Antonis Gkouskos - Fat Ninja Cats
Fat Ninja Cats
We love boardgames and videogames so we decided to try and combine the two. We developed the idea as part of a student project for a course called Media Design Projects at MAH. After the course we still felt that the idea had promise but needed more work, which lead us to applying for the Leapfrogs Grant
We are Antonis, Nils and Pedro. We are currently working on wrapping up our Masters Degrees in Computer Science and Interaction Design. Antonis (Comp. Sci.) has been working on pervasive games as his Master Thesis and loves boardgames. Pedro (Comp. Sci.) has worked as a game developer. Nils (IxD) loves concept development and wants to explore new game interfaces. Outside of our studies we like to work on new projects or participate in hackathons together.
Our plan is to work on improving the basic game prototype we already have in order to evaluate and look at further mechanics. At the end of Leapfrog we hope to have a playable prototype running. We will also look at how the game should be released and potential business plans for it. We plan to sit and work at Stapelbäddsparkens Office together or from home, depending on what needs to be done.
Fat Ninja Cats #2
Since leapfrogs started we have designed and tried out some new ideas for map designs and game play interactions. We have written a first draft for a business plan and started looking at different ways of charging for the game. We have started developing a new game prototype and looked for different ways to improve on the connection between the controller application and the game. We have also improved on the original controller interface to make the buttons easier to distinguish and reach.
The business plan and the idea generation for better game play is going well, although parts of the development have proved to be more difficult than anticipated. Connecting the devices in a simple manner is also more complex than we had first expected and doing so in way that is both easy for the average user and intuitive even more so. We have been testing different solutions to remedy this, but technical limitations between different smartphone devices make creating a unified solution a bit harder.
While we have not advanced as much as we would have liked in the technical front of the project, we are satisfied with how we have refined our game concept as well as with our progress in drafting the business plan. We are still hopeful that we will get the new prototype of the game running within the timeframe, as well as the new mode of application to game connection.
Fat Ninja Cats # 3
These months were rather busy, it was cool to have time to work without too many pressing matters, which made the project feel more professional, compared to our previous work with it as a University project. We also had to work from different locations for a large part of this period which was a new experience for us, that taught us a lot.
Co-ordinating as we were three people mostly on different locations. It’s always hard to connect and check in with one another when you have different timetables. Especially since some of us had some University deliverables due at the end of the summer. We enjoyed developing our concept further and coming up with different game interactions which were more intuitive compared to our original planning.
We believe that things turned a little differently, the code was harder but we made good progress on the design and networked a bit by talking to some graphic designers about possible game art. We have still a lot of work to do and intend to keep working on this project in the coming months.
Separate work and play. We’re all good friends and therefore it’s easy to get frustrated if we disagree over something while we’re working on the project. Make a strategy for how to deal with problems, set up plans, who calls the shots and who is responsible for what.
Tips for new entrepreneurs:
Plan your time and don’t work from home. Whether you find an open space, a café or the library to work in doesn’t matter. But having a change of space helps disconnecting the work from your private life so you can relax or do other things when you’re done working. Face time is also important so be sure meet in person with your teammates as often as possible.