Pirate Phonics

November 2017

The Unit11 team initially designed and created this app before the company employed me. The team developed it using standard web technologies and Cordova to allow for cross-platform mobile development. I was assigned to recreate them using the Unity engine after the release of iOS 11 caused compatibility issues.

I fundamentally rewrote the structure and code of these apps for the Unity version, leaving the artwork and audio mostly unchanged. I did need to replace or redesign some artwork to look better on higher resolution devices. I made sure that the improved art matched the original style where possible. The new version was released as a free update for existing customers and is now available for purchase on the iTunes store.

Pirate Phonics is an app developed for children who are just starting to read and recognise letters and simple CVC words. This educational app aims to develop skills in essential phonics recognition and repetition.

The game takes place across five islands with a phonic route map across each island. The app emphasises phonics through the use of several picture words and a challenge for the player. 

I designed the modular level structure, accepting a JSON word list when setting up the scene which dictates the selected phonic and a list of words that belonged to that phonic group. 

The sprites drawn on the screen are also controlled by the JSON, which allows for a considerable level of variation when combined with variable level mechanics and phonics.

The JSON controls the level order, facilitating a short modular introduction to each island. This intro informs the player of the selected phonic before showing some common words that employ that phonic.