Thursday, December 20, 2012

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Hatch, Innovative Virtual Pet Game for iOS, Launches

Hatch virtual pet iOS game

Hatch is an upcoming virtual pet game for the iOS that's incredibly innovative and destined (in my slightly biased opinion) to become a massive hit, and the developers are now giving out eggs for early adopters who want to start the ownership process of their pet "Fugu" -- that's the name of Hatch's face-punchingly cute pets -- go here to reserve yours. I'm biased because the long, painstaking design and development of Hatch is featured in my new book, Game Design Secrets. Here's what I wrote about Hatch there:

If you’re playing music on your phone, your Fugu will dance... Perhaps most clever of all, and unlike other artificial creature games, your fugu is directly linked to your phone—as your iPhone’s battery loses energy, your fugu starts getting tired too.

Hatch lead developer Phill Ryu, who I profiled in Design, just told me about what's most unique about his virtual pet game, among others (like Tamagotchi) that have come before:

"I think the iPhone as a home and platform for it is just beyond perfect, and offers an amazing opportunity to nail one side of the 'story of pet ownership' that most virtual pets haven't scratched – the scale and scope of the relationship." Since the fugu's on your phone, that relationship can become a long-term thing:

"If people really care for our little guy and bond with it, we can keep updating and supporting this app far into the future… the thing I dream about most with Hatch is the idea of our users ten years out, still taking care of their special launch color Fugu, now having learnt a lot of new tricks over free app updates. With the kind of long-term relationship we cultivate with our iPhones, and the way we carry our apps and digital lives through new models and upgrades, I have my fingers crossed."

I'd love to see that vision succeed, because I think it captures an important aspect of our digital culture right now. Go here to see if Hatch can hatch that plan.

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