…and we’re live!

March 12, 2008

It has been a long time coming, but we’ve finally arrived at the first real LoveChild beta!  Thank you to everyone who waited patiently as we rebuilt the game from the ground up.

Some key new features:

  • Now your LoveChild talks to you!  Interact with it and see what it says.
  • Play with other children!  Set up your child on play-dates with other children and level up your child’s social abilities.
  • Improved profile functionality.  Edit your LoveChild however you want and share off his or her hip interests with friends!
  • Ability to customize LoveChild.  Change hair, skin, and eye color of your LoveChild.  Now you also get to pick which type of LoveChild you want!  Each type of LoveChild has different DNA set and reacts differently to environmental factors.

We’re working hard everyday to keep adding new features, so feel free to drop us a line and contribute to the project.  Since we’re still in beta, we need your help to improve the game.  Send us an FB message if you’re interested in helping out and be sure to keep adding your comments to our feature request board.

Stay tuned for new feature updates from the LoveChild team.  We can’t wait to show you what we have next!

=P

A Sneak Preview

February 5, 2008

Coming soon to a Facebook near you.  Don’t believe us?  Here’s a sneak preview!

main chid page

Here’s a very alpha version 1 of your LoveChild’s main page.  We’ve introduced a couple new interactions and modified an old (but loveable) one (discipline).

Oh no, what’s that in his hand?

Now, what about creating LoveChildren?

So many different types of LoveChildren, each with unique characteristics!

What about playing with other LoveChildren?

What could that be?

LoveChildren.  They’re coming soon to a profile near you.

Once Upon a LoveChild

December 23, 2007

picture-33.png

LoveChildren are special creatures born out of Love (and sometimes, wedlock).  In redesigning the LoveChild game, we realized that each LoveChild had unique properties that made it more special than any other child.  As we rebuilt the game (and the algorithm) from the ground up, we wanted to make sure each LoveChild you create would take on a life of its own.  That is, each LoveChild would exhibit different personalities, creating a unique experience for the parent every time you play the game.  Like all non-virtual children, LoveChildren are a function of nature and nurture.  Each begins life with a set of traits beyond your control, and each develops new attributes depending on how your raise them.

Today we’re going to give you a sneak peak at a few genetic profiles of the LoveChildren to give you a sense of what’s to come.  Enjoy!

The “Jumping Gee-Willickers Gee-Whizz Aww, shucks… Gee-Golly!” LoveChild

Smily-McSmilerson.  Always beaming with joy.  Time to clean the kitchen?  Well Boy Howdy!  Combine that son-of-a-diddly Flanders-Go-Lucky attitude with his penchant for perfection and you’ve got the perfect LoveChild!

Perfect, until he wets your bed.  Not enough attention and your child might manifest that angst into something even worse than chicken pox.

Don’t know what we’re talking about?  Just follow the Yellow Brick Road.

The “Every-sport wunder-kid!”

Where there’s a track, he’ll run it…  Where there’s a ball, he’ll smash it…  Where there’s a playground, he’ll own it…

Faster than a speeding tricycle, stronger than Russian Olympians in their prime, he’s the “Every-Sport Wunder-Kid!”

The only people more competitive are the parents of the other team.

The “GI-Joe / Power Ranger / Captain Commando of the Renegade Rebel Alliance!!!” LoveChild

Part Chuck Norris, part Redbull, all can of whoop-ass–this LoveChild subsists primarily on an extreme diet of toy action hero commercials and high-sugared cereal.  Only the sturdiest of trees can withstand the mighty aftershocks of his merciless wake.  Beware, unturned leaf/snail/animate/inanimate object!  Your destruction is upon you.

Action Haiku:

“Communicates well
when talking with two closed fists.
I’m gonna get you.”

Oh yes, he will.  Oh yes–he will.

The Algorithm :x in the news…

December 20, 2007

lovechild-algorithm.jpg

LoveChild was mentioned in the news yesterday by the Wall Street Journal in a nice article about the Stanford Facebook App class.  Rodney Rumford over at Facereviews.com has more details on the coverage.

Here’s the short excerpt:

“The applications included the bizarre, such as “Love Child,” where users “conceive” a virtual child with a friend and then play with or discipline it. “We have an algorithm in which if you lecture your child, its IQ goes down,” joked [anonymous team member].”

