What is Pigeon Panic?

The premise of Pigeon Panic is simple: you throw random bits of food like pizza, doughnuts, and other greasy bits of goodness indiscriminately at the screen to attract the virtual birds. Once they congregate like the filthy flying rats they are, you scare them off by running into them.

Why did you build Pigeon Panic?

We built Pigeon Panic for a couple of reasons. We’re massive fans of arcade games, but have never really had much of an opportunity to make something of our own – so as soon as ARKit was announced back in June earlier this year, we immediately picked up the tools and got to work. As far as inspiration goes, we were brainstorming in a little coffee shop close to our studios in Shoreditch, London, racking our brains as to what would be something unique that AR could only accomplish – and one of us noticed a flock of pigeons pecking at a bit of bread outdoors. One of us was like, “what if…” and that kicked off the entire thing!

What were the hardest things about making Pigeon Panic?

We found that some of our biggest challenges were revolved around translating the experience our team had in Unity over to ARKit. Basic gameplay mechanics – even as basic as pausing the game – had to be reconsidered or nixed altogether to fit in with the AR experience. We then also had the challenge that our studio is about 10 minutes walk from the nearest open park, so we didn’t get a good idea of what the final gameplay was like until later along the line than we would have liked.

Who was involved in the project?

Marco Martignone and I undertook the role of development, and Jamie (my co-founder) and Henry Everett looked after the design and UX. We also had an amazing concept illustrator named Jennifer Ogbebor, who brought so much personality to all of our pigeons – and then Charlie (@creatureframe on Twitter) looked after 3D modelling, rigging and animating them to bring them to life. Both Jennifer and Charlie had so much influence in how the birds came to be – we basically left them to it!

What tools did you use to build it?

Sketch to design, Unity to build, Xcode to deploy. That’s basically it 🙂

Did you use any tutorials?

Yeah! We learned a lot through our favourite YouTuber, Brackeys – he’s an amazing resource for people just starting out with Unity and professionals wishing to expand their skillset alike. Everything’s explained in a down-to-earth, informal manner, and the videos are outrageously well put together. Marco and I both got fairly addicted to watching his guide videos…!

What should we expect to see from you next?

We’re building a short horror game in AR called dARk, and posting updates on that on our Twitter fairly regularly. We’ve also got plenty more features and updates in the pipeline for Pigeon Panic too. We’re on the lookout to work with brands and teams to build other cool AR experiences with/for in parallel, which is really exciting.

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