GDC 2011: Firemint's Agent Squeek
Australia's Firemint is perhaps one of the most popular developers on the iPhone. Firemint's games, Flight Control, Real Racing and Real Racing 2, can be found in any Apple Store, and likely on most iPhones, too. The company's founder, Rob Murry, and his new acquisition, Infinite Interactive's Steve Faulkner, were in San Francisco last week to show off the third original IP that Firemint is creating for iOS, another line drawing game called Agent Squeek.
In Agent Squeek, you control a mouse on the screen by drawing a line for him to follow, and the goal of each level is to collect various cheeses while trying to avoid hungry cats. But while the game starts out easy, the complexity quickly ramps up, and you can do things like psyche cats into chasing you before dodging the other way, or you can even build gadgets from blueprints that you find.
I was only able to play a few early levels of the game, mostly involved with teaching how the whole line-drawing mechanic worked. But I was also shown a video of later levels, and I could tell that things got very hardcore later on, with lots of different mechanics introduced and plenty of variations on the level designs. Faulkner also mentioned chilis that would make your mouse go faster, "ninja" and "ghost" cats to run from and a bunch of other "little hidden things" to find in the game. I'm looking forward to its release; Firemint said Agent Squeek would be out sometime this year, though no price has been announced yet.
I also asked how the transition from Infinite Interactive has gone, and while Murry and Faulkner said that the focus was currently on Firemint's properties, that doesn't mean Infinite Interactive's library is being abandoned. But Faulkner confirmed it was more a matter of taking his own time rather than being pulled on to other work. "There's been no holdup to any Infinite Interactive games," he told me.
Finally, I asked Firemint about producing games for other platforms, including possibly bringing its Real Racing series to consoles. Murry laughed at that and said he'd seen reviews on iTunes that did compare Real Racing with the popular Gran Turismo series on the PlayStation (though not always favorably). But he said the company has no plans to step away from the App Store in a big way anytime soon. "The App Store's wonderful," he said. "We wouldn't step up there lightly."
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