|Release date(s)||1994 (original version)
2004 (deluxe version)
Storybook Weaver is a 1994 educational game released on floppy disk for the Apple Macintosh, aimed at children aged 6-12. An updated version, Storybook Weaver Deluxe, was released in 2004 on CD-ROM for Windows and Mac computers, featuring much more content than the original. Both versions were released by MECC who also created The Oregon Trail, another educational game. The Deluxe version is available for both the home and school, with a Teacher Resource CD, including lesson plans and User guides.
As the title suggests, Storybook Weaver is a program that enables and motivates children to easily create their own stories on computer. The most noticeable feature of the game is the sizable space allowed for illustrations on each page of a story. The game offered hundreds of backgrounds, objects and characters that could be selected from easy-to-use categories and placed anywhere on the page through a simple click-and-drag process. Backgrounds in the original featured mostly natural, outdoor locations, with which players could switch between day, night, dawn and dusk effects on the landscape. However, piecing together items such as walls and floors created indoor settings for stories. Items ranged from food, furniture, vehicles, vegetation, housing, floors, doors, walls, weather effects, natural landscape features and so on. The characters which could be placed in a story included humans, animals and make-believe people from fairytales and classic mythology. There were many human characters of various nationalities, most of which had several positions to choose from, including standing, running, sitting and sleeping. Fantasy characters included fearsome dragons, hobbits, fairies, giants, ghosts, Greek mythological creatures and magical beings such as sorcerers and witches such as Baba Yaga. Any object could be creatively manipulated to produce various effects, through flipping objects through various angles or modifying colour, size and shape in a paintshop-type program. For example, a puddle of water could be turned red to represent a pool of blood.
The Deluxe Version greatly expanded on the features of the original version with a completely updated user interface.
It largely kept the original backgrounds, items and characters from the original game and added a large number of new objects and categories, such as a world landmark category, including The Statue of Liberty and The White House. The older objects are updated in higher textures to match the quality of the new objects. The game offers a lot more features in the real and modern in-door and out-door world, including streets, cities, a bedroom, a classroom, a shopping mall and much more. The game doesn't skimp, however, on aspects of the ancient or fantasy worlds. A noticeable feature of this learning program was its bilingual capacity. Users can now write stories in the English Language or Spanish, accompanied with a bilingual text-to-speech feature, an English/Spanish spell checker and a thesaurus. Deluxe also includes "story-starters" for children who find it more difficult to get into the creative mindset, a voice recording feature, friendly spoken tutorials and a library of object sounds and music. The Deluxe Version of the program was re-released in a 2004 edition.