Helping Wildlife


Today I’m writing to ask for your help.  I put together a little cause marketing deal with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to help raise them $10,000.  So far we’ve managed $4,000.  If you take a look at the left-hand side of the blog, you can see a meter representing out progress so far.

The idea is to help the AZA through monetary donation as well as by increasing awareness of endangered and exotic wildlife around the world.  We created a game called Safari Sketch over at Red Rover Games that we’re hoping will do this for them.  Safari Sketch is a fun, addictive match-3 game that includes about 60 pieces of original wildlife artwork by my good artist friend, Tom Martinez Jr.  Through the course of the game, the player can unlock artwork and brief journal entries for each of the 60 specimens in the game.  The AZA checked over our information for accuracy and up-to-datedness (I’m sure there’s a word for that, but I can’t think of one at the moment).

So I’m asking my readers and anyone else who passes through to pick up a copy of Safari Sketch and we’ll donate a portion of the proceeds to the AZA.



Currently playing: Mafia Wars, FarmVille, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction

Safari Sketch for iPhone Feature List

Safari Sketch for iPhone . . . sorta.

I’m buckling down on the design for the iPhone version of Safari Sketch.  (If you haven’t played it yet, please check it out here!)  We want to support the Association of Zoos and Aquariums as much as we can with Safari Sketch, so I’m trying to get the iPhone version out as soon as possible.  Right now I’m looking at date of submission to Apple around the end of the month.  Much to do!

Tonight the task was to decide which of the features from the original I would keep, which I wouldn’t and what, if any, would be the new iPhone-specific features.  The following is the list as it stands right now.  If you’ve got an opinion or a suggestion so far, speak up now or . . . well you know the rest ; )

Feature List:

– Basic gameplay remains the same match-3 mechanic we all know and love.  Right now that part is running super smoothly on the iPhone and I’m very happy with the performance.

– I’ve decided to keep all the powerups, including the erasers that I originally thought I would do without.  If I took them out, I’d still want to reward the player for matching five.  Since the eraser is a good powerup for that, I just left it.

– After much self-debate, I’ve decided to keep the journals.  Tom‘s art is just too good to be left out.

– I’m going to strip the game down to a single game mode.  It will basically play like the old Relaxed mode, but with the art-unlocking aspect from the Safari mode.

– The main menu will be removed in favor of a jump-into-the-game approach.  Once the game loads it will immediately start the last level the user didn’t complete instead of forcing the user to go through two or three menus to get to the game.

– The pause menu will now contain the journal viewing option and the profile management menu.

– Some iPhone specific features I want to add:

  • Toggle the option to ignore calls while playing
  • Toggle the option to allow iPod playback while playing
  • Set the big animal pictures as wallpapers for the iPhone

So all in all the iPhone version will retain much of the original Safari Sketch, streamlining it into a single relaxed game type and going directly to the action.  I think this will suit the iPhone user well, as it will allow them to pick up and play quickly and for short bouts.


Currently playing: Jumping Bean, Rock Band, Prince of Persia