Today we met with Asbjorern Soendergaard and Morten Svendsen of new iPhone development group Tactile Entertainment. Tactile was founded a year ago to focus on iPhone games and their first project Pocket Creatures is finally nearing completion.

While we covered the game's announcement last week, today we had time to see the game in person at GDC. After spending time with it, Pocket Creatures seems a surprisingly complex experience. Soendergaard didn't want this to be considered just another pet game. Instead, he describes the game as an open world sandbox experience partly inspired by Black and White.

The game opens on a deserted island where you find a mysterious egg on an alter in an ancient temple. The egg hatches and you are responsible for the care of the creature. You can treat your creature with love or hate and condition it's behavior based on positive or negative feedback. Environmental objects and creatures can be used and combined in surprisingly complex ways.

Morten Svendsen walked us through the various interactions in the game:

Rubbing on screen will give your creature love/affection while swiping across the screen will slap/hit your creature. Feed it a banana and then slap it, and it will learn to hate bananas and avoid them in the future. Various objects and tools can be combined in different ways (seeds + water + manure = growing plant).

The game keeps running track of all the relationships between the creature and its environment, and the creature will act autonomously even without your interaction and will behave based on this previous conditioning. Meanwhile, different achievements unlock cosmetic add-ons, such as horns or wings, so you can customize your creature's look.

The game remains in pre-beta so the video does not represent the final visuals, which will be further enhanced. Overall, though, I was surprised and impressed at the depth of interaction for the creature and its environment. It was definitely beyond my initial expectations of a "pet" game, so I recommend at least watching through the video to see it in action. The game is about to go into beta, and should be coming in the next month or two.

  • Acadiaa

    pokeman

    • vulture3

      How do you fail so hard with just one misspelled word? Oh wait, you just did.

      • dddd

        it was on purpose noob

      • vulture3

        You let the world know you fail yourself on purpose... And then follow up with "noob"? Haha, good one. You win.

  • Acadiaa

    pokeman

    • vulture3

      How do you fail so hard with just one misspelled word? Oh wait, you just did.

      • dddd

        it was on purpose noob

      • vulture3

        You let the world know you fail yourself on purpose... And then follow up with "noob"? Haha, good one. You win.

  • alex

    looks great!

  • alex

    looks great!

  • jaytee

    I think i'll avoid any game in which your horns and wings are merely cosmetic.

    • http://nodpad.com/ MidianGTX

      That's one hell of a lot of games.

      • jaytee

        well i dont play many games to begin with

        but seriously, whats the point of evolving wings and horns if you cant fly or... maul? even the first pokemon games were fairly clever with this sort of thing.

  • jaytee

    I think i'll avoid any game in which your horns and wings are merely cosmetic.

    • http://nodpad.com/ MidianGTX

      That's one hell of a lot of games.

      • jaytee

        well i dont play many games to begin with

        but seriously, whats the point of evolving wings and horns if you cant fly or... maul? even the first pokemon games were fairly clever with this sort of thing.

  • Rachel

    I don't like the idea of hitting pets; fake or not. You're going to get to get some twirp kid who's going to smack his dog when he eats his sandwich now.

    • sk8erdude50

      its just a game, i hate it when people think kids are so dumb that they reenact everything they see in video games or tv.

    • http://nodpad.com/ MidianGTX

      Perhaps not smacking, but sure, if a dog eats something he's not supposed to the discipline is the way to teach him not to do it again. You can't train a dog without some form of punishment. Either way, no kid is gonna start hitting his dog because of this game, the same way there aren't a few million kids murdering policemen due to GTA.

      • Adams Immersive

        SOME kid is going to hit a pet because of this... just not millions of them.

        SOME kids—and some adults—are indeed influenced negatively by the things they see and do for fun.

        But you can’t censor everything for the sake of a few, so I don’t oppose the existence of this game. In fact, Black & White always sounded like fun.

        As for training without physical punishment: it can be done. But this is not the app to teach that fact :)

      • EpicAle

        Does it really matter ?

        If a child cannot distingues between a living creature and a flat animated computer character on a tiny screen... and suddently start mixing them up and combining them with violence... they are probatly going to hit someone or something anyway.

        The problem is bad parenting not bad toys.

  • Rachel

    I don't like the idea of hitting pets; fake or not. You're going to get to get some twirp kid who's going to smack his dog when he eats his sandwich now.