Unbeknownst to the team, the WSJ cited leaked details regarding the LoveChild algorithm!

(my bad.)

With our secret sauce smeared all over the face of the press, we went back to the chalkboard to figure out exactly how we could one-up our sophisticated “f(lecture) == iq–;” function call variable thing.  About a hundred new features, two pieces of chalk, and some fingernails later, we stumbled upon the most ultimate user-generated affirmative-social-action/artificially-intelligent machine learning algorithm (we could think of).  Observe the metaphorical explosion of our minds.

If Deep Purple didn’t illustrate how hard LoveChild will rock, then get ready: the most important gift you give this Christmas might just be the gift of Love(Child).

All you’ll have to do is let the algorithm make it happen.

Renaissance Pranksters, Chapter One

December 18, 2007

The ClubhouseCaptain’s blog: 4:23 AM on a windy December dark morning.  The french fries are no more and a pizza box lies pizza-less amidst the shuffle of bills and trashy magazines.  My left elbow feels tingly, not too unlike my right elbow–and I begin to forget what this post was supposed to be all about in the first place.

Oh wait.  I got it.

Irreverence.

Irreverence describes well the tone we’ve been working so hard to get right with LoveChild.  When the idea of the app first came to mind, we envisioned a cross between Tamagotchi’s and the Sims.  Little did we expect for the childhood framework to take on a creative life of its own.

We got feature requests in droves.  From friends to siblings to strangers online (never accept candy, virtual or otherwise!), we heard tons of feedback about what they wanted their kid to be able to do.  Real parents chimed in with advice-column convictions about objective parental truths.  Hardcore gamers barked for an RPG like statistics engine that cross-computed each parent’s interests.  With all that noise still ringing loud from the Stanford Facebook Class App Expo, we decided we had to do everything we could to shut ourselves away and focus on our own game.  So we stayed in school while everyone went home.  We snuck into student centers to draw wireframes and kid-art on their whiteboards.  We ordered pizza, slept on tables, and coded in our pajama pants until we ran out of cans of Rock Star.  Then we went to the store only to buy more Rock Star.

That’s when things got silly, a little–too–silly.  One Youtube video led to another, and before we knew it we were laughing too hard to remember exactly why we were up so late in the first place.  Our company motto became, “every “to do” can be done tomorrow too!” as one by one, we each passed out.

Thanks to that mantra, instead of a game you get this blog post.  But that’s okay, because membership to the clubhouse is a one time fee that only costs a couple of clicks (and 20 invites =p).  Plus, membership gets you a glimpse at what goes on behind the scenes of LoveChild.  We hope to use this blog as a way to document the reality of creating a game about the reality of creating a LoveChild.  Will you send your kids to public or private school?  Does little princess get the surprise pool party or a Chuck E Cheese birthday bash?  With LoveChild, we want to invoke the silliness of late night sleep-overs with pizza and  Nintedo 64.  We want the soccer practices that ended with snacks and Capri-Sun.  We want to build into the game all the elements that made childhood great, so that you’d be able to live vicariously through your LoveChildren the childhood irreverence we all seek.  With hope, we too can join you on the playground (coming soon!).

But not until after our next meeting at the Clubhouse.  Welcome, readers: see you soon.

Preface

December 18, 2007

It’s not about us, it’s about you.  No really, you: the user.

User.

Use.

er.

We’ve been hearing it all, from “when is LoveChild going to be done” to “lollzz i want my love child now j/k haha xoxox!!!”.  These days, I agree with those comments.  I want LoveChild out the door as soon as possible.  I want it so bad.  But honestly, there’s really nothing I can say other than “omg i’m soooo sorry it’s coming soon i swear!!” (read: “it’s in beta”).

We promise it’s coming.  We really do.  And to show you that we care, we’re going to tell you about LoveChild and it’s many, many (many) feature promises.  We’ll detail our product timeline, the one that stretches all the way into the meta-infinite.  We’ll show you each and every UI sketch, including the picture we took of the original design etched on a stone tablet (which we had to toss off a cliff to ensure that it wouldn’t get into the hands of other app developers).  We’ll hold our breaths and won’t stop gagging until every line of code gets written, every font edge rounded, every graphic beveled and embossed in all the glory that is poor web2.0 photoshopping.  We won’t stop working for you, the user.  And for that precise reason, we’ll tell you all about LoveChild tomorrow.

We promise.  =)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.