Club Caveman: IPad Storytelling

Club Caveman is a new Ipad game hoping to elevate kids’ engagement with narrative by expanding the range of user interactions and quality of game animation. The project is trying to raise just $10,000 on Kickstarter in order to refine some of the backend technology.

It features a British-sounding narrator guiding the participant into a forest in search of a simple-minded caveman, Club. The caveman reacts to the player through touch, voice and motion language and evolves as the story progresses.

In building one of the first applications to take advantage of the high-definition screens on the new iPad tablets, Caffeine-Free — the production company behind Club Caveman — has the pedigree to raise the bar. The creative team of Hyrum Osmond (Walt Disney Animation Studios), Matt Leishman and Schoeni (Dreamworks) have a long list of film credits on their resumes, including Happy FeetHow to Train Your DragonKung Fu PandaMonsters vs AliensTangled, and Megamind.

They see Club as the star on a platform for episodic narrative, to push the limits of the tablet’s ability to tell a continuing story, through a combination of premium art, an emphasis on character development, and extending interactions to include cutting-edge options like speech recognition. He is quick to point out that speech recognition in many ways lags behind visual recognition (e.g., Kinect) as an interactive tool.

Why I’m Curious

I think it’s interesting to see traditional broadcast talent starting to move over to experiment with the Ipad, and in doing so apply film production values to interactive platforms for the first time. If it takes off, and has the stickiness they are hoping for, Club Caveman could lead a big shift towards more investment in film-quality mobile based entertainment.

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