Hello From Gareth and Jamie

Hello I'm Gareth and I'm an artist and software developer, producing work under the name Moopf. Most of 2011 I've spent taking two of my own characters aimed at children, called Arthur & Charles, and bringing them into apps for iPhone and iPad. The first app was a combination of creativity and game called Arthur & Charles Present Create & Play and I'm currently working on an interactive book for the iPad with the two of them.

So what's all this about then? I guess I should start by saying how this came about. A couple of months ago I was thinking around the possibilities of doing some kind of point-and-click adventure for the iPad/iPhone. The more I thought about it the more I wanted to do it. I grew up playing all the classic adventure games, such as Monkey Island, and the iPad especially has led to a bit of a renaissance in them, with both the older titles being ported and newer titles popping up (things like the excellent Machinarium for instance).

The thing is, I knew that a project like that would be too much for one person to do on their own and I'd been kinda hankering after working on a meaty project with somebody else. Adventures are all about the story and one person's name kept coming to me - Jamie's.

Anyway on a whim in late August I shot across an email to Jamie, completely without a plan or anything, just a kind of 'huh huh this would be cool huh'. I got a two sentence reply about an hour later:

"I LOVE THIS IDEA. what can we do about doing it?"
Jamie Smart, August 2011

Over the next week it all snowballed, going from an airy-fairy idea to finding ourselves basically agreeing to do whatever it was we were going to end up doing. It was all a bit of a blur. Right from the start Jamie tabled the idea of doing something with Looshkin and you know, it just felt right. There's already a great family around the character, he's incredibly crazy and everybody loves cats. What more could you possibly want. Jamie's really fond of Looshkin, and rightly so, and for him to want to go ahead with a character he's so close to... well... I think that speaks volumes about how much he wants to do this and scares the bejeezus out of me because of the responsibility to do it right!

So we've spent the last two months working through ideas. Jamie's been working on the story and I've been sitting around biting my fingernails and rocking in the corner thinking how out of my depth I am, how many problems there will be to solve and how doing this will push me way outside my comfort zone - all stuff I thrive on to be honest. Most of that is because we don't want to do a standard point-and-click adventure, we want to bring our own twist to it. I wouldn't be so bold to say that our ideas will be something the like of which has never been done before (you know how difficult that is to do, right?), but I think it will be a heck of a lot of fun to develop and play.

Due to our work loads we won't break ground properly on the development until some time in January and we're realistically looking at around a year or so of work to get this right (and we all know how fluffy deadlines can be). As we couldn't start 'for reals' straight away that's given us a lot of time to really get a solid plan in place, which we're well on the way to completing.

So, what can you expect from me on this blog? With my role as the geeky coder-type of the outfit I'll be going over some of the more technical stuff as we get developing and sharing some of the design decisions we're making along the way. I'll also be moaning about how hard it is to get Jamie to draw things at the right dimensions and how his requests for ever more ridiculous 'things that happen' drive me over the edge ;) To start with we won't be exposing too much information (we don't want to give it all away too quickly!) but that will ramp us as we move along and we have more to share.

Hello, my name is Jamie. I draw comics instead of dealing with the real world, as such I have a laughably minimal knowledge of technology. When Gareth suggested we work on a game together, it seemed an almost perfect way to tell a big ridiculous story while someone who actually knows what they're doing stitches the parts together to make it real. So, over the next year I'll be sending him sketches, hand prints, and scans of the drawings I've done on my belly, to see if he can make sense of it all.

Not only is it pretty hot damn exciting to be thinking about all we can do with Looshkin (controlling him and making him do things presents a disturbing wealth of possibilities), this development blog serves as an excellent excuse to start making some Looshkin comics, and show all the Looshkin work-in-progress stuff as we barrel-roll our way towards some sort of final product.

Here's to making something flipping mental we can all enjoy/be traumatised by.

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3 Responses to Hello From Gareth and Jamie

  1. O-Curant says:

    Oh good god. I think I just made my work chair need to be thrown out. A Looshkin game?! For all ages! Will it be just an app for iphones and i pads or will you throw it at microsoft so I can download it onto my xbox and cry tears of joy everytime i turn it on? Also gives me a great excuse to buy my daughter an xbox as she loves all things jamie but I cant let her read the comics what with her being too young.

  2. Gareth says:

    Hi O-Curant, the current plan is for it to be for iOS and Android. No xbox plans at the moment, sorry!

  3. PIG!!! says:

    this sounds awesome

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