Last Spring, a Kickstarter for an alpaca-themed game called Alpaca Party was brought to our attention, and now—several months later—we've had a chance to interview the studio behind it, Meow Puff Games, as represented by Jessica Zamora (aka "izzybird").
GP: So I heard you guys really like Alpacas; what brought about this love for the furry critters?
JZ: Alpacas are super cute and they're pretty weird, so we instantly loved them! Also, they aren't just for looks (like a cat); they can be shaved for riches! But not really in real life because there's a lot of reality that ruins dreams, BUT in a game you can totally live off of alpaca wool riches. The simplicity is part of the fun [in my opinion]. :3
GP: Obviously your Kickstarter was successful, what was that process like for you? Did you have any stand-out experiences during the funding period, or after?
JZ: It was pretty stressful; you put yourself out there and it's scary to think of not only failing but doing so publicly AND with a permanent archived website.
GP: Did you have any stand-out experiences during the funding period, or after?
JZ: I remember seeing one woman backed up for ~$300 (I think?) and we were so surprised because it wasn't someone either of us knew [in real life]; which is totally crazy!!
GP: Would you consider Kickstarter for your next project?
JZ: YES!!!!! We would definitely want to utilize Kickstarter again! Honestly, I feel like it was our intention all along to get to a point where we can make a larger scale project (which requires more money), but we wanted to prove to the world/internet that Meow Puff Games can deliver a small scale project first. Because seriously, there are so MANY Kickstarters out there that have screwed people over; as a backer, I'm more hesitant to hand out help now because of them.
GP: Congrats on your Android launch! When can iOS users expect to join the Alpaca Party?
JZ: Excellent question!! (This a standard I-Don't-Know response, hah!) Right now we are waiting for Apple to respond to us regarding IAP contracts, so we're probably looking at a February release. I'm not going to rant about Apple, it does take longer and the barrier to entry is a pain, but I really do believe the quality on the App store is higher than on the Play store.
(My [point of view] does not represent all of Meow Puff Games, and only represents myself Jessica.)
GP: Have you considered any other platforms?
JZ: Alpaca Party is definitely a mobile/tablet-designed game so in that regard we have considered Windows phones, but we don't have any devices to test on [at the moment], and since there are so few Windows devices it's not really worth the amount of effort.
GP: During my visits to Japan I've become aware of the Alpaca phenomenon that seems to stem off the Alpacasso plush toys. Did these influence your art style at all, or was it something else entirely?
JZ: Yes! I actually own three Alpacasso plushies!! (one is really big X___x) They're so cute and I love their adorable faces! These alpaca definitely inspired our kawaii-themed alpaca art, along with a mixture of our artist's own person flavor! Our amazing artist is Nicole Rusk, feel free to check out her portfolio! http://nicolerusk.com/
GP: Since your game is available in both English and Japanese, I was wondering how much Japanese involvement you had with the development of this game?
JZ: I studied Japanese in high school and visited Japan during that time, and I've pretty much always been one of those lame people who loves Japan and video games since I was a kid (*laughs*). Although, I haven't practiced in years so most of the localization credit really goes to Google Translate.
GP: Have you ever played Paca Plus? (Check out our review here) Greatest dating sim ever Y/N? Have you played the sequels that have unfortunately not been translated into English (yet!)?
JZ: (*Laughs*) No, I haven't played Paca Plus! I don't know what that is, but since you said it was a dating sim I am highly intrigued. Is it better than the pigeon dating sim?? (Is anything?!) [Editor's Note: For the uninitiated, Jessica is referring to the one and only Hatoful Boyfriend] I also haven't played the sequels, but I will look into the first one and get back to you (*laughs*).
Note: This is a screenshot is from Paca Plus, not Alpaca Party
GP: What's up next for you guys after this game? Perhaps Alpaca Party 2?
JZ: After all the loose ends are tied up for Alpaca Party (iOS release & Kickstarter goods) I believe we will take some time to focus on our day jobs. (Alpaca Party & Meow Puff Games are side projects for now; that is, until we can accumulate enough funds to support our indie studio full time.)
Our next game is a ways away; however, we will be turning in our cute alpaca and breaking out a super cool, badass shmup (shoot 'em up)! So look forward to that!
A big thanks to Jessica for the interview and her time! Be sure to check out Alpaca Party on Google Play right here!
And if you enjoyed this interview, leave a comment below letting us know what you thought!