Q & A with Rock Out Apps about Slippery Seal

Recently I did a Q&A with co-founder of Rock Out Apps, maker of Slippery Seal, Paul Conway.  We chatted about a few things on how they got started and whether or not his company is going right after Angry Birds.  If you love Angry Birds, you’ll love this cool new app that’s recently launched on the App Store!

It’s a gaming app that deals with real-life aquatic creatures and stars a seal called: “Slippery”.  Slippery Seal migrates from Alaska, to San Francisco and down the beautiful Pacific Coast as the backdrop, searching for food and adventure.  Unlike many other apps out there, Slippery Seal’s message is a more positive and educational one, proving users with a unique real-life experience.

App Developer, Rock Out Apps is proud to announce the launch of its first mobile game: Slippery Seal, an app available now for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

This real life game follows “Slippery” the Harbor Seal on his journey swimming up the Northern Pacific coast, from San Francisco to Alaska. Along the way, “Slippery” dodges sharks, dines on clams and cautiously interacts with other denizens of the sea, maintaining key elements of marine wildlife as realistic as possible. The game is loyal to the Seal’s movements, environment and habitat. Each level of the game transports the player to landmark locations located on the Northern Pacific coast.

“We wanted a game both entertaining and educational, while remaining realistic and intuitive,” said Kevin Lynch, CEO of Rock Out Apps. “There are thousands of games in the AppStore, but none have real life creatures showcased in their ecosystems. We wanted “Slippery” and his companions to look and feel real, which is why we turned to an artist who studied oceanography to depict real characters in a fun way.”

Along his journey, “Slippery” meets with fellow game stars: “Marty” the Blowfish, “JellyFace” the Sea Nettle, “Ocho” the giant pacific octopus and most notably “Boomer” the great white shark. The game launches with 10 aquatic levels with more levels and sceneries to be added to it in future updates.

As the name says you’re playing a seal, who has to collect yummy clams to advance to a new level. You have a time limit in which you are required to reach a minimum limit of points. You earn points by eating clams or by fending off from creatures that want to harm you (sharks, Orcas, swordfish and various other sea creatures). Controls are extremely easy, as with any arcade game: Tap the screen to spit pearls or draw with your finger without lifting it to guide your slippery seal in the water. Users can also compete for the highest score using Facebook and Apple’s Game Center to promote their score.

Slippery Seal is available at the iTunes App Store for the price of $1.99 and it’s compatible to iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices.

Download the Slippery Seal app on iTunes: http://bit.ly/iTunes_SlipperySeal

And ‘like’ Slippery Seal on Facebook, where you can follow his every move along the Pacific Coast:https://www.facebook.com/SlipperySeal

Paul was a great guy to talk with and I really want you guys to check out Slippery Seal and I can’t wait to see what other great games come from Rock Out Apps.  Check out the Q & A with Paul below.

How long have you been with Rock out Apps?

PC:  Well I am one of the co-founders of Rock Out Apps so I have been with the company since the beginning.

What are some of the main goals for Rock out Apps?

PC:  Well, some of our main goals with Rock Out Apps is to redefine the mobile applications in the gaming world.  You see a lot of games that are “wait and see” like Angry Birds where you start the action and wait.  We wanted to make a game where you are in control of the action at all times.  I think we are ahead of the curve in that aspect.

How did Slippery Seal come about?

PC:  Well I have always had an interest in being an entrepreneur and having a technology background in the multimedia and entertainment industry, I learned a lot in terms of how technology interacts with business.  So when I made a commitment to myself as to what business I wanted to start, I said to myself  “what is one area where there is rapid growth in popularity and revenue and the answer came easy, mobile applications.”  Then I started brainstorming and asked myself who likes games the most, again the answer was easy, kids do. What do kids like, animals. So I literally started listing each animal until I got to a Seal, I thought to myself that is perfect, their natural enemy is a Shark. So it all started to come together and thats when I brought in my partners, and started brainstorming with them to see what type of game can encompass all these characters.  Slippery Seal is what came about. Although I came up with the base idea, I would have never been able to carry it to the finish line without my partners, CEO Kevin Lynch and our COO Tim Morales. Their input and tireless work was an immense amount of importance to ensure that Slippery came alive and available in the App Store today.  It was a true team work environment and having a team of this caliber will ensure that ROA will thrive now and in the future and the public will reap the benefits of this. 

