The StoryMarie-Anne Cartier and her twin brother CJ are in trouble. Big trouble. Hugetrouble. The kind of trouble that sounds like, “You mean to tell me that wejust made one stupid ‘big-huge mistake’ and now we’re going to get eaten todeath by dinosaurs?!”The plan seemed pretty solid at first. Marie-Anne and CJ had watched theirfather using his time machine dozens of times. Surely no one would mind ifthey “borrowed” it; they’d be back before they even left! The twins wouldcombine their special skills to form a brash and brainy two-person adventuresquad, what could possibly go wrong?! It’s not like they’d lose their only maphome, right?(Right?!)
The AdventureOf course, as nearly everyone knows, the only way to safely navigatethrough time is to pack a temporal map into a sturdy case that you sendback to a safe time and location. Marie-Anne and CJ, unfortunately, senttheir only copy a little too far back. Now your family has the map, the twins’only lifeline as they hurtle blindly into the past, jumping decades and thencenturies at a time.Is all hope lost? Maybe not quite yet. Marie-Anne and CJ are still able tosend life rafts through the mail, little “time parcels” that arrive roughly twice amonth. Can you and your family unpuzzle the Cartier’s frantic clues, enteringtheir “whenabouts” into their lost map before the twins’ temporal trajectoryflings them too far into the past? Will you save the day or will Marie-Anneand CJ end up as the daily special on some Triassic-era dinosaur menu?Only time will tell!
The Curious Crate is a wild many-media adventure; a physical-object-meets-digital-interaction subscription service that delivers a unique experience tochildren 8-12 and their parents.Marie-Anne and CJ Cartier stumbled into a time portal and only you - therecipient of their mailings, video dispatches, puzzles, and games - can helpthem find their way home.The adventure dances across six centuries as it spools out over the courseof six real-world months. Eleven physical objects and corresponding digitalexperiences follow the discovery and opening of the Curious Crate.
The PurposeRemember the joy of getting mail or having to wait for the next comic bookor catalog to arrive? Remember when the answers to puzzles weren’tmerely a Google search away? Remember using “modern antiques” likefloppy disks, VCRs, drive-in theaters, and paper maps?Modern technologies and the internet are wonderful - absolutely - but so tooare some of the invaluable lessons we learned as kids:• surprise• delayed gratification• hands-on observation, and• long-term problem-solving
The Goal Our goal for The Curious Crate is to deliver: A journey of The gift of curiosity anticipation An appreciation of exploration A delight in A discovery ofperseverance interconnection A fascination with history
The IdeaThe Curious Crate is an immersive exploration story that unfolds over thecourse of half a year, delivered by way of 12 tangible mailed objects and12 corresponding digital experiences.As the surprise recipient of a curious wood box and its mysterious contents,your child/children will stumble into a role assisting the teenaged Cartiertwins in their accidental quest back in time. With your son or daughter’s helpthe twins will find and activate a series of “date posts,” markers that triggersubsequent mailings and dispatches - each one using the communicationsmethods of decades and centuries past.Part book, part subscription, part game, The Curious Crate is an experiencedesigned for kids aged 8-12, with their parents in on the adventure too.
The CuriosityYour daughter/son opens the curious wood crate to find a thick, fauxleather-bound journal tucked inside. The book looks dusty and care-worn,its antique pages brittle with age. The journal is filled with technical drawings,diary entries, symbology and hand-drawn maps. At first, it appears to be thework of an old explorer, field notes from some long-forgotten scientistbut, upon closer inspection, it seems that things are much more puzzlingthan that.As your child begins to page through the astonishing manuscript, he/shediscovers that much of the text inside the journal is also muddled, words re-arranged, unaligned and out of order, as if assembled after-the-fact. Severalitems appear to be missing; a bundle of opened envelopes are withouttheir letters, while places in the book that once held specimen samples arenow conspicuously empty. More questions than answers - all inviting theminto the story!
