[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource GamesPress.]
Taprr, an independent app studio based in Australia, revealed
they are expanding to video games with the anti-bullying,
action-packed game, Sumoboy
Founder Chris Laurent, featured in the quirky campaign video,
stated that Taprr started out making business applications,
“Scanify,” and soon-to-be released social business app
“Marveled.” They have always wanted to make the
significant step towards being a diverse multi-vertical developer,
so they are now putting their talented hands on game development.
The first game in the series is titled “Heart of Kung
Fu” and has been launched on a popular crowd-funding site
Indiegogo this week.
See Sumoboy on Indiegogo.
The Sumoboy game is aimed to be fun and uplifting, touching base
on issues such as
Bullying, which is a much-talked about topic
globally. The game studio has a strong stance against bullying with
its efforts to infuse the subject within its initial game app
In fact, Sumoboy is inspired by a true to life story of
bullying, reminiscent to the founder’s experiences in his
“The idea was sparked by a playground encounter
back in Grade 2, and ever since, I've been plotting revenge in
the form of creative arcade action animation!” -
Sumoboy encourages the ability to disconnect the mind from the
effects that bullies can bring to one’s life, that is having
the strength to be courageous when being put down and calling upon
an up raise to achieve the unbelievable.
“ To us that’s what gaming is about,
telling an unbelievable story in a fun and positive way.”
According to Taprr, they tirelessly spent over 10 months
crafting a likeable character and anticipating how he will connect
with players and the storyboard. During development Laurent and
company focused on these questions: What does the hero stand for?
What’s his history? Why will people play and hopefully stay
“ We made sure we answered these questions with a
story, which everyone could relate to, and that’s Sumoboy.
Sumoboy should be seen as symbol of courage against struggle --
what the unlikeliest of people can achieve. ”
Sumoboy is kick-ass! However he remains polite to everyone he
encounters, even his enemies. He is an underdog in a unique way,
yet everyone should be able to relate to his personality.
So how about the action part? Sumoboy’s objective is
to bring the Princess home and rid the land of evil. To achieve
this, the player must help Sumoboy develop his skills through each
level and collect the four elements of earth – Earth, Water,
Wind and Fire. The gamer must collect the elements at crucial
moments during the game and use them at the right stages to defeat
Game play will be fast and jam-packed with heaps of Kung Fu and
Sumo fighting moves. Along the way there are heaps of
Villains, as well as Zombie Bullies to get your hands on
– not to mention the relentless and ruthless Bosses to
“We are looking for the addictive ‘one more
time’ play effect.”
Visually, this game will also make fans of Kung-fu movies and
characters nostalgic with Taprr’s choice of location and era.
Sumoboy has been designed to emulate ancient Japan, which is
demonstrated with paint-styled background art work inspired by the
To learn more about Sumoboy, see it on
As part of Taprr’s strategy, they partnered with quality
producers to ensure they deliver a high end game. One of those
partners is an award-winning developer who has worked on titles
such as “Up-In-Flames” for gaming giant, Chillingo part
of the video game company Electronic Arts.
With “Heart of Kung Fu,” 90% of the pre-development
work is complete. Taprr’s designers are now working hard on
concepts for Sumoboy’s second game “Beyond The
Forbidden,” bringing on a graduate of The Academy of
Interactive Entertainment (AIE), Aaron Attard as lead designer.
Attard’s talented skills are evident in his work on Labyrinth
a first person survival horror game, an AIE project that went viral
Taprr decided to look towards crowd funding because it’s a
great way to have supporters and gamers directly involved in
bringing a game like “Sumoboy” to life. It allows Taprr
to give people the game play experience they really want and in
return they are rewarded with exclusive perks, such as being in the
game and limited-edition merchandise.
See the campaign perks on
“Sumoboy” will be released free to consumers across
iOS and Android devices later this year. Taprr will begin
production on PC and Mac versions possibly via platform
‘Steam’ if they are successful with the supporters from
the Indiegogo campaign. With Sumoboy’s anti-bullying theme
fused with action-packed adventures, the game could attract a good
following and supporters.
With any game, it’s important to tailor to your target
market; a lot of factors can affect the success of entering the
game industry. The secret to creating an unforgettable game
experience is a combination of fun game play, quality design and
emotional connection with the gamer. The gaming psychologies behind
these factors need to be perfect to create an addictive game
Generating more revenue than music, movies and television, the
gaming sector is a $67 billion industry. There are many
opportunities present in this market, if you are planning to make
games that really connect with people, you’re not too late.
It looks like Tappr is making its move (and rightly so) with the
first of Sumoboy installments.