Monthly Archives: July 2013

Bad Casey

Casey smashes the idol, and things get complicated!

The dichotomy of death/sacrifice for progression through the game and creating tension was tough on the designers of 9 Lives. We always wanted to create tension for the player who wanted to push it a little beyond just solving a puzzle and give others a reason to come back and play it again, and again!

So when a puzzle is entered early on in the game we will show you what your objectives are and a little hint on how it can be solved. So if you are the type of gamer who just wants to complete the whole game quickly, then we have an easy way to beat the puzzle, more often than not by using some of Casey’s 9 Lives. But the flip of the coin is that you can get through most puzzles with one to no lives being lost, and thus making Sphynx a little happier. So if you spend a little extra time in each puzzle you will be able to increase your score by avoiding giving Casey some pain.

Let’s take puzzle one in level 1.


The immediate reaction of most players is to attack the spike pit and use a few lives to get across and then unlock the door. Easy enough at first glance, but not necessarily the best angle especially for Casey.


Over on the right hand side you can see a switch that releases a platform that will enable Casey to jump across the puzzle without losing a life.


The better you are at completing the puzzle without losing a life, the higher your points and thus the higher up the leader-board (coming soon) you will go.


Good Luck

Hungry Moose Games Team


It’s in the bag!

Hungry Moose Games is proud to announce that our studio’s first game, 9 Lives: Casey and Sphynx is now available for download on Android devices! To say it’s been an exciting journey to get to this point would be a massive understatement…  We started Hungry Moose because we wanted to try something a bit different in the mobile gaming space.  We’re lifelong gamers and wanted to create something new and original…Something that blended fun puzzle solving with platform-like play and yet had a console feel.  We wanted to create humorous new characters and tell an interesting story along the way.  Our motto has been to make games for the “mobile console generation” and we feel that 9 Lives: Casey and Sphynx delivers upon this goal.  There haven’t been any good “buddy movies” released this summer so we’re going to fill that void too 😉

We could go on and on here talking about the story line and nuances, features of the game etc… but instead we ask you to play it yourself and let us know what you think!  If a ‘picture is worth a thousand words’ than a videogame must be worth loads more right?  The game has been optimized to work with Green Throttle’s Atlas Controller but the touchscreen controls also play amazingly well.  Download links are below:

Download 9 Lives: Casey and the Sphynx at:

–       Green Throttle Arena App on your Android device

–       Google Play

–       Amazon Appstore

For your viewing pleasure, our launch trailer:

Team Hungry Moose Games.

The second in our two part series on the sounds in 9 Lives is about the music. Once again a BioWare veteran has gone out on his own to create a new company that is focusing on what they love to do in the game industry, music.

Music has been the passion of these guys since seemingly the beginning of gaming time. Steve Sim (BioWare veteran/legend) and his new partner in crime Mauricio Duarte started Logixound Studios, Lunenburg, Canada and have already done some pretty snazzy work with…well some games that we aren’t allowed to menton due to contractual shenanigans, so when we got the chance to work with them we were over the moon. RW

Hey guys, Steve Sim here.

What a fun project this was to work on!  I love Adventure games so I saw this as a great opportunity to do something a bit different for the music, yet keep it all thematic to the feel of the game.  We love beat and groove driven music here and Mauricio is a great scratch DJ / Turntablist, so we thought we’d funk things up a bit with the music, but we also take you to some dark places with the soundtrack, you are playing a dead character in the game after all!

We hope you enjoy it, it’s been  blast to work with some of the old BioWare gang.  Dave Chan, the Sound Effect whiz, was the guy who hired me at BioWare way back in 2003!  It’s kinda like getting the old band back together.  Cheers, Steve and Mauricio

Here’s a couple tunes …



Cheers, Steve

LoadingScreenWe are so happy to announce the release of the game soundtrack to give you an idea of what the in game themes will be like. The soundtrack has 8 tunes all thematic to the levels in the game but specially recorded for the album by the dynamic duo themselves.

As both Hungry Moose Games and Logixound are start-ups we would love for you to get a legit copy or listen through one of our partners through one of these links:

Amazon – coming soon
Google Play – coming soon
iTunes – coming soon

If you are up for a genuine LP let us know as we are looking to do a limited run should there be enough demand. The guys at Logixound are pretty hard core DJ’s in their own right so they know their stuff!

A reminder the game will be live on Android type stores tomorrow July 24th.

Team Hungry Moose


A quick look at one of the best enemies in the game, how they came to be, their influences and some gameplay. What Egyptian based game would be complete without mummies?


