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Two of the world's biggest technology firms have invested $30,000 in a pioneering cross-platform videogame created by a promising North East developer.

With the backing of Nokia and software giants Adobe, and with?65,000 additional funding from North East Finance and Gateshead Council, Middlesbrough-based Fluid Pixel Ltd and creative producers Foof Productions from Gateshead have created Animentals, the first videogame that moves seamlessly from gamers' mobile phones to their PCs and back again.

The game itself offers a rather unusual twist on the 'cyberpet' genre of games– in which players typically take care of a cutesy virtual pet, such as a puppy or baby dinosaur. In Animentals, however, gamers have to help out in the world's first rehab centre for insane cyberpets, and must nurse the unloved wretches back to health.

Fluid Pixel's founder Stuart Varrall says: "The concept of the game is simple. Cyberspace is filling up with glitched-out cyberpets that have been abandoned by their previous owners. Broken, and often having behavioural problems, these Animentals are rescued and given sanctuary by the eccentric Dr Foof in his clinic.

"By downloading your chosen Animental to your phone, you can nurse it back to full health, rehabilitate it and release it back into a safe and suitable environment."

Foof Productions first approached Fluid Pixel back in 2008 with the concept of Animentals. Shortly after a partnership was born that unites Fluid Pixel’s expertise with the creative minds of Foof Productions who bring a string of original IP under their belts and experience of working with the likes of Marvel Comics.

Animentals isn’t just a mobile game, plans are currently underway for a full online virtual world, the Asylum where players can interact real time with other carers from around the world. Scripts have also been written for a animated series expanding on this world with the intention to begin production next year.

Varrall adds: "Animentals enables gamers to pick up and continue playing seamlessly from whatever device they decide to play on– in real time, and in a way that hasn't been done before. Using Flash Lite on mobile devices along with Flash on the web and AIR platforms, we've been able to use the same assets across all platforms.

"We have also been able to squeeze in full-motion character animation into all versions of the game, including mobile devices. Gone are the rather unconvincing -looking sprites usually used to depict pets on mobile devices; instead we've been able to build rich, expressive characters."

Fluid Pixel Ltd specialises in developing games&applications for mobile devices. Previous games include Revolve and KamiCrazy, which was downloaded more than 600,000 times from iTunes earlier this year.

The first instalment of Animentals is available to download from the Nokia Ovi store for just?3 and the beginnings of the online world at the animentals.com website.


Notes for editors

About Fluid Pixel Ltd

Fluid Pixel Ltd is a media development studio specialising in mobile devices, dedicated to Flash Lite and the iPhone platforms. It offers innovative applications, games and interfaces for mobile phones, the web and desktops rapidly and cost-effectively, deployed on a custom basis by an experienced team. http://fpstudios.com

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