Les Argonautes is designed for 6 to 8-year-olds and is set in the year 2175. In it, the armada led by Maximilien sets off to the farthest reaches of the galaxy in search of extraterrestrials. This leading series in Télé-Québec’s youth programming began its fourth season in January 2016. The Argo is off to new adventures with Alex, Rufus, William, Ulysse, and all the other Argonauts on board.
Every season since its launch, the show has had its own web site featuring games, applications, and the Argoclub. In the third season in 2015, kids were able to immerse themselves in the Argonauts’ universe thanks to a web series.
This idea came from the young fans themselves: they wrote in the comments box that they would like to meet the Argonauts.
“We came up with the idea of an interactive web series broadcast every Friday for 13 weeks,” says Nadine Dufour, a producer at Pixcom. To become a character in the series and see yourself in the spaceship next to the show’s characters, children must take a photo of themselves or choose an avatar to represent them.
Each episode includes several possible endings, allowing children to play several times. In the 13th episode, 40 versions are available, enabling children to personalize their experience and win prize gifts.
“The best ideas are due to constraints,” states Nadine Dufour. “Obviously, when you take on a project for kids, many things have to be factored in, above all, protecting your data.”
“The work environment remains sealed out,” specifies Florence Roche, executive producer at Tobo, a company that specializes in creating digital games and entertainment for children and families.”
Pixcom and Tobo worked very hard to ensure security while allowing kids to personalize their experience.
“Télé-Québec is dedicated to protecting kids with measures that go beyond legal requirements,” notes Florence Roche. The web series can be experienced free of charge and is available only online. Unlike other realms designed for kids, there is no advertising or transactional features on Télé-Québec’s site for youths. As a result, parents need not worry about receiving unexpected invoices.
For the next season of Les Argonautes, Pixcom and Tobo have created the Argo Express, nine quick mini-games that transforms tablets into gaming platforms. While certain parents are concerned about the proliferation of screens in their children’s lives, Argo Express allows two players to play together, for instance, two children or a child and a parent, and each player can adjust the games to his or her level.