“We’re reaching out to everyone who wants to see something unique on Facebook, something different than Zynga and the clones”
Cambridge, MA (PRWEB) September 21, 2012
Nuukster, a gaming startup, has released a casual game that hopes to lure gamers away from the current set of Zynga-style games on Facebook. Birdopolis has a mixture of unique game mechanics, high-quality art and strong storytelling that differentiates the game from others in its genre. Nuukster has created a Kickstarter project for Birdopolis to grow the game from its current 40,000 monthly players and accelerate game development.
A small but experienced team, Nuukster’s employees include internationally renowned artist Gabor Szikszai (Magic: the Gathering, World of Warcraft, Dungeons & Dragons) and highly regarded game designer John M. Astell (Name that Tune v3, Crazy Night Out, Rhythm Zone).
While a majority of Facebook games embrace imitation in lieu of innovation, Birdopolis draws inspiration for its game mechanics from an unlikely source: birdwatching. “We saw that very few games on Facebook focused on collecting, yet this is what made the Pokémon series of games so successful. We decided to bring the collectible element of birding to the gaming world in a beautiful, fun way,” says CEO David Engel.
So far, the formula has worked. Birdopolis got off to a strong start, attracting a major publisher (6waves), earning positive reviews from sites like Inside Social Games, DotMMO and EGMNow, and reaching 80,000 monthly active players in early August. The demands for content, though, have put stress on a small team. “We need additional software engineers, artists and community management to keep up”, says Engel.
Nuukster is taking a non-traditional approach to raise funding for Birdopolis. It has launched a Kickstarter project that outlines how Birdopolis differentiates itself from the standard crop of social games on the Facebook platform and offers a comprehensive set of rewards for those that back the game financially.
Birdopolis invites players to collect bird characters as they build them a natural, vibrant city. The bird characters themselves are rendered in a hand-illustrated style that captures the essence of their real life counterparts but show a wide range of often hilarious emotion. A particularly fun component of Birdopolis is the spotting mini-game, where the player tracks down a bird through binoculars, watches it dance (sparrows breakdance) and tries to take a picture of the bird as it busts a move.
The Birdopolis Kickstarter fundraising goal is $50,000. While ambitious, there is considerable precedent for success. Iocaine Studios recently did well on Kickstarter with its social game “Steam Bandits: Outpost”, raising almost $56,000 on a funding goal of $30,000. With 14 days left, Nuukster seems very confident about a positive outcome.
“The key to our success is telling people why Birdopolis is different from the rest of the social games that people have grown weary of. Social games are synonymous with soulless graphics, exploitative mechanics and complete lack of storytelling. While we do need to make money on the game, we’re putting love and care into each character, creating art that is way better than what you’ll see in even top-end social games and allowing players to progress through tons of content without hard sells” says Engel. “We’re reaching out to everyone who wants to see something unique on Facebook, something different than Zynga and the clones”.
For those interested in visiting the Birdopolis Kickstarter project, the page can be found at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/birdopolis/birdopolis.
Nuukster is a social media gaming company developing innovative gaming and commerce systems for the social-mobile space. Nuukster is comprised of award-winning, top talent in game design, entertainment management, art direction and programming.