Monday, December 07, 2009

MeowWalker is finally released!

As many of you know, I love video games. I grew up with them, played them, drew drawings of them, eventually paintings of video game characters, but never had the chance to ever work on a game, until now.

Earlier this year I was contacted by some guys that work at a big game company and wanted to start their own company doing small Iphone games. Well, needless to say I didn't really think twice about it and dove in, and man, am I glad I did! It has been an amazing learning experience and a lot of fun early mornings drawing, animating, exporting, and game testing.

MeowWalker is our first release. It is based on the late amazing Micheal Jackson. I kinda thought that the idea was great, but to tell you the truth, working on this right after he died, I felt like a vulture.

Like a lot of people growing up in the eighties, I was bombarded with MJ's music, videos, commercials, movies, games, you name it. I loved it. Then the nineties happened, he got super weird and I always acknowledged his talent, but he just super eccentric which was also interesting to follow, but creepier. When he died, I was shocked.

MJ has always been a tragic figure in my opinion. He was an amazing talent who seemed to never have the chance to live a private life like the rest of us. I can only imagine what that can feel like. I think like many of us, I was secretly pulling for him to turn his life around and make it big again and his death ended that wish as well.

Needless to say, when I started the game research by watching all his videos and studying all his moves, costumes and songs, I was floored by just how talented he was. He would combine dance, music and design into pure non-ego driven entertainment. He had a love for this craft that many artists share, but many can't express it as clearly as him. Many of us get hung up in the minutia of commercial art and forget our love and purpose for our craft.

Here I was on a summer day, twenty years after many of these songs were released loving them all over again, and realizing how much MJ was a personal inspiration for me. All these memories started flooding back, my parents playing the Thriller record non-stop, hearing the news report about his hair catching on fire, seeing that Pepsi commercial, watching the Bad video, listening and laughing at Weird Al.

This game became more of a thank you to MJ then I ever thought it would. He was more of an inspiration then I realized and I hope I did his talent some kind of justice.

Ok, enough about that, here's some roughs:

I hand drew and animated everything in flash which was really challenging because I just cant dance.

Here's the rough for the title screen:

The tragic Game Over:

Here's the final painted BG:

I love me some Street Fighter crazy move screens:

Here's the how to screen that was later scrapped:

When you start up the game, I would just like to say that I am not responsible for the existing Robot Symphony logo, this is what I pitched them:

Here's some actual game play screens:

Here's the debut trailer:

We finished the game months ago and it was held up in the Apple review process because of a little feature that we added that looks at your Iphone music and asks if you want to play the game while listening to any MJ music you have, now finally you can play it!

So if you have an Iphone and wanna play, here's the link. Oh, and it's only a measly dollar.

I hope you enjoy playing it as much as I had making it. It's a simple little game with some cool music and moves. If enough people buy it and write wonderful reviews, we are going to release some really cool updates with new levels, moves, costumes, and mini-games!

Support independent gaming, it's good for ya.

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