An ex-Disney animator converts 235,000 sheets of paper into an “interactive comedy.”
When Omar Khudari first designed The Act in 2001 he wanted to create an arcade-style game that appealed to a broad audience. His hand-drawn animation – a legacy from Khudari’s days at Disney – looked spectacular, but didn’t save the title. Now the guys at React Entertainment have the property, and they’ve taken it to what they see as its natural home – the iOS store – where mobile gamers can enjoy its animated charms for $3.
They first got hold of The Act in 2009, just before the iPad came on the scene. “We really think that the time is right to go take this game to the next level,” React’s Daniel Kraus recalls telling Khudari when React pitched for the property, using the argument that mobile gaming was about to “blow up.” Khudari agreed, and The Act was born.
The switch meant abandoning its arcade style roots, and also a lot of extra work. “The original architecture was certainly not intended for what we’re using it for,” Kraus admits, pointing out that much of the original game had been replaced to fit it into the mobile marketplace.
That doesn’t mean anything got dropped; just compressed. “The original game was 235,000 frames,” says Kraus, reminiscing about Khudari ‘s clever hand-drawn animation.”We still have the paper,” he says, “all the drawings.” React turned Khudari’s labor of love into a game that may take an hour to play through, but probably closer to three hours if you hit all of the variant scenes.
No concrete word on what will happen next, though Kraus hints that there are “certainly opportunities in the game area for platforms and content that were extended forward.” The Act is available on the iStore now.