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  Animin brings the coolest play tech to Toy Fair
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01/18/2014
 


[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource GamesPress.]

EMBARGOED: Until 00.01am on Friday 17 th January, 2014

Animin are virtual friends that you can play with and care for. Animin is the first truly cutting-edge digital pet for young gamers and the must-have toy for Christmas 2014. Animin will be showcased for the first time at Toy Fair at London’s Olympia on 21 January.

Using augmented reality technology on your tablet or smartphone, you can bring your Animin into the real world and set these unique creatures free. You need to see it to believe it!

Developed by a group of AR tech specialists, digital artists and games developers at Figure Games in east London, the Animin experience is a tantalising glimpse into the future of online avatars. Animin brings the digital world into the real world environment in a playful, entertaining and astonishing way.

“Augmented Reality mobile apps have already been around for a few years, but nobody has yet really cracked their true gaming potential,” explains Animin Director, Joe Kletz. “Until now! We have extremely exciting plans to develop Animin, extending the core Animin AR app into an online role playing game (RPG) featuring your Animin avatar with ties to social networking, instant messaging, VR gaming and much, much more.

“Our primary aim at Toy Fair is to creatively disrupt the toy industry, as we strongly believe there is a clear space for a genuinely new digital pet that uses cutting edge mobile technologies in such a fun, social and innovative way.

“Hence we have taken everything that we know about cutting-edge mobile and AR tech and created a genuinely beautiful and compelling experience for young children and teenagers,” adds Kletz.

“Aside from our unswerving belief in the fact that we have created an intensely compelling and unique interactive entertainment experience built around augmented reality characters that will strongly appeal to younger gamers - something that has not been done before - we are now energised by the clear challenges that lie ahead to bring this new type of digital toy to market.”

Toy Fair visitors and press can make an appointment now to experience an exclusive demo of Animin with the game’s producer and director on stand G-61 in the GreenHouse at London’s Olympia

Media: For print and broadcast-quality images and video assets, to organise interviews with the creative team behind Animin or to receive a test version of the Animin Prototype pack, contact Adam Hartley on 0203 322 7717 adam@animin.co.uk

Notes for editors

Animin Gameplay

In order to evolve your creature from a baby to an adult you will need to feed them, play mini games with them and administer medicine to your Animin when they are ill. The happier your Animin is, the sooner it can evolve into the next stage of its life. You have to see it to believe it!

Animin is far from  just a game. Your Animin is your companion and portal to communicate with your friends and family using Augmented Reality, voice recognition and instant messaging technologies, bringing your social world into a whole new dimension.

The Background to Animin

Developed by a group of AR tech specialists, digital artists and games developers in east London, the Animin experience is a tantalising glimpse into the future of online avatars. Animin brings the digital world into the real world environment in a playful, entertaining and astonishing way.

“We have spent a long time developing the gameplay, world and characters in Animin, drawing inspiration from various sources including classic Japanese videogames, manga and from our commercial work in developing augmented reality apps for mobile,” says Joe Kletz, Director on Animin. 

“We have tons of experience developing cool AR apps and our coders, designers and musicians on the project genuinely love playing Animin in the office.”  

What is Augmented Reality (AR)?

AR, in its simplest definition, is any virtual content superimposed or overlaid onto the real world environment. AR has been around since the 90’s but has recently hit the mainstream mass market following the smartphone revolution. The technology itself is quite similar to virtual reality (VR), but uses smartphones or tablets instead of a virtual reality headset or glasses. The coolest thing? AR lets you bring your Animin to life, on your tablet, your smartphone or the desk right in front of you!

The Animin creative team

Developer Figure Games originally started work as an experiential production house called Junk Beam – www.junkbeam.com - doing projection mapping and light shows. Building upon their experience of projection mapping and light show design, these digital artists use cutting edge technologies as their medium, creating seriously innovative 3D graphics and mind-blowing animations applied through augmented reality and combined with truly addictive gameplay.

The Animin story

In order to evolve your creature from a baby to an adult you will need to feed them, play mini games with them and administer medicine to your Animin when they are ill. The happier the Animin is, the sooner it can evolve into the next stage of its life. You have to see it to believe it!

Animin are a pure-spirited species that have lived for millions of years at the centre of Planet Earth. They live deep within the earth’s inner core and are connected to every part of the earth’s energy and balance. But recently the balance of the earth has changed and the Animin need your help!

This year, Animin have managed to make contact with humans through a magical portal, the Animin app. They are now all over the earth’s surface, but are invisible to the human eye without a special seeing camera. The camera or magic portal allows you to not only see, but also interact and play with these special creatures.

