When MobileMediaCom developed their latest release, the goal (pun intended) was to produce an iOS game that was popular, of international stature, and that could relate to current events. It made perfect sense, then, to develop a game based on the upcoming Olympic Games.
MobileMediaCom have undeniably got into the spirit of things for Toons Summer Games 2012 - a vibrant and fun game where you can play as various cartoon animals, compete in numerous athletic events, and participate in multiple game modes.
We spoke to Philippe Moyal from MobileMediaCom about the team's thought processes during the development of the iPhone and iPad title Toons Summer Games 2012.
By deciding to have cute and cuddly animated animals competing in this game instead of humans, Moyal believes this ensures Toons Summer Games 2012 stands out from other sports titles on the market.
"We needed to construct a platform in which both adults and younger gamers could compete. However, we suspected that we would not be alone in choosing this theme, and that most of the other games would lean towards a more realistic approach. The cartoon universe, the offbeat spirit, and the use of a group of animals seemed to be the best alternative," Moyal says.
"A cartoon also has a significant advantage in that it can do almost anything without shocking its audience. This gave us more freedom: we were able to bend the rules of the game a bit. It was the perfect way for us to apply our creativeness without any bridles."
During the game, you can take turns playing as five different Toons: a sheep, gorilla, koala, cat, and turtle. In order to give these characters their own quirky image and personality, MobileMediaCom turned to popular animated films for inspiration.
"Cartoons such as The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Tarzan, Madagascar, and Kung Fu Panda for bestiaries with rather caricatured qualities. Films such as Animalympics, The Jungle Book, or Bedknobs and Broomsticks inspired us to integrate animal gestures related to sports," Moyal explains.
"We were also brought in to watch Tex Avery, Warner Bros., and Disney animated movies regularly... It was the most enjoyable part of our work.
"Regarding the gameplay, however, we first thought about the party game WarioWare for its speed, intuitiveness, and the variety of mini-games it offers."
Despite its light-hearted cartoon image, Toons Summer Games 2012 does offer a sense of realism when it comes to the scenery, including the use of traditional athletics stadia as backdrops. Moyal admits that this was a crucial part of the design process, and that his charges carried out extensive research to ensure the title boasted an air of authenticity.
Arguably the game's biggest strength is its 'World Challenge', which enables players from around the globe to challenge one another in various athletic events.
"We love the idea that a small nation can also lead a world challenge in Olympic events," Moyal enthuses. "It's the American Dream: Olympic style! And we are pleased to see that people play the game and participate in the challenge."
As far as keeping things interesting for players of all levels goes, Moyal is at pains to point out the following: "We made sure to make it a challenge. Beginners can try to get a feel of the games and gadgets, while more experienced players tend to lean towards the World Challenge to compete for world records in individual and national rankings. With ten events to choose from, there is plenty of depth."
Toons Summer Games 2012 is both a competitive and social game in which you're encouraged to compare your performance with other players. You, therefore, feel motivated to move up the rankings.
In terms of planned updates for the game, Moyal reveals that "the first was submitted recently and offers a new game mode for the more 'relentless' players: The Survival Mode. Gameplay was rebalanced and bug fixes were also made."
"The next update is much larger and will offer four new athletic events (bringing the total number of events to 14) and, hopefully, a fourth game mode and achievements, in addition to the World Challenge. We're also considering a version for the Winter Olympics and are constantly refining the website."
Toons Summer Games 2012 is available in the App Store now on iPhone and iPad for 69p / 99c [iTunes link].
Check out the trailer for Toons Summer Games 2012 below.