Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Puppy Park! Yorkie APP Game for your Phone

Yorkie phone app/game!

Biting a bad apple beats down Corduroy's health.

Eating a bone boosts his speed. In a virtual sense anyway.

The tiny Yorkshire Terrier started running across iPhone screens last week, one of Apples's most recent apps - short for applications - and the design of Wellington resident Fred Shernoff.

Corduroy is also the name of Shernoff's real-life 3-pound puppy, which looks strikingly similar to the blinking brown dog players find on Puppy Park! (Make sure you download the right one. You want PUPPY PARK! by Whitemarsh Games. There is a free lite version or a 99 cent regular version.)

"He's a tiny little fireball," Shernoff said.

Shernoff's wife, Tyler, came up with a loose framework for the game last summer when the two were on one of their frequent strolls through their Olympia neighborhood, Corduroy leading the way.

"All of a sudden he took off after a truck and was thrashing against his leash," said Fred Shernoff, 29.

Why not a game with a puppy getting worked up and chasing after things, his wife suggested.

Shernoff, who in his youth dreamed of becoming a video game programmer, picked up a few books, including iPhone Programming for Dummies, and got to work.

"I didn't know anything going into it," said Shernoff, who is also a real estate developer for Tri-Star Associates Inc.

Apple offers an astounding 350,000 apps for its iPhone, all but a handful of them designed by people or companies other than Apple, according to an Apple spokesman. In late January, about 10 billion downloads had been made from Apple's App Store.

Shernoff's app has averaged about 30 paid downloads a day, he said. Puppy Park! sells for $.99. Shernoff keeps $.70 of that, and Apple gets $.29, the standard split the company offers. A free version of the game is available as well.

Shernoff paid a $99 annual fee to join Apple's developer program, which allows members to submit as many apps as they want for the company's consideration. An Apple spokesman declined to say how many submissions the company has gotten.

It took just five days for Apple to review and approve Puppy Park!, Shernoff said.

The game is designed to allow all of its players to compete for the highest score.

When Corduroy crosses paths with a meowing black cat, the game is over. The sweater-wearing Yorki bears his teeth and chases the cat off the screen. No gore or dead dog scenes.

"It's simple but challenging," Shernoff said.

And it's suitable for small children.

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