Every single life form in the universe needs to be cared for and looked after. Now you and your Animin must become one and care for each other. Your creature will rely on you to feed and play with them. When your Animin reaches a complete state of happiness, or Pure Zef, it can then evolve into its next stage of life.

What Animins are in the game?

There are currently three Animin characters that exist within the Animin beta, Pi, Kelsey, and T-Bo (inspired by our office pooch Suki). We will create 5 new characters, so there will be 8 in total, and we also plan to give the existing characters new evolutionary stages for the final game.

Evolution or Zef - There will be eight stages of evolution. To evolve your Animin, you will need to care for it and keep it in a happy and healthy state so you are rewarded with evolution tokens or Zef coins. You will need to collect Zef coins to evolve your Animin to the next stage of evolution. To collect extra Zef coins and evolve your creature that little bit sooner, you can play the mini games to be rewarded with even more Zef coins.

Zef coins and Evo tokens - Evo tokens are what you will need to evolve your Animin at each stage of its life. You can unlock the Evo tokens using your Zef coins. You will need a certain amount of Zef coins each time. The amount you need will be displayed in the stats screen. Zef coins can be used to unlock Evo tokens and to buy food, medicine, items and add-ons for your Animin.

The healthier and happier your Animin is, the more Zef coins you will receive. However if your creature is not happy and also unhealthy you will not receive any tokens at all and your Animin will not evolve to the next stage of its life.

Caring functions - As soon as your Animin is born you will need to feed and take care of it. You will be able to see how happy, healthy, hungry and fit your Animin is by looking at the stats on the stats page. Each time these are running low or are on empty you will need to give the appropriate action for your Animin to be content and satisfied. You can also make your Animin too tired by playing with it too much and can make it fat from overfeeding, so be careful to give them just the right amount of everything they need.

Play - There are 4 initial mini games you can play within the app, you will need to play these games sometimes to keep your Animin happy and fit. As you evolve your Animin you will unlock more of the mini games. There will be 15 mini games in total.

All of the games will be online or networked, so you can either one player mode or ‘online multiplayer’ live mode with other Animin owners.

Feed - You will start with 6 basic food types that you can feed you Animin. As you play the mini games you will unlock up to 18 different types of food, each containing different levels of nutrition that your Animin will need at different points of its life.

Medicine - Sometimes we all get sick, and when your Animin is ill you will need to choose from 6 different medications to make them better. There will also be super-medicines you can win in the mini games. 

Clean - Just like any living creature, your Animin will have to go to the toilet sometimes and you will need to clear the mess away. If you leave the mess, your Animin will become sick, will not want to play the mini games and will not be able to evolve to its next stage of life.

Instant messaging - You will be able to instant message other players live through the Animin instant messenger. Just add players and friends to your contact list and when you see they are live, you can start messaging. You will be able to use this function to trade Zef coins and Evo tokens for items and upgrades, swap gameplay tactics, or for simply just saying Hello and chat online. Like an Animin Whatsapp. 

Voice recognition - You can use your voice to talk to your Animin and give it multiple commands for it to respond to. For instance, you can tell your Animin to sit or dance and ask it to perform different actions. And if you were to say ‘play games’ after pressing the voice command button, this would also take you to the games menu.

Trading - Here you will be able to trade your Zef coins, Evo tokens, Animin accessories and add-ons by connecting with other players in the trade zone. This will be where you can list the products you want to sell and name their price or browse to see what's for sale. You can use instant messaging or leave mail when negotiating on purchases.

15 mini games - There will be 15 mini games within the app. Playing the games will reward you with extra Zef tokens, food, toys and medication but most importantly playing will keep your Animin happy and healthy. However some of the games are locked until you evolve your Animin, each evolution will unlock a certain amount of games - look out for extra hidden games too.

You can play with just you and your Animin using one player mode, or play with other players using the ‘online multiplayer’ live mode. Just connect through Wi-Fi and choose one of the multiplayer games. You will receive rewards and prizes when you play the games, including extra Zef tokens to help you evolve quicker, food, medicine and other items.

Babysitting - If you are going out for the day or, say, you are just too busy, you can just ask a friend from your network if they can look after you Animin. You will need to decide for how long and what you will give them for looking after your Animin. You can either pay with Zef coins or food and medicine items. There is a maximum 24 hours of babysitting at one time.  

Items and add-ons - You will receive digital items by playing, wining and unlocking the mini games. You may also purchase some items using your Zef tokens. These items will include clothes, toys and random objects that your Animin can interactive and play with.