Paw Print Games partners with nDreams on new VR title

Thursday, 12 May 2016 3 comments

It’s official! Paw Print Games are pleased to announce a new partnership with nDreams. Details about the project will be made available later this year. Here's the official press release –

Farnborough, UK - 12 th May 2016 – nDreams Ltd., the UK’s largest independent developer/publisher solely focused on creating virtual reality (VR) games and experiences, is thrilled to announce that they have signed a deal to co-fund and publish the first VR title by Paw Print Games, an independent games studio in Chester known for their unique gesture-driven titles for iOS and Android.

Paw Print Games’ forthcoming VR game will be the first externally developed title that nDreams will bring to market as a 3rd-party publishing partner, following investment rounds the company received from Mercia totaling £3.9m. Due for release in 2017, nDreams look forward to revealing the first details about this wholly original new game closer to launch.

In their role of publishing partner, nDreams will be providing Paw Print Games with marketing, PR and sales support, as well sharing their industry-leading VR development expertise.

The team at Paw Print Games boast a wealth of industry experience within the console and mobile sectors, having worked on numerous published AAA titles before forming the studio, including many of the BAFTA award-winning LEGO games at Travellers’ Tales. The studio carved a name for itself in the gaming world with its first release, KAMI RETRO, the hit mobile videogame. nDreams are looking forward to building a strong relationship with this highly talented studio.

Patrick O’Luanaigh, nDreams’ CEO and Founder, said:

“I’m delighted to be working with Paw Print Games, a supremely gifted British team with a truly stellar track record in the industry. Our ambition at nDreams is not just to develop and publish our own high quality VR games and experiences, but to work with the best third-party developers to help them bring their VR projects to market. nDreams is already a 40-strong development and publishing team, and we’re growing quickly. We can’t wait to tell you more about Paw Print Games’ upcoming title, so look out for future announcements.”

David Corless, nDreams’ VP of Publishing, said:

“Over the past two years, we’ve been busy building our capabilities not just as a dedicated VR developer, but also as a publisher of VR games and experiences. We’ve done this through making several key hires, as well as by laying the strategic foundation for our position as a publishing partner. Now, we’re incredibly excited to partner with Paw Print Games, the first result of our efforts in this area, especially as their forthcoming title is such a great fit with the portfolio of games we’re developing internally.”

Antony White, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Paw Print Games, said:

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with nDreams on our debut VR game. We’ve been really impressed by their level of hands-on expertise in the field of VR development, and their enthusiasm and commitment to the success of this emerging medium is enormously encouraging. We look forward to matching their ambition with our own for what promises to be an inventive, memorable and extraordinarily fun game.”

nDreams was one of the first videogame studios in the world to dedicate all their efforts on creating innovative and remarkable VR games and experiences, and has been working on virtual reality projects since 2013. Two of its titles, Gunner and Perfect Beach, have already been launched on Samsung Gear VR and Perfect Beach is also available to download for Google Cardboard from the Google Play Store. The Assembly, nDreams’ upcoming interactive story in first-person VR, is set to release this summer on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and will launch on PlayStation 4 following the release of PlayStation VR.

nDreams look forward to announcing further 3 rd-party publishing deals in due course as the company continues its ambitious growth strategy.

Attention Vegans! Tofu Hunter out now.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015 10 comments

Paw Print Games are pleased to announce the release of “Tofu Hunter” for Adult Swim, a mobile version of the successful Flash game of the same name developed by This Is Pop.

Tofu Hunter for mobile has tons of hunts and Trophies to collect as well as new game modes including shooting practice at the range, Seitan bird flocks, stampeding Tofu and predator Tofu!

ATTENTION VEGANS: Tofu has a face. And you’ve been chewing on it. Discover a majestic and beautiful species, then see how you feel after mercilessly gunning down an entire herd. Kill efficiently. Expand your arsenal. Learn the truth. TOFU IS MURDER. Nourishing, delicious Murder. TOFU HUNTER – free for iOS and Android from Adult Swim Games.

DISCLAIMER: This game contains graphic depictions of violence against tofu. We use this violence not to shock, but to better illustrate the pain and suffering innocent tofu goes through every day in the barbaric name of “veganism.”