Mummies have always fascinated us. The fact the body gets preserved with all of its parts put in separate jars and you needed to be of some level of respect in the community before you were allowed to embalmed, kinda funny that brainless, heartless, well respected bodies were walking around looking to eat some archaeologists.

Our mummies took influence from lots of different angles, including the original The Mummy.

Walking out of sarcophagi, and doing what mummies do, raising their arms, and being menacing, and scary is what mummies do!Mummy_basemodel

From a gameplay perspective, the 9 Lives’ mummies cause some intense moments as you try to ensure Casey stays alive long enough so he doesn’t lose all his new found lives. Casey has a one touch death with mummies so watch out when they turn up because it is more than likely the death of you!

Keep an eye out this week for 9 Lives: Casey and Sphynx on your Arena app, Amazon or Google Play store!

Team Hungry Moose

Music and Sfx of most AAA games are overlooked, which is a good thing! In the best games, Sfx and music set the atmosphere and create moments and tension that without the sound, would be just well, silence.

We have been lucky enough to work with a couple of awesome guys in building out the sound and music for 9 Lives: Casey and Sphynx. Today’s blog is about Sfx from Dave Chan.


My name is Dave Chan and I created the sound effects for 9 Lives: Casey and Sphynx. I’ve been working in videogames since 1999. I started my game career at BioWare where I was the lead sound designer on MDK2, Baldur’s Gate II, Neverwinter Nights and was the Audio Producer on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. I left BioWare and moved into independent contracting for audio and worked on titles like Prey and Splinter Cell Double Agent. I also had the privilege of working on quite a few indie titles as well such as Sally’s Spa, Clue Classic, and more recently game like the mobile hit Office Jerk.

I came to meet the Hungry Moose folks at Edmonton GameCamp which is a game development group that I help organize. Ric explained the concept of the game to me and it sounded like a lot of fun so I agreed to help them out.

The challenge of a game like 9 Lives is making sounds that are fun and playful, but not too cartoonish. The game is fanciful, but has a bit of realism. I looked to have a balance in the audio that played up to the setting and characters. The art and animation help give the characters personality and the audio is the icing that makes the cake complete.

To create sounds for the game I drew upon the extensive library I have created over the years as well as creating new sounds from recorded and synthesized sources. Don’t worry though, no cats or security guards were harmed in the process. Sometimes I will layer different sounds together to create something entirely new. It’s an exciting way to get my creativity out. In the end we try things out in the game and if they don’t quite work we keep iterating until they do. Sometimes we’ll even change sounds after the game ships based on player feedback.

9 Lives is a super fun game and I hope that players will enjoy playing it as much as I did working on it. If it’s successful that means I get to make more cool sounds for Casey and Sphynx, so get out there and download it when it’s released!


Where do you start with a sassy cat named Sphynx, spritely but old as time? Sphynx popped out of Mike Grills’ head, purple and full of attitude form the start, what chance did we have?

A purple cat? Was my first reaction when i saw her for the first time, but it worked straight away. CaseyandSphinx1.5 foot high with an attitude to match, Sphynx leads Casey by the nose through a labyrinth of mazes and puzzles, holding his hand at times but carried along for the ride in others. Like any cat she hates water but is smart enough to be carried by Casey when she needs to be.  The profile below really drove a lot of how we see Sphynx today in game, we know you will enjoy Sphynx in 9 Lives.

Age: A lady never tells her age, nor does a dam
Height: 1ft 6 inches
Length: 4ft
Weight: Hiss!
Breed: Egyptian Blue
Sarcastic, sassy and bossy but ultimately good-hearted

Her 9 Lives
Favorite Place
Bastet’s tomb until someone wrecked it, now any fireplace that will take her

Cat pee
Grumpy Cat

Ability to find just the right thing to say at the wrong time
Jump to higher places
Climbing on walls and ceilings
Dig to discover hidden items
Carry small items
Kill small enemies
Ride on Casey’s head
Smashing boxes and china

Her abilities in game balance our big lug as she navigates small entries and climbs walls well enough to collect numerous jewels throughout the game. Her pet peeves of nasty scarab beetles on fire are worth watching out for.



When building out the original IP, 9 Lives, we started developing characters that we felt would be cool for people to play. Originally Casey was a small boy who hid out in the museum and smashed the idol of Bastet thus getting 9 Lives from Sphynx. But upon further thought and discussion with friends the thought of putting a small boy to death was a little daunting, so Casey the security guard was born.

