THREE LITTLE PIGGIES - SmartGames

 

THE STORY BEHIND THE CREATION OF 3 LITTLE PIGGIES deluxe


Three Little Piggies is a new SmartGame I designed specifically for preschool children (age 3-6).

I always love to design for little kids, because it allows me to focus even more on simplicity than I normally do. You don’t need hard challenges or a complex mechanical solution to impress young kids. All you need is a good idea. Something that fascinates children. And luckily, the younger children are, the more they are still fascinated about all kind of small things that adults find normal.


HOME SWEET HOME

The idea was to make a puzzle game where characters are hidden. I already explored this concept with Safari and Pirates, but those games are too hard for children of age 3. Once they have hidden something underneath a puzzle piece, they “forget” that it’s there. This means that when they can’t solve a challenge, they think that probably the last puzzle piece was placed wrong, although it might have been the first puzzle piece.


To solve this issue, I didn’t wanted to hide characters completely, but keep them a little visible. For that purpose, each puzzle piece features a house. Even when the character is hidden inside a house, it’s still visible through the windows. To keep things solvable for very young children, I limited the number of puzzle pieces to 3, beating my previous record in minimum number of pieces. Maybe next year I will try to come up with a logic puzzle with only 2 pieces.




top left: example of a challenge and solution without wolf (daytime)

top right: example of a challenge and solution with wolf (nighttime)


I can’t remember at which point the theme came into play. 3 characters, 3 houses, it was kind logical that the theme would be the fairy tale of “Three Little Pigs”. The shape of the game board was specifically chosen to make the right orientation clearer to little children. All corners have a missing square except for one (always bottom right).


The houses are all the same, except for the color. We did try a different shape for each house, but it didn’t really add anything except cost. It only looked more complex. So although in the tale the houses are made of stone, straw or wood, all houses in the game are made of ABS plastics ;-)


DAY AND NIGHT

The theme made the addition of another character necessary. But the wolf is only used in half of the 48 challenges. For this reason the challenge booklet has two covers. On one side it’s daytime and the pigs are playing in the river. The challenge shows you the position of one or more pigs. The object of the game is to place the 3 puzzle pieces on the game board so that the pig(s) stay outside.


left: front cover with the day challenges without the wolf                  right: backside cover with the night challenges and the wolf


The other side of the challenge booklet shows the nighttime and features 24 challenges with pigs AND the wolf. Now the object of the game is the opposite. All houses should be placed back on the game board so that each pig is hidden safely inside a house. The wolf should of course stay outside. As you might have noticed, you don’t always need to use all 3 pigs in a challenge. That means that often places on the game board or houses will stay empty when you solved it.


ONCE UPON A TIME

This game includes something extra that none of the other existing SmartGames have: a little, 24 page picture book (without text) with our version of the story of Three Little Piggies. All illustrations were made by my colleague Hans. He makes already most of the illustrations on the packagings (except the abstract ones), but now he had the opportunity to show that he is capable of much more.

top: example illustration from the story book illustrated by Hans.


The illustrations on the packaging and inside the story book also solved another issue (although I hardly think that many children would consider it an issue). When we received the first color samples of the final product, we immediately preferred the version with the green tiles and the light blue game board. But some adults found that strange, because it would mean that the pigs are with their feet in the water. By making the river part of the story and the artwork, it’s no longer out of place.


update November 2015 : Three Little Piggies has won the “Toy of the year award 2015” in both Belgium and Holland!

 


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Raf Peeters, January 2015

English/

2017

TEMPLE CONNECTION

SNOW WHITE

JUMP IN’

IQ-FOCUS


2016

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD

PENGUINS POOL PARTY

PARKING PUZZLER

IQ-XOXO

DEDUCKTION

DINOSAURS MYSTIC ISLANDS

WALLS & WARRIORS

SMARTCAR 5x5

HIDE & SEEK PIRATES JR

HIDE & SEEK JUNGLE

NORTH POLE EXPEDITION

GHOST HUNTERS

ANTI-VIRUS MUTATION

2015

THREE LITTLE PIGGIES

BUTTERFLIES

IQ-BLOX

IQ-CANDY

PENGUINS PARADE


2014

QUADRILLION

BRAIN CHEESER

CITY MAZE

IQ-STEPS


2013

BUNNY BOO

VIKINGS BRAINSTORM

BACK 2 BACK

IQ-LINK

AB UNDER CONSTRUCTION

AB ON TOP


2012

TEMPLE TRAP

BILL & BETTY BRICKS

BEND-IT

IQ-FIT

NOAHS ARK

AQUABELLE


2011

PENGUINS ON ICE

TRUCKY 3

TROY

IQ-TWIST


2010

CHICKEN SHUFFLE

ANACONDA

CANNIBAL MONSTERS

SMARTCAR

SMARTPHONE


2009

TITANIC

DAY & NIGHT

2008

ROADBLOCK

METROVILLE

ALCATRAZ


2007

CAMELOT JR

CASTLE LOGIX

GOGETTER 4


2006

AIRPORT TRAFFIC CONTROL

HIDE & SEEK PIRATES

TOWER OF LOGIC INFERNO

DUOPUZZLE


2005

CAMOUFLAGE

HIDE & SEEK SAFARI


2001

GOGETTER 1, 2 AND 3