Grab yourself Tofu Hunter for some guilt free hunting on the App Store or Google Play

KAMI RETRO - Asset creation case study

Saturday, 11 January 2014 3 comments

In September 2013 Steve and Antony started as Games Mentors for the University of Chester in the UK and as part of their roles they have been providing a number of talks on various aspects of games development. Yesterday they gave a talk on asset creation using KAMI RETRO as the main case study with a section on Swashbuckler to illustrate HUD considerations for varying resolutions. To accompany the embedded presentation there is a summary of the talk content below.

KAMI RETRO : Development Overview

KAMI RETRO is a single screen 2D puzzle based platforming game that was developed by a team of four as a spare time project in 2010. Although the engine was being developed to support multiple platforms the initial target platform for the game was to be the iPhone and at that time the highest resolution available was that of the 3GS at 480x320. The asset creation process for KAMI RETRO involved modeling all the assets including characters and environments in MAYA then rendering them out to PNG sprite sheets and in some cases additional post effects were then added. So as the game was being developed the assets were being rendered out for the 480x320 resolution of the 3GS.

There was no pipeline in the engine at that time for dealing with varying resolutions and as there was never any immediate goal to launch on anything other than iPhone it was fairly reasonable to be doing what we were doing. By November 2010 we had a trailer for the game which we pushed out on to social networks and various mobile gaming forums. Shortly after we began receiving interest from various publishers and ultimately decided to work with Gamevil. In Febuary 2011 the team was full-time, polishing up the game and giving the whole GUI a full overhaul and by March KAMI RETRO released on the App Store. The hard work had paid off and Apple featured KAMI RETRO as their Game of the Week, now known as Editors Choice. However there was a lot more hard work to come.

Asset Creation for different resolutions

As part of the contract for KAMI RETRO we had to deliver iPad and Android versions. This meant we had to support a significant amount of different screen resolutions. If all the assets for KAMI RETRO were hand drawn it would have meant everything would either have had to have been stretched, making them blurry and pixelated which would have been unthinkable or re-drawn everything again which would have been massively time consuming and financially impossible. Fortunately the assets were all originally created as 3D models so we decided to re-render everything out at 2400x1600 (5X the original 480x320) to ensure we could cover all available devices at that time and any future devices to a point. The assets were then packaged up for the varying devices (by downsizing from 2400x1600 to the target platforms native resolution) and in May 2011 the iPad version released with the Android version not too far behind. Apple loved the attention to detail and gave KAMI RETRO it’s second Game of the Week for the iPad and across the App Store it has continued to be featured in numerous App Store collections from Stylish Games, Quick Fix Games, Retro Games, Greatest Platformers, Intuitive Controls in Benchmark Games and has been given an entry in to the App Store Hall of Fame. The Google Play store also awarded KAMI RETRO with a top banner placement on launch. KAMI RETRO subsequently launched on WebOS, BlackBerry 10 and more recently Tizen.

Performance Considerations

To ensure KAMI RETRO ran smoothly across hardware with varying levels of performance we performed a variety of optimisations. One of the main optimisations was to limit the amount of overdraw. Requesting to redraw the same pixel multiple times on any platform will eventually hit the frame rate at some point and on some of the devices we targeted overdraw was a big limitation. To reduce the number of pixels being re-drawn we baked the terrain in to the background so we didn’t draw the background then the terrain over the top. However in some of the levels we had water that needed to look like it was going behind the terrain. To get around this we created what we called a Liquid Layer and drew this in front of the water to give the impression it was going behind the terrain.

GUI Considerations
When developing a game to work on various resolutions whether 2D single screen games, 2D scrolling games or 3D games one of the common elements is typically GUI. On slide 13 you will notice an example of Quake 2 from 1997 running at its native resolution on the left and on the right a much higher resolution. The one on the left has a clearly visible HUD whilst the one on the right is shows some scaling issues with the HUD at the higher resolution. Moving on to slide 14 of Quake 4 from 2005 these issues are no longer present between the two different resolutions. To develop a GUI at Paw Print Games we adopt a screen node anchor system to place elements in certain positions on the screen. By attaching GUI elements such as sprites to nodes positioned for example at either the top left, top centre, top right, centre, bottom left, bottom centre or bottom right then as the screen resolution changes all the assets stay anchored to the associated screen node assigned by the designer.

