Yesterday, I spent the day in SF at Nukotoy’s stylin’ office in the Dogpatch neighborhood. (I just like saying Dogpatch.) With me in no particular order, as they are all huge brains stuffed into amazing personalities presented in lovely personages, were:
- Ana from Bonggamom (@bonggamom)
- Beth Blecherman from Techmamas (@techMama)
- Beth Avant from SDMOMfia (@SDMOMfia)
- Jason Avant (married to the lovely Beth) from Dadcentric (@dadcentric)
- Anne Collier from Netfamilynews.org (@annecollier)
- Jeana Tahnk from jeanatahnk.com (@jeanatahnk)
- Shawn from BackpackingDad (@BackpackingDad)
There were some giants in the entertainment industry around the table with us, most notably Nukotoys co-founders Doug Penman and Rodger Raderman, who were totally down to earth, approachable, and passionate about their work. Doug was illustrating amazing logos next to me while showing me photos of his kids (he also has a 9 1/2 year old daughter named Daphne, so I love him already), while Rodger seemed to operate everything within 100 yards from the iPad surgically attached to his hand while listening intently to us. To US. It was an energetic and creative brainstorming session.
Oh! It was around the upcoming launch of the video game companion to the NYT best-selling Ology book, Monsterology.
The game is expected to debut sometime in October, but you can get familiar with the creatures and their mythology (what makes them cranky, how big they are, and what they eat) in the books already available. I was not exaggerating when I said that this game and others they are planning cannot be oversold. No matter how well they are described, how much detail given, praise for the graphics and lifelike movement and personalities of all the characters, you will still be wowed when you get your hands on it. We were allowed to have our hands on it for about five minutes, at which point they noticed that we weren’t listening to a word being said because we were completely sucked into the game and choosing whether to let the Chimera loose or go with the Griffon. I made the classic noob mistake of putting infrastructure in place without staff to run it when I went straight for the catapult and then didn’t have enough points to add a monster to operate it. *end of turn* We will get another chance to play with the Beta version sometime in August. If you would like to sign up for the beta, enter your email address here.
Why is this game so great? Aside from the richness and depth of detail and strategy and sheer wonderfulness of the islands and monsters and overall look and feel? Well, if you should be so fortunate as to own a current generation iPod or the iPad2 (need the camera for it to work), you can download the game from iTunes, pick up some of the Monsterology cards (available soon at places yet to be determined but certainly convenient to you), and tap a card on the screen to put your monster in the game. That’s right. Pick up the Yeti card, tap it on the screen and there is a Yeti standing there, looking around to see what he’s supposed to be doing. Tap the Phoenix card and there is a majestic mythological bird flapping its wings and ready for action.
Can you tell I won’t want to share this with my kids at first? I want to read the books, though, before I play the game. Here’s a measure of how excited I was about the game and series in general: I ordered all ten Ology books from Amazon with my own money right there at the brainstorming session. They should arrive today and tomorrow and I get them to myself for three whole days before the kids return from their father’s house.
Visit the site, check out the gallery, sign up for the beta, and try to sit on your hands until the launch. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so impressed and absorbed in a game or book or company’s vision. It will be the perfect salve for all the Harry Potter fans experiencing withdrawal now that the final movie has come out.