The FrameworkThe story begins with the core crate. We’ll deliver that to you (the parent) inDecember - by Christmas - for you to make it “randomly discoverable” byyour daughter/son. “Hey, whose present is this? It doesn’t have a nameon it...”A few weeks later, the first of 11 deliveries will arrive by mail withsubsequent deliveries arriving every 2-3 weeks after that. A heads-up email(for parents’ eyes only!) will alert you on what to expect and offer helpful tips.With each dispatch, the protagonists move back in time - at first by decadesand later by centuries. Each dispatched object and digital experience relateto a different historical time and place.The crate and each subsequent package will include various clues, tips, redherrings, and codes linking to text, video, and audio messages from thestory’s main characters.
The Roll-outUsing a specially made platform, audio clips, photo galleries, videomessages, and links to closed games/apps can be accessed privately and asoften as needed. Each month’s mailing reveals one such multimediacomponent. Some may be passive entertainment while others areinteractive and consequential.Often the dispatches require puzzles to be solved - everything from figuringout a virtual VCR or typewriter to finding plot clues hidden in music boxmelodies or 15th-century paintings.Here’s an example of how the deliveries may roll out...
A small wood crate delivered inDecember (to parents) contains amysterious and incomplete fieldbook and various artifact clues.A code entered online reveals anintro video and dispatch from themain character.An envelope mailed in earlyJanuary includes an old floppydisk with coded label.Another dispatch is revealed aswell as clues hidden within aseries of ASCII art.An envelope arrives in lateJanuary containing a(playable)VHS cassette tape.A code on the tape label unlocks avirtual VCR on which to view aninteresting short film.
An envelope arrives in earlyFebruary containing an old IBMcomputer punch card.After decoding the card using textin the field book, an interactivefiction Q&A terminal is presented.An envelope arrives in lateFebruary containing a 35mm filmslide with an elaborate clue-filledphoto.The video dispatch invites viewersto visit a virtual drive-in theaterand to “pay special attention to thenewsreel”.An oversize envelope arrives inearly March containing a(playable) 7” record with twoexclusive songs relating to theplot.A code on the label gives accessto an online virtual record player.
An airmail-style envelope arrivesin late March with an officiallooking typed letter.Access to a typewriter app allowsfor a form to be filled in andsubmitted to the proper (in-game)authorities.A box arrives in early Aprilcontaining a hand-crank musicbox which plays a classical song.Per the video dispatch, the songmust be transcribed note-by-noteon a piano app to unlock anotherstoryline.An aged and wax-sealed envelopearrives in late April containing ahandwritten letter.Instructions within the letter reveala small online gallery of 16th-century paintings, each depictingkey scenes in the story.
A tube arrives in early Maycontaining part of a canvas map(half of which was in the crate).The map corresponds to aspecial-access “old worldexplorer” iPad app in which thewhereabouts of a key item can bediscovered.A small crate arrives in late Maycontaining a real brass pocketwatch, the object which returnsour protagonists home.After solving a riddle related to thetimepiece, a video plays outconcluding plot lines.Finally, in June, a success posterarrives in the mail which recapsthe many scenes and charactersin the story.A farewell thank-you dispatch isfollowed by access to a virtualletterpress where “I was here”posters may be created.Timing and objects subject to change.
The RewardsWe plan to offer two types of packages to pledge for...The Main package includes:• The core crate and its contents• 11 letter/object mailings (including postage)• 12 video dispatches• 12 digital experiencesThe Deluxe package includes the same elements, plus:• A personalized video message (by the actors)• Your child’s name engraved on the pocket watch• Her/his face drawn into the wrap-up adventure poster
The Requirements• A computer with internet connection and the parent’s email account• An iPad and iTunes account• A postal address (countries to be determined)• A kid with insatiable curiosity, ingenuity, and love of adventure!
The TeamThe Curious Crate will be produced by the creators of Warms gift boxes(givewarms.com); a team with toy industry, web/app development, videoproduction, and magazine publishing experience.We also plan to collaborate with a variety of talented artists and suppliers.