Silicon Sisters is a newly created development studio founded by women with a goal of creating games that can “tickle the female brain.” More than just pinkification, the studio aims to create games and apps that speak to women of all ages, using a thorough review of current research to create a game development bible that will inform the development process and subsequent games. Their first app, School26, is aimed at girls aged 10 – 16. It’s a game of social interations, in which the protagonist, Kate, navigates the social environment of a high school, making friends and helping her peers with a variety of real-world problems that may tweens and adolescents can face in our modern world. Created for the iPad, School 26 uses a variety of game and quiz mechanics to tell the story of Kate and her friends and hopefully help the girls playing the game learn better ways to get through their own school days as a result.
The play build we were able to look at had a school locker dashboard, and involved some gameplay to help Kate and her two friends manage their own complicated and realistic friendships. There was a teen-magazine style quiz along with some dialogue response choices that we tapped our way through, hoping to calm an angry friend, and support another who needed some cheering up. The colorful, cartoon-y graphics rounded out a solid package, even for an early build.
We’re looking forward to seeing more of this and future games from Silicon Sisters. Not only do we applaud the efforts to make games for a typically under served target population (pink isn’t how we make games for girls!), but to make them with style and fun only enhances the package. No doubt many people, kid and adult, male and female, can benefit from such an appealing experience, and more developers can take a note from the concept of research studies to inform their development process.