PocketCake™ Announces Release of First Mobile Game App
[MobilePRwire] – PocketCake™ Announces Release of First Mobile Game App; LavaCat to be released July 27th; promises “fulfilling” user experience
PocketCake™, a suburban Kansas City mobile app company founded in the fall of 2012, has just announced the release of its first game app – LavaCat™ – for July 27th of 2013.
The mobile app game will be released for Google Play and be available for devices like Android and related smart phones and tablets.
LavaCat™ – evolution to reality
At the moment, PocketCake’s™ walls are feline friendly. They reveal the evolution of Lucky — the protagonist of PocketCake’s™ initial game, LavaCat™, and three sequels — from a flatly colored cousin of the housecat to a luminous, wide-eyed adoptee of anime, a direct appeal to the Asian marketplace, now home to the largest number of smartphone owners and, thus, mobile app users in the world. LavaCat™ will have a low barrier to entry but be difficult to master, as evidenced by level layouts that measure five feet in length and are more intricate with each advancing level; novices will have minimal difficulty with levels one and two while diehards will blister their fingertips trying to beat levels nine and 10.
The game will be free, which will be true of most of PocketCake’s™ apps. Stat sheets taped to the walls reinforce the reasoning behind PocketCake’s™ approach: 34 percent of the top 100 grossing apps use the “freemium model”; people devote two hours a day to mobile apps, more than half of which involves playing games. Or, perhaps most revelatory of all – every day, four times more smartphones are activated than babies born.
“The mobile app industry is the fastest-growing revenue producer in the history of business,” says Jim Bassett, Senior Project Manager at PocketCake™. “We’ve looked at every angle. We know what works, and we know what doesn’t work.”
A new approach to game apps – what makes LavaCat™ work
With the LavaCat™ launch set for late July, the project team recognized building games for devices like Android required a different approach than those used for desktop PC games. Unlike the PC market, the target hardware is standardized and not as fast or powerful as a computer with a dedicated video card. Also, the features available differ slightly from those of desktop PCs.
LavaCat is a 2.5D game, or 3D engine with 3D physics (e.g., Unity3D). Unity is a cross-platform game engine with a built-in IDE developed by Unity Technologies. It supports the development for Android, Flash and Windows. The game engine is downloadable from a website in two different versions: Unity and Unity Pro. Most importantly, the project team wanted the engine still in development with an active community.
The game engine’s scripting is built on Mono, the open-source implementation of the .NET Framework. The team uses UnityScript which supports code written in C#. Starting with the 3.0 release, Unity ships with a customized version of MonoDevelop for debugging scripts. Unity also has the ability to set continuous collision detection for individual bodies; a really important feature for the game because it has thin obstacles and fast moving objects.
Unity is a fully integrated development engine that provides gorgeous out-of-the-box functionality to create games and other interactive 3D content. The team uses Unity to assemble art and assets into scenes and environments; add lighting, audio, special effects, physics and animation; simultaneously play test and edit our games, and when ready, publish to our chosen platforms.
It’s not just Unity that makes LavaCat purr. Autodesk Maya is used for 3D modeling and animation; Photoshop CS6 for 2D texturing and drawing concept art as well as menu user interfacing; Zbrush for 3D sculpting and texture painting; and XNormal for mapping high resolution 3D on a low resolution 6-model. Each of these is equally important to making the game pristine. For the audio, Ableton Live 9 Suite was chosen.
LavaCat™ – focus on the consumer experience
Before PocketCake™ even opened its doors for business, Basset logged thousands of hours in researching the mobile app environment, which has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. The research proved invaluable to PocketCake’s business plan. Friends and family are key sources for discovering new apps but, in the end, if the price isn’t right it’s all for naught.
“We found that, more and more often, 99 cents is too much for people to stomach up front,” Bassett says. “Many consumers download free apps to try them out, even if they initially have little interest in them or knowledge of the usefulness. Free is free, and there is nothing to lose.”
On average, free apps generate between 10 and 50 times more downloads than paid apps. Two-thirds of the top-grossing iPhone apps are free to download, generating 100 percent of revenue from in-app purchases. A close second in how people discover new apps is Facebook. Next to reading their news feed, Facebook users’ most common activity is playing games. LavaCat™ will be available on Facebook.
Quality and consumer experience is paramount is paramount at PocketCake™. Apps will be rigorously tested on-site and off. Apps already on the market will be continuously updated and debugged.
“The consumer has little patience with applications that are difficult to use or don’t work properly,” says Ellis Gorden, PocketCake’s™ CEO. “They simply move on.”
PocketCake™ has assembled an elite team of graphic designers, programmers and writers. PocketCake™ doesn’t want to revolutionize its industry — instead, it wants to be “the next generation mobile app development company.”
“We don’t want to reinvent the wheel,” Bassett says. “We want to modify it some.”
Many of the storylines for PocketCake’s™ games, including LavaCat™, will be saga-based. The story arc will be determined before the game is realized by graphic designers and programmers.
Not all PocketCake’s™ app ideas will come from within: it will customize apps for businesses, churches and governments.
In the end, PocketCake™ has one goal: “To be deliciously app-etizing,” Bassett says.
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Recognizing the need for more and better mobile apps to meet the tremendous demand of what is the fastest growing industry in the history of modern business, a group of entrepreneurs today announced the creation of PocketCake, LLC. The company, headquartered in Blue Springs, Missouri, seeks to be THE next generation mobile app development company creating dynamic and engaging applications for games, social networking, entertainment and information.
The group also tapped Ellis Gorden as its Chief Executive Officer. Gorden brings 43 years of experience in successfully starting, growing and operating various businesses. Gorden is the CEO and majority shareholder of Centranz, Inc.; Centranz Parts and Manufacturing; Centranz Equipment Rental; Industrial Parts and Manufacturing; Metrology Works; Temco; and Altsource, USA.
PocketCake’s goal to be a leader in application and game development for mobile and handheld gaming devices includes regularly scheduled releases of products and unprecedented customer support.