If you’re like me, you’d probably love to have more birds in your mobile apps. Well, you’re in luck! This Kickstarter project might be just to your liking. In Cockatilt, you’ll help guide a round cockatiel to her food dish by manipulating elements in her cage, like ladders and perches.
The game is tentatively slated for an early October release date, but the developers need a little help to cover the fees associated with releasing a game on markets like the Google Play store. While the team hopes to expand to other markets, namely Apple’s app store, for now only those with an Android device or Window’s phone will be able to play Cockatilt for $0.99 upon release.
A screenshot from the Cockatilt game.
Cockatilt is the first game developed by Frenzied Marmot, with core developers being Aaron Moore (coding and animation) and Christine Leach (art and level building). The duo has been hard at work throughout the year to get Cockatilt from a mere concept to completed game.
This is not the first time they’ve worked together, but they do feel it’s the first project they’ve worked on that "has legs.” The inspiration for this particular game comes from a childhood friend. "Christy had a pet cockatiel as a little kid, and even made silly comics with her bird as the main character,” Moore and Leach said. "It usually ripped off the latest Garfield or some cartoon joke she’d heard recently, but it was fun and the way she drew the bird stuck with her. So, when she needed to come up with an idea for a phone game - something quick and simple to draw over and over - out popped a fat cockatiel. After that she came up with the idea of making her a round ball, and then the idea for the gameplay came from the idea of wanting to poke her, and watch her crest to pop up and down as she rolled down perches.”
The choice to make the central characters cockatiels was also based on body language. Moore and Leach explain, "Christy thought about including a monk parakeet as an antagonist, as her mother had owned a particularly mean one that used to try and pull her cockatiel’s tail feathers whenever he got the opportunity, but settled on a white cockatiel instead, as the white/yellow really popped on a purple background. Plus the crest is more expressive when it comes to dealing with emotionally limited bird balls.”
These particular cockatiels also have cute names to go with their cute designs. "Their names are Fritter and Dumpling. They like apples.” But perhaps the most obvious question is: Will there be any other birds? Moore and Leach answer, "Oh ho ho! That would be a delicious spoiler. Unless you’re talking about another game, in which case there might be if this one takes off. We have an idea for sequel if there’s an audience.”
In addition to the Kickstarter, Leach has been running a "birdstarter” on her Deviant Art page where she is drawing one bird a day in the Cockatilt style. Fans decide what bird she will draw next by suggesting them in the comments of the day’s bird.
Moore and Leach do have some advice for bird lovers with a budding interest in game design: "We’ve learned a lot, but if we have any advice for any other upstarts, (or ourselves for that matter), it is this: Limits are good. Start smaller, and fail faster. Know what you have at your disposal, and plan around that. Then do your best with what you’ve got.
Also, cockatiels rock.”
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