What are you trying to accomplish with Slippery Seal? 

PC:  We wanted to create an app that gives the user full control of the character at all times, we kind of wanted to make Slippery Seal like a console game.  We have an educational angle as well, we have geographical locations, we have the sea life, and we wanted to give the kids a chance to learn without really knowing it.

What was your motivation with using the Pacific Coast?  Was it mostly the vast sea life or was it something more?

PC:  There is a story behind Slippery Seal; this is a sequel to the original idea.  Slippery has a backstory where he was in an aquarium and he is trying to make it back home to his family.  So in the prequel we will be showing that aquarium life that leads into the open waters of Slippery Seal.

What types of research did you do in making of the game?

PC:  Our kind of R & D was going to aquariums and speaking to different workers and seeing the interactions with the seals.  One of the great things about Seals is that they are everywhere in the world and loved by all.  We knew about Seals to a degree but we really wanted to find out more about them like their diet, and interactions with other creatures so we can keep intact with reality. On the technology side we really researched on the types of games/apps out there. What made some special and what made some not so special. We also started to look at the devices that would be used to play the game, like in this case iPhone/iPad/iTouch, and what their capabilities are. We certainly didn’t want to make a game that was too rich for the processors and memory that are allocated for these devices. 

What is your input in making of the apps?

PC:  From the beginning of creating Slippery Seal,  Rock Out Apps worked as a team. We had total control during the entire process, from conceptualizing the idea to making it available in the App Store.  We worked closely with California company Moyo, Inc. for code outsourcing. We certainly received their input and used it wisely when needed.  They were invaluable. 

What is your background in App developments?

PC:  Well this is our first release and first project.  We plan on releasing prequels and sequels of Slippery Seal.  We also have other projects outside of Slippery and plan on releasing 2 or 3 more over the next few years.  We feel if we stick to what we know, we will be highly successful. We also must pay attention to technology and where it is going and design around that.   We will try and make it more of an interactive element to mobile app development.

Do you have other apps in the pipeline?  Do you have plans to make apps that move outside of gaming?

PC:  We are certainly open to creating the most innovative apps out there if it be games or day to day apps.  We are always open to it.  But we are concentrating on the gaming world as our creative juices are pointed in that direction.  Our CEO, Kevin Lynch, has such an amazing creative side to him and with both Tim Morales our COO and I having a vast technology background, we feed off each other and the gaming world is the most logical start for us.  We certainly hope to create something that will benefit the world in both fun and in technology.

In your apps do you have a particular message you are trying to achieve?

PC:  Well with Slippery Seal we want people to realize that animals are a part of our eco-system and how super important they are. We want people to care for them more than they think they do.  We want to teach people to help maintain our eco system and teaming up with certain organizations to push that message.

Did you guys set out to be a direct competition with Angry Birds?

PC:  Who do you see on the top of the mountain in the mobile gaming world?  Angry Birds.  If you are going to achieve success and reach for the sky you want to put your product up against the best.  I have nothing against Angry Birds it is a product people love, but for me after the first few weeks of playing it, I had fun but it doesn’t make you want to come back for more, unless they release a new version. I want more meat to a game.  I wanted something that I can control the entire time instead of doing an action and waiting for something to happen.

I had my 3 year old playing the game and he was having fun and kind of embarrassed me a bit doing better than I can so I had to kick him off.

What should we look forward to in future releases from your company?

They can look forward to a company that is innovative and fun.  We are working on a lot of games in our labs, and certainly we want the world to understand that we will be releasing some of the most exciting and innovative games that people are going to yearn for more.

Article first published as Q & A with Slippery Seal Creators Rock Out Apps on Technorati.