Zoo U is a web-based social-emotional learning game for 2nd-4th graders. It’s a narrative-driven, point-and click adventure game. Originally Zoo U was built with Flash, however with Flash nearing end-of-life, I led the project to re-release the game to HTML5 so it could continue to be used by tens of thousands of students using any device with access to the internet. I successfully re-released the HTML5 version of Zoo U over the Summer of 2019.
Zoo U is made up of 36 levels, has over 15 hours of game-play, and has tons of mini-games and interesting game-play mechanics to keep the game engaging throughout. Re-releasing Zoo U was a relatively large undertaking for our very small team. It’s a size-able game and due to the major architectural differences between Flash and HTML5/Canvas, a lot of the game had to be re-written.
The new HTML5 version of Zoo U is compatible with most devices that have a browser. A lot of emphasis went into memory optimization for Zoo U, we wanted the game to run on low end chrome books and older iPads with only 2GB of RAM. The sprites take up a lot of video memory due to the large number of animations in the game. Getting the customize-able avatar with over 1,000 frames of animations to fit in memory in addition to all the other assets was one of the bigger technical challenges of the project but we were successful in doing that.
Zoo U is available for trial and purchase on Centervention.