Sellardore Tales (Sherston/Topologika)
(new PC version)
The following reviews are of the Acorn verson - the PC version is even better!
Frankie Fisher in Educational Computing Today
Rog Frost in Micro User
See it in the Topologika web site - demo available from there.
Download a PDF copy of the manual
The Topologika version is now available as a SCORM package from use on your schools VLE. How kewel is that?????
Selladore Tales was a bit of a mission. There was this kid in my class, he was ten and pretty tough, but he had a lot of problems reading. While he looked forward to using the computer, the stuff he could deal with was lower junior level and usually full of fluffy bunnies, which he hated. I wanted something for him that would not patronise him yet would be at the right level for his ability. I guess this is one of the issues we face when we try and support boys reading.
Going back to my original adventure generator - improved graphics by now on the BBC version - I came up with a fairly straight forward adventure with a sort of Dungeons and Dragons theme. I chose this simply because the game every kid was playing was HeroQuest, and I was playing it too (still do - wanna game?). The adventure was produced simultaneously on Arc and BBC with a separate version for the MS128 to take advantage of the extra memory (it avoids loading graphics off disc). The reading age of the adventure text is about 7.
To back the thing up, and rather in the wrong order, I wrote a book which was actually a prequal to the computer adventure - you'll find the complete text in the Words section of this site. With that and a fairly large batch of worksheets, I think we came up with with exactly the sort of thing the boy that inspired it needed - he certainly loved it.
Sellardor has now been re-released by Topologika, and I've made a few additions to the game package. There's twice the number of worksheets - taking account of the demands of the NC and the various QCA documents. The adventure itself now has two levels of difficulty. The 'simple' level works just as the original version, while the 'difficult' level adds a set of additional problems to make the game longer.
I've added speech and animation - John Godfrey's art work is a joy to look at and the animation adds a lot ot the atmosphere. There's several optional support features including speech and a catagorised drop-down menu of all the words the program understands.
Here are some examples of the graphic style. As before, the emphasis is on making it look 'grown-up'.