilled to have such an awesome addition to Team MiniMonos!

Deborah Todd is a veteran award-winning designer, writer, producer, and director in the interactive arena, with more than 25 published titles to her credit. She is known for her pioneering work in children's interactive media, and as one of the first women game designer-writers in the industry, working with many of the early video game icons.  DeborahTodd_photo

Based in San Francisco, Deborah has worked with some of the industry’s top publishers and Hollywood studios, including Disney Interactive, Disneyland, Fox, DreamWorks, Discovery Channel, MGM/UA, Columbia, Warner Bros., Nickelodeon, The Learning Company, Humongous Entertainment, Broderbund, Mindscape, Houghton-Mifflin, McGraw-Hill, Random House, and Steven Spielberg’s Starbright Foundation.

Deborah’s published titles include interactive games and media, books, and television, including Curious George Comes Home for Houghton Mifflin Interactive, Blue's Clues 123 Time Activities with Nickelodeon and Humongous Entertainment, 101 Dalmatians: Escape from DeVil Manor for Disney Interactive, and Anastasia for Fox.  In addition to her published work, she has consulted on nearly two-dozen projects, has sold a family feature screenplay, and is a graduate “with honors” of the Hanna Barbera Animation Writing Program.  Her book, Game Design: From Blue Sky to Green Light was launched at GDC 2007.

So what does that mean for MiniMonos (apart from the fact that its a huge pleasure to be working with such a fun Superstar!)? Well, cool stuff like this:

Where is MiniMonos?  Earth-monkey brown

Deep in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle is a tropical island paradise inhabited by the fun-loving and highly evolved MiniMonos monkeys. 

Since the island is situated deep in the Bermuda Triangle and people avoid venturing far into these mysterious waters, no humans have ever been on MiniMonos Island. 

Consequently, completely absent of any human interference and left to their own devices, the MiniMonos monkeys have evolved into the world’s most highly intelligent and playful creatures.  Bermuda Triangle map These little monkeys understand the importance of being a good part of their community and keeping their island a beautiful place to live and play, and they know that having fun in everything they do is the best way to live a long and happy life.  With lots of friends to play with, cool places to discover, and fun adventures to keep mixing things up, MiniMonos Island is an inviting and cool place to play and explore. 

Legend has it that all kinds of mysterious things happen in the Bermuda Triangle, and sometimes the results of these things show up here on MiniMonos.  Compasses go wild, UFOs are spotted here more than any place on earth, and the area is even believed to have wormholes to make travel though time and space a whole lot faster.   

It’s a common occurrence at MiniMonos for treasures and artifacts from boats, ships, planes, and UFOs to surface around the island, washing up on shore or being discovered near the reef, and sometimes even making its way inside the lagoon and onto the beaches. New things appear every day, and the monkeys love finding these shipwrecked treasures, putting them to good use in imaginative and fun ways around the island.  Gulf Stream

Other stuff washes up on shore, too, and things that don’t belong in the water get caught in the reef, find their way into the lagoon, and generally make a mess of this tropical island paradise –like plastic bags, tin cans, bottles, and other types of junk.  These things make their way here because some humans are careless with trash, and the winds and the Gulf Stream (a big river with a very strong current that flows inside of the Atlantic Ocean) carry them to the island.  

This human junk can make things on the island run amok fast, so the monkeys are quick to do their part to take care of handling this stuff and keep their island running smoothly.  

And from this exciting background, Deborah is writing mini-games and quests, like treasure hunts in undersea caves, sunken wreckage, planes, and UFOs. This recycled ‘treasure’ can help to form a jungle band, make a cool beach sculpture or have a UFO glow fight! But sometimes the players might need to work to clear the plastic and other rubbish out of the way in order to complete their quest.  There will be electromagnetic surprises, wild trade winds, cave adventures, cool treehouses and beautiful gardens to tend. And MiniMonos will always be a safe, fun place to come and make friends, play games together and chat.

No wonder Deborah’s projects have garnered such awards as the ABA Book Sellers Choice New Media Award, the ComputEd Best Interactive Story Award, Child Magazine’s Best Software of the Year Award, Parenting Magazine’s Software Magic Award, and U.S. News and World Report’s Top 12 Titles of the Year.

We’re totally privileged to have Deborah on the MiniMonos Team! Let us know what you think of MiniMonos so far -- we’ll keep you posted as more stories, quests and games go live!


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