Monday 3 March 2014

#PigbyAndFriends our day at Aardman Animations for Pigby's Fair

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Following on from receiving a handmade pig we were invited down to Bristol to Aardman Studios to see how they put together the new NatWest savings game for children Pigby's Fair. I was so excited about going to Aardman I drove to Bristol and back in a day! Just walking into the reception was amazing:

posing with the monkey from the Pirates and the Scientists

meeting Wallace and Grommit

bunnies from the curse of the Were Rabbit

But of course we were there to see about Pigby and not all the other Aardman creations! So we were taken up to the cinema for a presentation:

in Aardman Animations cinema

We were taken through the design process for how they developed the app based upon Pigby and his friends from the savings account:

NatWest Pigby piggy bank

Pigby and Friends presentation

They managed to get a wide range of ages and activities into the friends including skate boarding, science, football and fashion:

Pigby and Friends

They looked at various other savings related apps and web sites for children before deciding on their own concept:

User journey for Pigby's Fair

Then they had to design each individual stall:

Children must decide how much of their money to spend on stocking and equipping their stalls and how much to save. They can also then spend some of their money on playing games themselves. Pigby is there to help and advise them but its all child centred.

Of course all our children wanted to do was to get on and try out the apps on the iPads. They were lucky to get to try out the latest version which hadn't yet been released on iTunes or in GooglePlay. Their savings had also been topped right up to allow more game play. At first the staff showed them what to do and explained how things worked:

learning how to make the animal masks

being shown how to play

But pretty soon all the children in the room were happily playing away:

playing Pigby's Fair

As there weren't quite enough iPads for one each my two quite happily shared one:

working as a team

The app encourages savings through messages that the children could easily understand:

savings bonus message

It was very hard to get my son off the iPad! They tempted us down stairs with an offer of cakes and drinks in the staff canteen:

Pigby cakes

Next up was a clay modelling workshop with the head of animation Enty:

Enty leads a clay modelling workshop

Even the grown ups were encouraged to have a go as we were taken colour by colour through making the parts. Of course we had to clean fingers between colours as we were being led by a pro. It was harder than it looked to shape the clay correctly:

clay modelling in progress

Eventually it was mission complete:

proud of her Pigby

Can you guess which one of these was created by me:

The next morning my son got me to install the app on my iPad! He has played on it quite a bit. I do hope that it helps him to learn how to save up and not spend all his money at once...

We're going on an adventure

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