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Time Machine Wales

Time Machine Wales: Medieval History for Kids

Time Machine Wales is a bilingual website which brings alive Denbighshire's medieval history for children and promotes the medieval sites in the area. The design needed to be colourful and fun to appeal to kids and contains animated characters, sounds and interactive stories. Historical characters are associated with medieval sites which are marked on an interactive map.

Fiona Dolben and the Tourism Team at Denbighshire County Council commissioned this project to make the medieval history of Denbighshire accessible to children.  In order to make a link between the present and the past Fiona came up with the idea of two young time travellers who would travel through time and meet the people at the places they lived. 

The intrepid young time travellers who update their blog with their experiences and encounters as they move through history.  Each century is represented by characters from the time period who tell their stories in a fictional blog.  You can read their stories by clicking links on the timeline or explore the medieval world they inhabit in the interactive stories.  Famous historical figures were chosen as well as ordinary people such as shepherds and a washerwoman. 

The team worked closely during the development.  Jo Goigne (Cartoonist) and Charles Kightly (Historian) were meticulous to get the cartoons historically accurate, from the details of the clothing, building materials and equipment to the landscape.  Dave Wager and James Roberts (Interactive Designers) designed interactive flash based stories; engaging, educational and fun.  They designed soundscapes and sound effects for each story which I was also able to use in the animated timeline.

To realise the project and bring all the elements together I used Wordpress. As one of the most flexible blogging software tools around, it allowed complete customisation, so the interface design and multimedia elements developed for the site could easily be slotted in to the word press engine.