    • sk8erdude50

      its just a game, i hate it when people think kids are so dumb that they reenact everything they see in video games or tv.

    • http://nodpad.com/ MidianGTX

      Perhaps not smacking, but sure, if a dog eats something he's not supposed to the discipline is the way to teach him not to do it again. You can't train a dog without some form of punishment. Either way, no kid is gonna start hitting his dog because of this game, the same way there aren't a few million kids murdering policemen due to GTA.

      • Adams Immersive

        SOME kid is going to hit a pet because of this... just not millions of them.

        SOME kids—and some adults—are indeed influenced negatively by the things they see and do for fun.

        But you can’t censor everything for the sake of a few, so I don’t oppose the existence of this game. In fact, Black & White always sounded like fun.

        As for training without physical punishment: it can be done. But this is not the app to teach that fact :)

      • EpicAle

        Does it really matter ?

        If a child cannot distingues between a living creature and a flat animated computer character on a tiny screen... and suddently start mixing them up and combining them with violence... they are probatly going to hit someone or something anyway.

        The problem is bad parenting not bad toys.

  • Pitch_Blak

    Wow, not too many positive comments so far. =P

    I'm quite excited to try this game out, and have since first seeing info in the forum topic. I like a lot of complexity. =)

  • Pitch_Blak

    Wow, not too many positive comments so far. =P

    I'm quite excited to try this game out, and have since first seeing info in the forum topic. I like a lot of complexity. =)

  • CassieTheChaoticCupcake

    This game looks pretty amazing so far. And this is just beta? I cannot WAIT to see the finished product and all its added enhancements! =) Typically I'm not attracted to the whole "Pocket God" type game where you control and train a pet or group of creatures just for the sake of doing it, but this seems pretty versatile. I like the fact that everything can interact and even perform multiple tasks like the ant-eater doubling as a vacuum and "watering pail". The little animal looks just darling though I think the graphics could be more even. I'm sure you see the difference between the meshed 3D creature and the very detailed 2D environment. They're probably brushing it up a little. :)
    So uhm...
    I WANT ONE!!!

    Irrelevant: My anti-spam word was toast :D I love it lol

  • CassieTheChaoticCupcake

    This game looks pretty amazing so far. And this is just beta? I cannot WAIT to see the finished product and all its added enhancements! =) Typically I'm not attracted to the whole "Pocket God" type game where you control and train a pet or group of creatures just for the sake of doing it, but this seems pretty versatile. I like the fact that everything can interact and even perform multiple tasks like the ant-eater doubling as a vacuum and "watering pail". The little animal looks just darling though I think the graphics could be more even. I'm sure you see the difference between the meshed 3D creature and the very detailed 2D environment. They're probably brushing it up a little. :)
    So uhm...
    I WANT ONE!!!

    Irrelevant: My anti-spam word was toast :D I love it lol

  • Paul

    I'm pretty impressed by this game. Adding this to my list of games to keep an eye on.

  • Paul

    I'm pretty impressed by this game. Adding this to my list of games to keep an eye on.

  • http://www.ummband.com poutini

    This looks pretty dang good.

  • http://www.ummband.com poutini

    This looks pretty dang good.

  • Malene

    This game looks really fun - and the creature is CUTE! Lots of details and interesting aspects. I'm definitely gonna get one!

  • Malene

    This game looks really fun - and the creature is CUTE! Lots of details and interesting aspects. I'm definitely gonna get one!

  • Mr. Gates

    I only had to watch 1 min of this clip to realize that I would have to kill my brain with Paint thinner before this kind of moronic entertainment would seem anything more than pathetic.

    "No sir, ......... I don't like it"

  • Mr. Gates

    I only had to watch 1 min of this clip to realize that I would have to kill my brain with Paint thinner before this kind of moronic entertainment would seem anything more than pathetic.

    "No sir, ......... I don't like it"

  • Yog Shoggoth

    May not be for me, but I do love the graphics. I can see it appealing to a lot of ppl.

  • Yog Shoggoth

    May not be for me, but I do love the graphics. I can see it appealing to a lot of ppl.

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    it looks great game oyunlar mario oyunları
    strateji oyunları

  • http://www.mariooyunu.tk mario oyunları

    it looks great game oyunlar mario oyunları
    strateji oyunları

  • Angelica17

    If my creature is hungry and he doesn't want to eat how can I make him eat