We are currently in the process of updating the simulation interface and as part of this process, the MikesBikes Dog will be replaced with a new way of giving students a quick indication of their firm’s health. As they say, some good things need to end for better things to begin.
As we bid farewell to the MikesBikes Dog, let’s look back and see how it was brought to life.
In 1997-98, we were introduced to Cliks, the MikesBikes Advanced Dog.
The ‘smiley’ artwork in the original 1997 MikesBikes CD release was more of a simple Japanese cartoon style created by one of our programmers, James Saito.
Around the same year, Dr. Pete Mazany, the founder of Smartsims hired Robert Chan as the graphic artist.
Robert then created the MikesBikes dogs as Pete Mazany loved dogs and always had at least a couple around the office.
We wanted a quick feedback indicator so students would immediately know how they were doing after a rollover, and the dog image was very well received. Students wanted to see what else the dog would do and it really helped with student engagement. It actually helps that the original style of the dog is fairly generic, but still endearing. Some people thought he was a bear, others though he was a goat. The success of the image is really in his facial expressions and the simple situations he is posed in.
“Einstein the Dog” arrived soon after launch of MikesBikes Intro.
Nara Paz created Einstein the Dog as a ‘fresher’ re-imagining of the dog concept in 2006, and we integrated these into MikesBikes Intro soon after.
Although the MikesBikes Dog will be replaced, we will still retain its best elements: giving a quick indication of how the students are doing and providing them with something to look forward to seeing after every rollover.