The original artwork for Casey, was put together by a good friend of ours, Mike Grills. Mike had also worked at BioWare with some of our crew and personally I knew Mike from working with him at Empire Avenue. Mike’s style and speed are awesome and with a brief on the basic story and a bit of Mike magic, Casey took his first illustrated steps.


While the look and feel of Casey did not really change from those initial illustrations, the man who brought him to life, in game, was Christopher Mann. Chris has been in the game industry for over 12 years working at BioWare and Gameloft to name a couple. An early Casey can be seen below coming to life and celebrating a small victory.

In parallel Casey needed some background love and some awesome writing so we leaned on our friend and ex Bioware collaborator Cookie Everman, who gave the characters back stories and started bringing out their character with conversations. See Cookie’s blog for more info on how they came to life.

The way we portray personality and story telling in game is through still sequences and banter in game. Coming off of a tiny budget all banter is written text and we hope to be able to add VO to the game over time, but part of us says leave it to the player’s imagination as to how the characters are portrayed.


We really hope you enjoy playing Casey in the game.

Team HMG

Casey’s profile below:

Casey the lovable bumbling security guard, he always means well, has a good heart but nothing seems to go right until he gets his 9 Lives
Every time he dies you feel for him…but also chuckle under your breath
Age: Old enough to know better
Height: 6ft 2
Weight: 300lb, on a good day

American Football
Smashing anything with a baton or crow bar

Poisoned water

Eating burritos and spilling more sauce than was thought humanly possible, on himself
Inherited 9 lives from Sphynx giving him the ability to sacrifice himself to progress through obstacles that no other human being can
Examples are traversing spike ridden pits, Human torch, floating platforms
Smashing burrito wrapped zombies
Jumping tall buildings….with the help of waterspouts
Inducing light based confusion, whatever that means

ControlTutorial_AtlasAs we get close to launch we wanted to touch briefly on controls for the game. We have partnered with our friends at Green Throttle and the game runs really well using the Green Throttle controller in both single and co-op player modes. We really think we have done a great job of showing how fantastically well the Green Throttle (GT) controller works in a co-op situation, kicking back on the couch with friends.

We are also aiming to have Ouya, Gamepop, GameStick and other Android “unconsole” builds shortly after launch for those who have them.

We also spent a lot of time working with touch controls and debating how best to have a game experience that was fun for those who did not have a GT or uncosole at home. We did trial total touch gameplay where, similar to old school RPG’s, pointing and clicking on a mouse equated to touching the direction you wanted the characters to go, but it just didn’t feel right.


So we are launching with a touch experience, which for the old school gamers amongst us, it plays like an old school DS game on the tablet/phone. We believe this is great as it encourages a mobile gameplay experience while on the move and then if you have an “unconsole” being able to play your game when you get home  or by plugging in your mobile device to your TV via cable.

9 Lives is getting close and will be available on Google Play and Amazon stores soon.

Team HMG

9 Lives: Casey & Sphynx

“No Pain, No Gain!” is the famous saying, so can the ultimate pain, Death, be the ultimate gain?

Back in the arcade game days, game design became all about killing the player within 2.5 minutes, therefore, making the player spend more money. With free to play games going in a similar direction in 2013, design based on killing the player to encourage more and more money to be spent is now prevalent, the concept of death to progress became even more interesting to us.

What if you could design a game where death happens on purpose, and in fact you need to die to CaseyandSphinx-02progress? Especially if you combine that concept with the dichotomy of reducing the number of deaths to score higher points and be rewarded for replaying the level in a faster and smarter way, not just on your own but with a friend without losing the excitement and fun of killing the player in fun ways.

This is our challenge with 9 Lives! We have designed and are building 9 Lives in a way that will test the single and co-op player to solve the puzzle using sacrifice. We have found that sacrifice is fun, it creates moments of hilarity between players that we didn’t think would occur, the unpredictable behaviour of even your best friend, or son in my case, created fun game moments, that to be honest I have only really experienced in a few titles.

Sacrifice is interesting in other ways. In gameplay testing – people were frightened to die:

Gamer –  “I don’t know what to do?”

HMG – “why?”

Gamer – “well if I go through that door I am going to die”

HMG – “but that is ok”

Gamer – “hmmm, ok…hah that was pretty funny….awesome check out the body.. and I can use it as a platform, who knew death could be so fun”


This brings a whole new emotion to griefing!

We will talk about more of the elements of 9 Lives as we head towards launch.