When Intel began conversations with Hot Studio about creating something new for its AppUp Center, the chip maker’s app marketplace for Windows, both companies saw an opportunity to make a special app experience. That product wound up becoming StoryPlay, a delightful new desktop app that empowers kids to create and share stories. Designed and built from the ground up, the creation of StoryPlay gave Hot Studio the opportunity to lead and build an impactful product that supports some of its core values—problem solving, education, and creativity.

FULL STORY

In-house startup
Organizational structure was an important element in making StoryPlay a reality. Hot’s team organized itself like a small tech startup, allowing engineers, designers, and strategists to generate ideas during energetic concepting and branding sprints. In short order, the team advanced the concept, conducted an audit of competing apps, and explored a brand identity. A comprehensive list of features and the beginnings of a viable, differentiated product took shape.

Perfecting the product
StoryPlay was designed to support open-ended creativity and allow kids to create stories on their own terms, as opposed to prescribing specific tasks and activities. The app’s product strategy coupled a playful brand identity with a vibrant, entertaining suite of tools designed to stimulate a child’s imagination and encourage creative independence. Core functionality was key; the app had to be clear and simple, allowing children to experience it without the aid of a parent. The elegant simplicity of the interface and functions foster creative play.
 
Technically speaking
Coded almost exclusively in HTML5 to support future platform strategies, StoryPlay combines stunning visuals with rock solid stability. Beautifully illustrated “Starter Stories”—complete with character sets, scenes, and props—were paired with intuitive writing, painting, and drawing tools, as well as a voice recording feature that allows children to narrate their stories. The team also delivered a sharing site that lets parents send a story’s unique URL to family and friends. After all, every great story should be shared.

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