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We've been keeping an eye on Fat Pebble since its latest release, Clay Jam, was announced last year. Offering an innovative claymation visual style and encouraging community participation through its competition, finally Clay Jam is here. What better time to learn a little more about the folks behind the name?
Who is Fat Pebble?
Fat Pebble is a games studio, based in Brighton, UK. Having developed numerous titles for a variety of mobile formats, the firm caught the eye of publishing giant Zynga, leading to Clay Jam's release under that label. Combined, the team offers over 40 years of experience, having previously worked for companies such as Lionhead, Climax, Blitz and Zoë Mode.
What is Fat Pebble most famous for?
The Windows 7 port of MiniSquadron which is a pretty great claim to fame, and Kung Fu Touch. We reckon Clay Jam will propel Fat Pebble to more recognizable levels, though.
What's next on the horizon?
Fat Pebble's Michael Movel wasn't giving away too much about this when we asked, explaining that the team will be 'concentrating on updates to Clay Jam for the next few months'. Plans are there for prototyping a new game in 2013, with the hope that it'll be 'quirky and possibly hand-made again'.
What else is there to know about the developer?
Plenty! We took the time to learn more about them by chatting with Movel, art director Chris Roe and technical director Iain Gilfeather.
148apps: What's your favorite thing about iOS development?
Iain: I like the fact that most of the players are not traditional gamers. It's exciting to make games for an entirely new type of audience and explore new boundaries.
Chris: You don't need big teams for iOS and mobile development in general. This lets you experiment much more and means you can be much more creative.
Mike: I think it brings developers and players much closer together. Updates are a big part of mobile development and what that means is that players can have a very direct influence over what changes we make to Clay Jam. We've had a whole heap of emails with suggestions and feedback, and we also trawl the forums - all this very much drives what we put in any new updates.
148apps: Is there an iOS app or game that you wish you’d developed first? If so, what apps/games?
Iain: Tiny Wings. It's a really well-made game and great fun too. It all seems really well-thought out too. I would have liked to have made that.
Chris: Enviro Bear 2010! A physics-based, bear driving game! It's flawless! I wish I'd thought of it.
Mike: I'm still playing Temple Run. I want all those achievements. It's really nicely balanced. But I'd go for either (PC games) UFO: Enemy Unknown or Grim Fandango, for different reasons. They both really grabbed me when they first came out and I still play them today. I would be really proud to have written the script to Grim Fandango.
Clay Jam is out now and is free to download.
Way back, at the start of the year, we took a look at a competition that new title, Clay Jam, was running. A game made out of claymation, its developer was giving fans a chance to create their own monster for the game.
Since then, we haven't heard too much about the game. That is until now. It's just been announced that developers, Fat Pebble, have partnered up with Zynga to feature as a launch title for Zynga Partners for Mobile, the company's partner program for game developers.
Clay Jam is hopefully a step nearer to its release, with players taking the role of Fat Pebble, a pebble superhero, as they guide him (it?) down five hills to squash as many monsters as possible. It all sounds pretty cute and very Katamari-ish, with an unique graphical style. The ideal reason to be interested.
For now, check out the preview below. Hopefully it won't be long till we see it released.
When a super nova threatens a planet full of cats (multiple planets, actually), the self-appointed task of saving them falls on a pair of big-hearted extraterrestrials. The duo will have to hop from world to world, gathering as many kitties as they can before the time limit runs out. Then doing it again, of course. Because CATS, people. Because cats.
The gameplay functions as a sort of weird combination of gravity-based claw machine meets incremental in-game improvements found in titles like Katamari Damacy. The ship’s tractor beam can only pick up the smaller felines at first, but after enough of them are carried off it gains strength and can be used to lift much larger targets. Coins earned through play can be used to buy new ships or upgrade a specific one, while stars acquired through achievement-like progress will unlock new worlds. And there are always special hidden kitties to find and (hopefully) rescue.
The US release of Cats Away should be out sometime around the end of June/beginning of July and $0.99 is all that’s needed to secure this universal iOS cat carrier.
Here's an opportunity that doesn't come up as often as many games fans would like: the chance to create a monster and have it featured in an upcoming game.
That's precisely what the guys at Fat Pebble are offering one lucky designer. The upcoming title is Clay Jam, a game all about guiding a rolling pebble down a hill while squashing monsters. As things are squashed, so the pebble grows, much like in the Katamari series of games.
Set for release in February, it's looking set to be a pretty quirky title thanks to everything being made out of clay. There's the added bonus that Fat Pebble is run by three industry veterans from the likes of Lionhead, Black Rock Studios, Blitz Games and Zoe Mode.
When Katamari Amore released, it came with the promise that more content would be added to the game beyond its intital level pack. I am proud to report that Namco are not liars, as a new level pack will be made available on Thursday, October 27th. The Time Trip pack features levels that send the Prince throughout history to collect thing for the ever-demanding King of All Cosmos. Six new levels are playable in Time Trial, Story, Exact Size Challenge, and Eternal modes. The pack will be available for $3.99, identical to the first pack, with one level's Time Trial mode unlocked for free. As well, this pack will also feature a bonus mode based on a Namco game, and instead of another Pac-Man level - this time a Tekken-themed level is available. It's something of an unexpected choice; what could be next? Soul Calibur? Mappy? Tower of Druaga? Toy Pop? The long-lost Pac-Man 2 game for 16-bit consoles? A Splatterhouse level? I don't think I would even want to see that.