What Tools Created Software Such As Reader Rabbit and Math Blaster?

Hello everyone.
I would like to try to create some Windows educational software like "Reader Rabbit", "Math Blaster", etc.  Those software titles don't look like regular Windows applicatoins so I am wondering what they were created with.  Does anyone know what software development tools are needed to create those kinds of educational applications?  

I am wondering if they were created with Microsofts XNA tools but I am not sure.  I wonder if mayber there are some special multimedia kits that were used for those products that made the development easy.  I am familiar with Visual Basic .NET, C#, and C++ under Visual Studio 2005 so any special development kits that fit with those would be preferred.  Any information is appreciated.  Thanks in advance.

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Hi unfortunately I have never used either of these. And have never seen them in play,  are they animated or slide shows? Small interactive games/
This question does not have a simple answer maybe others have better.

but going on my own hunches a lot of these maybe produced using software such as these


Power point.
Photo animation
Adobe creative suite
Flash MX


Reader Rabbit
I took a look at it and noticed the CAD
Main page

Hope it helps and not confuses
cheers M
zonkermanAuthor Commented:
Hello Merete.
Mindscape appears to be the creator for products such as Reader Rabbit and Arthur at the website you found:
Reader Rabbit and Arthur are the kinds of educational software products I would like to try and create.  I am trying to find out which tools are used to create such software.  You can see an example of one of the software products if you choose the education menu from the web page and select "Arthur".  Then click on the first icon image of Arthur at the top of the list called "Arthurs Math Games".  At the bottom of the following page is a sample screenshot of what the Arthur software product looks like when it is running.  You will see 3 characters holding up signs and another character to the left who is looking at the signs.  At the bottom\middle of the page is a math problem.  This is an example of the kind of capability I am looking for.  Something that allowsfor animated graphics on a screen, text, and user input by clicking on the correct area.  I would like to know what kind of programming tools were used to make something like this.
At the present time, I am investigating Microsoft XNA which is intended for Wiondows and XBox 360 games, however, I am not sure this is the correct path to look into.  I am not trying to create a high end 3d first person shooter or something like that for the XBOX 360 or Windows.  I think it can be done with XNA but that might be overkill.  I just don't know at this point.
Hello zonkerman
thank you, yes I did take a tour of that,  I do appreciate your not creating a world class task here.
I took a peek at your profile    wow.

Some of the flash games look very similar do they have sound as well.
take a look at my fav game site

 I do believe the most used programming  would  be  C++   Open GL / Visual Studio/ java etc.
There is also open GL which can be incorperated into C++

OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) is a standard specification defining a cross-language cross-platform API for writing applications that produce 2D and 3D computer graphics.
Have a laugh
20+ Tools For Creating Your Own Games


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I've written several "edutainment" titles, and they've used a variety of tools.

Products from 7th Level used a proprietary 2D animation engine, which was developed to help level out frame rates on various video cards that existed at that time when running under windows.  You can see those sorts of things here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7th_Level)

This product (http://www.knowyourrules.com) was written using Macromedia Director.  Director offers many of the same features as flash, but it tends to lean towards more "content heavy" stuff like full-motion video and streaming from cd-rom/dvd.

More later....

Generally, though, I think
It's later...

Generally, though, I think that now-a-days you should probably use a less "application" oriented approach, and go more with a 'distributed/web' based approach.

A fat client that interfaces back to a centralized database that allows you to monitor user accounts and progress and such...  

The client could run in the browser...  You can use Flash or Silverlight or whatever...

I do have one question, though... Do you have an idea of the "kind" of content you're looking to present? Is it all 3D? 2D?  A mixture?  Music? Audio? Text? Spoken Text?

That will help drive the tech selection as well.


zonkermanAuthor Commented:
Hello jgordos and Merete.
Okay, I think we are getting closer now to what I am looking for.  I had never looked at Macromedia Director so I'll have to read up on that.  I think that tool might now belog to Adobe as well as Flash.  The Shockwave page Merete pointed out looks very good and has the look I want provided that it does not run in a browser.  Do I'll check to see how Shockwave products can be deployed without a browser but stand along PC product.  The end product I will be working toward would be something for sale on DVD so a web solution is not in the picture.  I am looking toward creating something with audio, character and object animation, and some user interactive parts on the screen such as clicking on screen, drag dropping things, or typing to answer questions.  I mentioned Reader Rabbit and Arthur because the way those games look and sound is what I am leaning toward.  
zonkermanAuthor Commented:
Hello jgordos and Merete.
You two have provide dme with plenty of material to investigate so I'm going to close this question out now and say thanks.  I will split the points between the two of you.

Thanks so much zonkerman  happy to have helped you,
 the shockwave games can be downloaded and played on the pc at home. They also offer the games on CD. JFY
The true Shockwave developers were actually from MAC and never affiliated with Adobe.

Another site I have been with for many years maybe of interest to you, if you have questions, these are true dedicated artists of thier field in all aspects of animations and 3D renderring etc
 you maybe familiar with a lot of their work from movies and TV adds.

I thought I'd add this, free trial
This game show program allows the teacher/presenter to enter questions, answers, and images (optional) into a game file generator (The Game Show Wizard) to be easily uploaded into four possible game show formats and played using a large monitor or digital projector. It comes with all four gamest.

All the best
I *think* shockwave is the Director playback engine for the web.

Director also has a stand-alone playback mode, too.

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