Monday, November 7, 2011

The Adventures of Puppyman and His Owner, Cameron

As a kid, I used to play games all of the time.  They were, and still are, a vital part of who I am.  Not only did I play them to pass the time, but I also played them to learn and help enforce some hand-eye coordination.  A game I used to play a lot was called Sesame Street Counting Cafe.  It was great for teaching counting and numbers.  Those times have come and gone, and now there's family friendly, casual apps to take its place, such as the Adventures of Puppyman.
The Adventures of Puppyman revolves around a small puppy aptly named Puppyman.  Puppyman is on a quest to save his friend, Pork N' Bean the cat.  Pork N' Bean has gotten herself lost in the park.  Along the way, he is collecting all of his bones and bouncy balls, and must keep them from the evil baddies he meets along the way.

What evil baddies?  Well, for starters you have these owls, which actually took my bones many times without my noticing.  I'd complete levels and see I was missing a bone or too and noticed that it would be from owls who would snag my tail!  Snakes would pop up and strike me, but not violently as it is a kids' game.  Bees would chase me and not allow me to collect bones.  It must be a hard life being a puppy, right?

After playing the game I had some questions I was dying to get answers to, and Puppyman's owner, Cameron Albert, allowed me to interview him to dig up some bones on Puppyman.  He had some really awesome things to say in regards to his development and the backstory on Puppyman!

Is this your first game you’ve created?
Over the years I have created several games but all during the course of learning a specific platform or technology. Puppyman is the first game I have publicly released that is not a prototype or beta.
We really enjoyed the simplicity of the tutorial(s).  Was it difficult implementing the simplicity?  We have heard that a lot.
I was inspired by the simplicity of the Angry Birds tutorials in that you were instructed on how to play without words. I rarely read instructions when playing games unless I get stuck. Having a simple visual that can be clicked away very easily seemed like the quickest way to get players actually playing the game. It did take some time to try and figure out how to create a visual that was instructional and simple. I went through quite a few sketches before finding something that made sense.
What got you wanting to create a kids’ game?
I have several young nieces and nephews and thought it would be fun to create a game they could enjoy. Seeing the kind of things the kids like to play and do I wanted create something that would appeal to them. The subject matter of Puppyman is cute and fun without being overly complex or violent and the game naturally lends itself to a younger audience.
Is there a story behind the creation of Puppyman and Pork N’ Bean?
Yes indeed! Puppyman is based on our dog and some of things he got into when he was a puppy. We would call him Puppyman and make up fun stories about his adventures. Pork N’ Bean is a nickname for a cat we rescued who is actually named Holly. She is handicapped and walks a little funny for a cat. Our dog Puppyman has always been concerned with the cats and showed some extra concern for Pork N Bean so she made an appearance in the game.
What happens when you collect all the bones? Is there a secret?  I keep getting my bones taken away by snakes and owls!
You get a perfect score if you collect all the bones and balls. The biggest secret for the owls is timing and the snakes, jump to land right on their heads. ;)
Do you plan on making other games in the future?
Yes, I am currently working on some additional adventures for Puppyman where he can meet some new friends and find some new toys. In addition to Puppyman’s further adventures I am working on a Facebook game involving Puppyman and his friends.
What did you work on before the game?
I have built several game prototypes and did release an early version of a role playing game using the Silverlight platform. Some of my not released game prototypes include a jousting game, a memory game, a platformer featuring a cat chasing birds and a pirate game where you sail around firing on other ships.
The RPG Cameron is talking about is a little game called Perenthia, which he is currently working on porting to Windows Phone 7 and iPhone in the near future.  As soon as it comes back online you can expect us to give you the down-low!

You can find Cameron and his current and future projects at his website or his Twitter.  Also, Puppyman information can be found right here or at its Facebook page.

You can also download Puppyman straight from iTunes and play it by yourself to kill time or with your kid(s)! 

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