In 2013, the team at Stormcloud unleashed Mr Shingu’s Paper Zoo, a brand new and original origami game, created for the latest generation of touch screen tablets and smartphones. The game allowed children, families and players of all ages to fold and create a whole menagerie of animals such as lions, pandas and hippopotamuses, before releasing them into their own personal zoo.
This was swiftly follow by Mr Shingu’s Paper Halloween, a spooky, haunted holiday version, which added pumpkins, ghosts and witches to brew.
The response to the games was enthusiastic and the original game was nominated for a BAFTA and won a TIGA award.
Now the Stormcloud team is back, with a brand new parchment manipulating mashup, taking the fun to fifty thousand fathoms.
Paper Ocean may have dropped the name of Mr Shingu from the title, but he’s still the mysterious master, in the shadows, providing professional precision paper prestidigitation for the ongoing evolution of origami everything.
The new title launches TODAY and like the previous titles, is aimed at kids from the ages of 6-8 and upwards.
Paper Ocean features more original new creased creations covering life under the ocean wave.
Players can fold and create their own ocean full of fish, customising, costuming and painting their creative creatures with hats, moustaches and other accessories.
Scottish Games Network: What has the response been to the Paper games so far? They’re quite unusual and original. Have people picked up on the concept?
Frank Arnot: The response to the original Paper Zoo has been universally positive from users to reviewers – everybody seems to love it!
At launch Apple featured us as Editors Choice in the UK, and about 40 other countries around the world (Europe, China Korea).
For some reason its been very popular in China where we were the #1 Kids iPad Game for a short while, and we were awarded “App Store Best of 2013” by Apple in China for “Innovative Kids App”.
In terms of awards, it’s done very well:
- TIGA Game Awards 2013: Nominated Best Casual Game (Small Studio), Nominated Most Original Game, Nominated Best Debut Game
- WINNER: Best Casual Game (Small Studio)
- BAFTA Scotland Awards 2013, Nominated in the GAME category
SGN: What sort of feedback have you had from players themselves?
FA: We’ve had parents emailing us to say that their kids love the game, and sending us in photos of the real-life origami creations which they’ve created after playing the game – which is just great, it makes it all worthwhile when you see people enjoying something you created.
We also took the game “on the road” and had 2 days at the Dare Protoplay and we spent 2 days at Edinburgh Zoo letting people play the game.
I’ve literally watched several hundred children play the game, and without exception every single one of them broke into a big grin when they folded they first animal and it sprang to life.
However, we didn’t rest on our laurels, and we took feedback from all those players as well as a number of significant technical improvements and fed it all into Paper Ocean to make what I think is an even better product than Paper Zoo.
SGN: How on earth did you come up with the idea of origami for an app?
FA: Having graduated from the mad-house of Games Development that was DMA Design – I’m kind of old school, in that I believe if we want to see success then we need to strive to create something original, or bring a fresh twist to an existing game.
Inspired by titles like Guitar Hero I wanted to make a tactile game and being a fan of Japanese culture, and after much brainstorming I had the notion that we could possibly make a game mechanic that captures the spirit of folding origami, in much the same way that Guitar Hero captures the spirit of playing rock guitar.
In fact, it worked out better than I hoped.
The game mechanic worked really well, in that it was enjoyable to fold a virtual piece of paper but with the added benefit that if you copied the moves on the game screen then you could actually learn to fold origami animals in real-life!
SGN: What are your plans for the new Paper franchise?
FA: After Paper Zoo one of the things that parents were telling us was that the youngest members of their families i.e. 2 and 3 year olds just loved folding and painting the origami animals – and so Paper Pets was born, aimed at pre-schoolers and is kind of “my first origami” app.