Apple to sell Warren graduate’s game

MARIETTA – For a gamer, the release of a much-anticipated new game is like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

When you’re the creator, it’s even sweeter.

“Crowman & Wolfboy,” is based on two characters who were the brainchildren of Wither Studio’s original owners, Steve Gavry and John Cobb. Daigle, 28, a 2003 Warren graduate, now works as a game developer at the Pittsburgh studio.

The team was discussing how they could use the characters Gavry and Cobb created in college and the idea for a game was born, he said.

“Crowman & Wolfboy” will be introduced at Nerdapalooza, a music and gaming convention Oct. 18 in Orlando, Fla.

“From the get-go, we wanted to make it an iPhone game,” Daigle said.

He said he wanted it to be more accessible to the hard-core gaming audience on iPhones, where many casual games, such as “Angry Birds” are available.

“It’s an untapped market,” he said.

The developers relied on the website, Kickstarter, to get ordinary people to invest in the game’s development. They were able to raise $6,000 to start the project.

The website is available to anyone who wants to launch a project and find capital.

To include it on Apple’s app store, games are submitted to Apple, Daigle said. Within two to seven days, Apple evaluates the features of the game. It’s a back and forth process. Apple looks at things such as the icon and whether it has transparency and the wording of any text. Apple is very strict on touch controls it handles to keep it in line with other Apple products, said Daigle.

The game, in the works for about two years, is based on the adventures of Crowman and Wolfboy. It starts in a forest, a place of evil trying to find humanity. Crowman and Wolfboy are chased by a black mass through a variety of environments as they try to find the lights of the city, only things aren’t what they expect. The gamer wins by collecting light warps, Daigle said.

Daigle said he shot the trailer, portrayed Crowman in it, did the music and some art. In a small company, everyone pitches in, making it the hallmark of a indie game development company.

“I grew up loving Castlevania games,” Daigle said. “The platforms had a lot of influence on wanting to make a game like this.”

During the next year, Daigle and the team at Wither Studios will continue to market the new game and will continue to develop two additional parts.

Daigle, who graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 2007 with a degree in game design, said working in the industry was a long-time goal.

“I knew I wanted to go to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh for game design and was constantly working on art to prepare myself for college,” Daigle said.

He said he credits retired Warren High School art teacher Sylvia Young as a major inspiration to continue his art past high school.