X86 Android Support

Saturday, 21 December 2013 3 comments

We have recently added X86 Android support to our engine and toolchain, this means that users who have mobiles/tablets running X86 CPUs will find our games run faster and consume less battery. While X86 support has been offered by the Android Software Development Kit for a while now, we have only recently seen a large push by Intel to get more X86 mobiles and tablets into the market (such as the Galaxy Tab 3):

Intel x86 KAMI RETRO KamiCrazy Wacky Rapids Paw Print Games Indie Pi Engine PawPrintGames

We have uploaded new builds, with X86 support, for the following Android titles:


2. Wacky Rapids

3. KamiCrazy

Our efforts have not gone unnoticed, as Intel has selected our titles to be showcased as part of a promotion they are running in 2014 to push X86 phones/tablets. We will post more information as this campaign is rolled out.

KAMI RETRO Android Update

Friday, 13 December 2013 6 comments

A new version of KAMI RETRO is available for download on the Google Play store. It contains various engine side improvements that have been made, and also contains a few more substantial improvements including:

1. Assets are now included with the APK this means users no longer have to wait for the game to download the assets on first launch. This simplifies the process of users playing the game, which can only be a good thing.

2. There is now X86 support, for the X86 mobiles/tablets that are becoming increasingly popular.

3. Scoreloop support has been added (with global leaderboards and awards)

We still have a steady stream of users downloading and playing KAMI RETRO and we hope the above improvements will benefit both new and existing players.

Flash Support

Tuesday, 3 December 2013 3 comments

Some of sessions we attended at GDC Americas this year focused on the current available technologies for getting C/C++ based games/engines running in a web browser. When the Google Native Client SDK was released some time ago we investigated how we could harness this in order to run our games inside Google Chrome, and while this is still of interest to us, we were a little put off by the fact it only supports the Chrome browser (perhaps this is something we will come back to).

KamiRetro KAMI RETRO Adobe Flash Paw Print Games Indie Pi Engine PawPrintGames

Two of the other potential technologies are Emscripten and Crossbridge (was FlasCc). Emscripten is a technology that ultimately takes your C++ code and 'converts' it into Javascript, which can then be run under any browser (in theory it runs in any browser, although in reality the main browsers support is pretty well although other browsers have limited support). We investigated Emscripten but felt the technology was not yet mature enough for our adoption. We then investigated Crossbridge, which takes our C++ code, compiles it into bitcode that can execute under the Flash runtime (it actually compiles to LLVM bitcode first). We were able to get our codebase compiling and linking against Crossbridge relatively quickly, although the build times are rather slow and memory intensive (it requires over 6GB of memory, and a fully optimized build can take 30 minutes to build on a reasonable specification machine, which leads to a slow development cycle)!

WackyRapids Wacky Rapids Adobe Flash Paw Print Games Indie Pi Engine PawPrintGames

With our Flash .swf version of our games/engine built, it took a little while to debug various problems that stopped them from running. Again it felt like the technology is not yet fully mature, but we stuck with it and overcame all the issues, meaning we can now run all of our games in the web browser (via Flash). Helpfully, there is a GL wrapper that allows our native GL calls to be mapped onto Stage3D Flash calls (Stage3D is the GPU accelerated layer that can be used for Flash), and we were able to use a software OpenAL implementation with a small output driver we wrote to send the final mix to a Flash audio output.

KamiCrazy Adobe Flash Paw Print Games Indie Pi Engine PawPrintGames

We are pleased with the end result, all our games run at solid 60 FPS in the browser, and given that we develop our games on the PC, and control them using the keyboard and mouse, means the games play well in the browser too. There is a certain 'magical' feel of seeing our engine being able to run in this way.

In terms of releasing our games via Flash, we are currently exploring what options are available. There are a few portals which are set up to allow developers to earn revenue from Flash games, although this is an area which is new to us. We would like to see our Flash games available for everyone to play, although right now we don't have a road map for this happening. Stay tuned for more information.

Paw Print Games at the Tizen Developer Summit 2013

Friday, 15 November 2013 0 comments

On Monday this week we showcased a selection of our games running on the new Tizen OS at the Tizen Developer Summit held in Seoul. For those that don’t know what Tizen is, it is a Linux based operating system for smartphones, tablets, Smart TVs, In-Vehicle systems and smart cameras. Tizen is being developed by a steering group that consists of Samsung, Intel, Fujitsu, Huawei, Intel Corporation, KT, NEC CASIO Mobile Communications, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Panasonic Mobile Communications, Samsung, SK Telecom, Sprint and Vodafone.

Tizen Paw Print Games Indie Pi Engine PawPrintGames

Having now added support in to our internal Pi Engine and Tool-Chain this will allow us to target Tizen for all future projects.

Look out for the Tizen devices and our games due in 2014.

Paw Print Games © 2011