First free book to Kids Need To Game!

Thanks so much to the most recent backers and pre-orderers (including the $1 backer ^_~ )!

Because of these generous folks, we can send the first free copy of Happy Birthday, Robot! to Kids Need To Game. There are two more copies ready to send to this great cause as soon as we reach the next pre-order milestones. Each pre-order gets more free games to kids in need.

Thanks again and spread the word about Happy Birthday, Robot!

New Sketches from Rin Aiello!

Rin sent a ton of new first drafts for the next batch of Happy Birthday, Robot! illustrations.
You can pre-order a PDF or Print+PDF bundle here. New pledges also allow more free books to be sent to Kids Need To Game, a charity encouraging more gaming among kids in 1st through 9th grade. Here's that URL once again:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/danielsolis/happy-birthday-robot

(If you want to see more of Rin's artwork, visit http://www.rinaiello.com/)

Donating free books to Kids Need To Game.

The first 24 hours were so successful, the goal was met and then some. Your enthusiasm exceeded my wildest expectations. That visceral urge to meet a clear, tangible goal is now resolved sooner than I thought.

But there are still 60+ days until the funds are actually pooled together to print the books. Unfortunately, there are also lots of people who want to pre-order, but see that the goal has been met and think they missed their chance. (Which is not the case, as the last seven backers can tell you.)

So, that leaves an interesting and happy dilemma. How do we spread the word that you can still pledge and pre-order PDFs and PDF+Book bundles? The answer came from Purple Pawn's recent blog post discussing the charity Kids Need to Game.

[Teacher] Brian has been running an after school games club for 1st through 9th graders at his school in Denmark. [...]
"I have been able to document, with information given to me by several of the teachers and parents, that almost 60% of the active participants in the gaming club have actually improved in problem-solving skills and reading comprehension since starting with us."

Sounds like a great cause to me, and definitely in line with the goals of Happy Birthday, Robot! So, I'm happy to announce the following:

When the pledges reach $1,500, I'll be donating a first edition of the book to Kids Need To Game.

When they reach, $1,650, I'll donate another first edition book.

When they reach, $1,800, I'll donate one more book.


After that, if May 31st is still a long ways out, I'll seek out any other game/kid charities to donate books to. So if you've already backed, I thank you and encourage you to spread the word to your friends about this offer. Kids Need To Game is a great cause and hopefully we can spread our good fortune to them. Thanks!

-- Daniel

We met the goal in 24 hours!

I want to thank all the backers who pledged their financial support to this game with such enthusiasm. I obviously over-shot that deadline or under-shot the $ goal, but either way we won!

Thanks to popular demand (and because the deadline was set 70 days from now) I'm making two special offers:

* Any further $10 pledges are pre-orders for the full-color PDF and black-and-white printer-friendly PDF.

* Any further $30 pledges are pre-orders for the PDF+Print bundle. (Not signed/numbered, but still hardcover full-color books.) That covers your shipping and handling, even if you're outside the U.S. (Feel free to chip in extra if you want to cover those extra costs, though.)

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Free Games to Libraries and Schools

We're giving away a free Print+PDF bundle to the first ten libraries, schools or after school programs who sign up.

If you know a US library, school or after school program that would like to have a free copy of Happy Birthday, Robot!, send me a message through kickstarter or on twitter @danielsolis. (You can see examples of HBR in the classroom here and here.) In your message, please include:

  • Shipping address for your library, school or organization to send the book when it's printed in a few months (Sorry, this offer is only available in the US for now.)
  • Email to send the PDF when it's available in May.
  • Whether your organization would prefer to remain anonymous.


There are only 10 offers available right now, so it'll be on a first come, first serve basis. I'll update this post as soon as I get signups in my inbox.

1: Children Youth and Family Collaborative - COVERED!
2: Derrick Thomas Academy - COVERED!
3: [Anonymous] - COVERED!
4: North Plainfield School District - COVERED!
5: Nacogdoches Public Library - COVERED!
6: Oklahoma City Public Library - COVERED!
7: Norman Public Library - COVERED!
8: Lab School - COVERED!
9: Highline High School - COVERED!
10: New Orleans Center for Creative Arts - COVERED!

