Bumpin’ Uglies represents the first attempt at a fully in-house, non-commissioned title.
Like Angry Birds, Bumpin’ Uglies is a physics-based game, challenging players to slingshot their characters (customizable runts called “uglies”) through various courses while collecting coins along the way. The little guys can also bump into one another to create offspring that share traits from the parents. Drew Pearson, director of marketing and business development for HITF, says the game is the culmination of much of the work that the agency has done for clients such as Adult Swim and Nickelodeon.
“We come up with really crazy, off-the-wall ideas for games,” he says. “We thought, what’s the next goofy, cool, entertaining thing we can come out with? That’s where it started.”
This particular idea has been under development for about a year as a side project for Ham in the Fridge, which employs fewer than 15 full-timers, and now they have turned to the popular crowd-funding tool Kickstarter to raise an ambitious $65,000 for final production costs as they look to leg out the home stretch.
Bumpin’ Uglies aims to be a free app with in-game purchases for monetization; the project is already generating buzz on the national stage with more than 100 backers on its Kickstarter page.
The team at HITF feels confident that the game will stand out in a crowded marketplace thanks to its funny title, unique concept and intuitive game mechanics. They hope to make it available to iOS users in late August or early September, with an Android version to follow. With W3i assisting on the monetization aspects, Bumpin’ Uglies could prove lucrative as long as it fulfills its promise as a download that offers lasting appeal.
“It’s an entertaining game,” says Pearson. “It goes beyond just the name. A lot of games – you play it once, and you’re done with it.
“This has repeat playability. It’s something where people will stay engaged and want to keep playing it.”
If true, that will be seriously good news for Ham in the Fridge, and any other company with similar aspirations of turning a passion project into a legitimate business venture.