Year on year, dog bite incidents are growing by over 10%. There have been over 100,000 incidents in the last decade.
Most commonly, victims are under the age of nine and what’s more, 75% of these attacks occur in the home, involving a dog that they know. Children are often scarred, and in many cases the dog is put down.
In short, a huge number of these incidents could be avoided through better education, understanding dog behaviour, dog body language and how to behave around them.
‘A Dog’s Story’ is an educational application (for smartphones and tablets) that teaches children about dog safety.
The lessons were created from extensive research into the moments when incidents between dogs and children are most likely to happen. These were identified after working with dog behavioural experts, vets, nurses, parents and the Auckland Animal Management Team.
To bring these lessons to life in a way that children would actively want to engage with, the creation, craft and storytelling approach was crafted working with teachers, children’s authors, parents and, most importantly, children themselves.
On an adventure through a magical world, children meet different dogs and their owners - each of whom teaches an important lesson on how to interact with dogs through interactive decision- making and detailed animated responses.
Working with children’s illustrators, authors and teachers gave the design a clear direction, creating a safe, colourful, immersive world filled with distinctive characters. By applying two-dimensional skins to 3D characters, human and dog characters within the app mirror complex real-life behaviours while retaining a storybook charm.
The final experience felt like an immersive children’s storybook. In behind this was a complex 3D interactive world built in Unity, a powerful game development platform. This will enable layers of gamification to be added in the future.