WANT TO HELP?
Each of the next ten print+pdf preorders will cover the costs of producing and shipping a free bundle to each library, school or after school program. When a pre-order comes in, I'll note the institution as "COVERED" in the list above.

Happy Birthday, Robot! in the classroom


Those are actual kids in the classroom playing Happy Birthday, Robot! Innumerable thanks go to Cassie Krause for running the game for her class. They were split up into groups so they could play on their own. Teacher's comments:

"One of the girls that was playing is far below grade level in all subject areas, and she did a GREAT job of participating and writing the sentences.* She has actually begged me all week to play.* She felt success in this writing activity, which is something that she doesn't feel very often during writing time, because she struggles to correctly articulate her words. However, with the idea of not having to write a complete sentence, because someone else could help finish it, it motivated her to write the best she could.

"[…]My principal was asking me about HBR, because he saw the story on my board.* He knows that I'm a gaming nerd, and likes to give me a hard time about it.* I showed him the dice, and the PDF to read through.* He said that this was amazing, and wondered what would happen if we put in some of the other conjunctions as well.* Have some dice that have "and" and "but", however, also have dice that say "or" and "yet."* It would give the kids exposure to using the other conjunctions as well to the main "and" and "but"* Needless to say, he was really impressed with the whole thing!"

A game that helps kids with learning disabilities AND turns school principals into game designers? Rock. :D

Here are the stories they came up with.

~~~~

Happy Birthday Robot!

Robot was very happy but his friends were not.
Robot went to his friend's house and he got lost.
Robot was scared because he didn't have a way to get home.
He tried to call the police, but the police didn't show.
Robot went to the nearest store, The Oil Shop.
His parent's were there looking for him all day.
Robot's mom and dad were happy and they said he could never leave.
Before he left his mom and dad said, "Happy Birthday Robot!"
And they sang him "Happy Birthday!"

Written by Mark, Jordin, and Derrion

~~~~

Happy Birthday Robot!

Robot went out to eat at his favorite restaurant and had fun there.
The Robot and his friends went to the park and then we wanted to go home.
Then Robot wrote about his day in his journal, then Robot took a nap.
The next day it was his birthday, he had a surprise party.
And they had lot and lots of food.
Last, he opened his presents with lots of job.
Then Robot and his family and friends watched him, play with his things.
Robot had lots of fun.

Written by Ashaiana, Keyonna, and Nesha

~~~~

I want to send free and discounted copies of the game to schools like this one. Pre-orders of the PDF or Print+PDF bundle help make that happen. Thank you so much for all the help you've pledged, backers. Keep spreading the word. :)

Cassie Krause's 4th Grade Class Plays Happy Birthday, Robot!

Check out the fun story that Cassie Krause' class of 4th graders created by playing Happy Birthday, Robot!



Happy Birthday Robot!
Robot glanced outside sadly because he couldn't go outside.
Robot saw rain, but he was still in a good mood.
Robot wanted to play in the rain, so he went to ask his mom.
Robot's mom said okay, and Robot was extremely happy, but it suddenly stopped raining.
Robot's friends came to his house and they went out to eat at Robot's favorite restaurant.
His favorite restaurant was The Oil Shop and he loved motor oil baked casserole.
Robot ordered his meal happily and for dessert he had a battery cake with chocolate oil.
Robot's friends gave Robot an oil gift and they went to the park.
Robot and Robot's friends played on the swings all day.
Robot had a fantastic and wonderful birthday!
The End

Here's what the kids said:

"Can we play it again?"

"That was awesome!"

"Duh! Robots love oil!"

Cassie sends along these comments, too:

"Another one of my 4th grade teachers wants me to teach her how to play HBR, so she can run it. It's going to be all the rage at Derrick Thomas Academy!"

Great news all around. :D
Daniel Solis
Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night.