June 18, 2014 8:54 pm

WATCH: New game hopes to create more Kelowna jobs

A high tech Kelowna company is hoping to create more jobs with the development of its newest product.

Hyper Hippo Productions is a local gaming studio. It recently launched its latest online game and the response has been very good.

“We have lots of players in Asia, a lot of players in Europe, a lot of players in North America. We have tens of thousands of players all over the world,” says game producer Paul Moore.

Called “wild warfare”, the online game features armored animals going on a shooting rampage.

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“Wild warfare is a multi player first person shooter so it pits you and your friends against players all over the world in a match where you duke it out,” says Moore.

The local gaming studio has developed nearly a dozen games since its inception a year and a half ago. But wild warfare has had the best response so far.

With that kind of interest in the game, Hyper Hippo says it’s an opportunity to capitalize. It wants to make the game bigger and better with more animation and more characters. That would also create more jobs but to develop the game further, it needs more funding.

“The game the way it stands now still is in alpha stage. It’s still a prototype so the funding we are looking for will help us push it to next level so we can add more polish to the game and keep expanding features and get it to point where we can put our stamp of approval on it and feel like it is more of a finished product,” says Hyper Hippo’s community manager Ryan Loerke.

To help raise the funds, the gaming studio has turned to Kickstarter, a crowd funding website that allows people to donate as little as five dollars towards the campaign. Hyper hippo hopes to raise 24-thousand dollars to take the game to the next level and create more jobs.

“The more successful that our campaign is and the game, the more we will have to expand on it and the more that it will create jobs because as the game grows, we need more designers and artists and quality testers,” says Loerke.

With the success of studios like Hyper Hippo and Club Penguin which was purchased by Disney several years ago, Kelowna is rapidly becoming a high tech hub. A trend, those in the know say, the city is ready for.

“People don’t realize how much of a tech presence and how many people in Kelowna have skills as designers, animators, programmers so the people are out there. The more opportunities we can present them, the more we help sustain a viable work place for them,” says Loerke.

The Kickstarter campaign starts on June 24th and goes for 30 days. Hyper Hippo hopes to raise 24 thousand dollars in that time.

Once the game is developed further, Hyper Hippo hopes it eventually goes from being a free online game to a paid one.

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