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Save the Furries Enters a New Realm of Interactivity

20th July 2012; By KnucklesSonic8

Without going on and on about how games aren't made in a vacuum, it truly is a wonderful thing to see how concepts, IP's, and characters can grow into something greater as they extend beyond the game space, especially when such extensions are being taken by companies of modest means. Transferable in that one of the foregoing elements can be communicated and marketed in a different fashion so as to continue momentum, it's not uncommon for development teams to complement their original creations with trinkets, action figures, comic strips, and the like. SDP Games is moving in a similar direction with an extension that proposes to develop their IP, Save the Furries, into something of a brand now that the groundwork has become fertile over a seven-year period. Demonstrating their continued investment in the universe they've been able to create, plans are in motion to follow up their successes with an entry into a different market: children's picture books. Now ready to grow the circle of shared enthusiasm, the team has allowed me the opportunity to present some details on what this proposal will mean for the property and the company itself.

Tentatively titled "The Story of the Little Green Men", this proposed 28-page book will naturally bring in elements from the game to set the stage of the Save the Furries universe, but will feature perseverance as a central theme -- a theme that is poised to position the book with a different tone. 
The CEO of the company, Laurent Benadiba, touched on the type of impact him and his team are aiming for by commenting, "We want to show our reader a great adventure in a new alien-cartoony universe, to never give up hope and keep trying!" Because the team has been able to use pre-existing material as a sort of wire frame for the book, I wondered how closely the book would resemble the game. While it is true that there will be a sense of coherence existing between the two, the translation of interactive components from the game to the book and now the new narrative would present a different set of challenges in how the team would go about realizing their goals.

With the above in mind, once it was explained to me that certain attributes of the game would conflict with their efforts to capture their revised audience of three-to-six-year-old children, I came under the impression that they still have their work cut out for them. For example, in the game you find yourself controlling multiple entities to reach an end target. That same presence of a team-like atmosphere is not so prevalent in the book. When you consider how these different characters are at times used in an almost disposable manner, it's been decided that by honing in on just one of the available characters can the furtherance of connectivity be made much more clear. The hero of the story, Waloo, adds a personal touch that the team is hoping will allow kids to form a connection with the events that transpire over the course of the green guy's little adventure.

Understanding the importance of retaining key aspects of the IP's personality, the team is still making sure that the common denominator of crude humor remains while the mild violence and the death aspect seen in the game are not accounted for. Such a decision seems especially fitting considering the change in focus and audience. But now, those enemies will still be appearing at different points in the story. So what sort of interactions will Waloo have with these characters? Without leaving me or anyone else in the dark, Laurent kindly elaborated on what Waloo's quest will entail.
"His goal is to find a very specific object that was lost by his tribe's messiness. He'll walk through the forest meeting different creatures with each a very specific look and character (or sometimes a bad mood too), and investigate until it's found and the tribe is saved!"

Although much of the work on the book has been completed in prototype format, there's been some uncertainty expressed over their visual portrayal of the contained story. To give you a better idea of the decision the team is facing, SDP Games has allowed me to present a few samples of the book in progress (shown above). After having taken a closer gander at what it is that they're working with, what are your personal impressions? Do you feel the choice CG imagery or the hand-drawn style would resonate more? I'm sure the team would appreciate some feedback that they could take into consideration as they move forward with the graphic design.

As far as their plans for distribution, it's been observed that of the different territories where Save the Furries (in its different formats) has had a presence, it is in the US where the team has seen the strongest response. It stands to reason, then, that this would be the best market to first introduce the book in (after first translating the material from French to English) and hopefully expand from there. I've been assured that there is already some coordinating underway behind the scenes with possible book publishers to make this book happen. The goal is to finalize the product and get it out onto store shelves this holiday season. The team's enthusiasm for this undertaking is commendable, and I do hope that you will join me in wishing them all the best with this endeavour. Once again, if you have any thoughts you'd like to share on the direction they should take with the artwork (i.e., CG vs. hand-drawn), please do give me a shout and I will be happy to pass the information along to the team.

Exclusive by KnucklesSonic8