Young Jamaican Animator Launches Arcade-Style Game App

A young animator, 24-year-old Stephen ‘Big Bomb’ Williamson, recently launched his  arcade-style game app called TapKat Fiesta.

Williamson is the director of Jamaica-based Island Interactive Studios, which is trading as Pandsoft. He launched the app in May.

As cellphone users turn to their mobile devices for entertainment, games such as Flappy Bird, Fruit Ninja and Temple Run are becoming more popular.

Williamson hopes TapKat Fiesta will also attract the huge number of players these successful games have managed to garner.

TapKat is very simple and allows the player the tap the screen to shoot healing balls at mutated birds.

“You have to watch out for bomb birds that explode on impact and also make enough shots before you run out of fuel,” Williamson told the Jamaica Observer about his game. “It offers classic arcade game-play that mixes elements from Duck Hunt, Fruit Ninja and Sonic.”

Williamson was experienced in the realm of animation and producing digital content, so he knew how to create and market the game.

“Given our background in animation and how attractive the market was, we had already been producing content for marketing companies which represent various major brands, so producing digital content for a global market wasn’t such a great challenge,” he said.

However, he is aware that there are harder challenges ahead. While introducing the game to the market was easy, standing out among a sea of video game apps is difficult.

The success of games like Flappy Bird is rare and the creator of the extremely simple game manages to pull in $50,000 a day.

“An effective growth strategy has to be carefully planned and executed or else the game will just be another game in the app store,” he said.

As of today, TapKat has earned high reviews but has only drawn about 50 downloads in the Google Play market on Android.

While users said they loved the simple game play, some suggested a tutorial to give clearer instructions.

For now, users have to “learn as you go,” but the simplicity of the game allows them to catch on quickly.

If the game attracts more attention, Williamson is prepared to move forward and make his next move quickly.

“If it manages to do well on its own, that success will be short-lived so marketing decisions for successful games are considered before the game is started and continue to influence the design and growth process when the game is launched,” he said. “We plan to grow naturally, like that of a well-nurtured tree seeking sunlight in a forest.”