I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up today to find out via Twitter that the Cardiff based indie game studio Mochi Mode would be releasing their award-winning video game Moo Moo Move today. This has been a moment in the works since they first came up with the idea while making their pitch for a game in early 2017 for the Tranzfuser games development programme and competition.
Tranzfuser is a government backed programme, using funds from the UK Games Fund. It is designed to help university-level games development students from across the UK learn and appreciate how a game studio functions by teaming up with certain universities to allow teams to pitch ideas and create their games. One or two teams are picked from each university following a successful pitch, they are given initial funding and expert mentoring which is used throughout the Summer period ready for a final pitch/prototype to show off at EGX every year. The rules have changed in regards to funding throughout the Tranzfuser project’s lifetime, but the basic formulae has remained the same. Come up with a good idea, get initial funding, work on your game all Summer and show it off for the chance to be one or two teams from a selection of competing universities who may take the final funding amount which has been £25,000 in previous years.
University of South Wales has done very well in the public eye in this regard with Mochi Mode being awarded the people’s choice award at EGX 2017 and winning Tranzfuser overall, which gave them a major boost in income in order to be able to create the final product. USW team Dodgebrawl also received the people’s choice during EGX 2018 but were unfortunately unsuccessful in securing the grant money. This all shows what sort of pedigree we are witnessing in the gaming industry in Wales, while still in its infancy. I cannot wait to see what these developers will show us in years to come!
Moo Moo Move is a PC game available on Steam and Itch.io. While the media likes to persuade the public there is too much violence in video games, this is the perfect example of the exact opposite, as it is designed around herding cows. This is a puzzle strategy game that would be perfectly suitable for mobile gaming or on Nintendo Switch as you control a cowboy who you need to position behind cows to lead them into their pen, and this could be done well by using touch screen controls.
Each map is handcrafted individually, with different obstacles and puzzles to overcome, including environmental changes such as icy maps, or a big jealous bull which will chase you ’til supper time. I have played Moo Moo Move a few times, and have loved the visual effects and art in this game. It is a very relaxing experience which would be suitable for all ages. I am looking forward to checking out the final product to see how much has been changed or added, as I know they had a lot of plans for Moo Moo Move.
Having spoken to the team, (you can speak to them too on the Welsh Gaming Network Discord as they are members!) I know they have used their £25,000 funding wisely. It is given to the winners to help them learn how to budget while making a video game and to balance their lives during the process. Mochi Mode have been able to use the funding for various means including using it to fund office space which is incredibly difficult for a young indie student team in Cardiff as rent prices are so high. I think this proves there really needs to be more free modern open rental space for young entrepreneurs like this in the city as those costs could have been spent elsewhere.
Mochi Mode have joined a partnership with Games Talent Wales, who will help guide and mentor the team, and possibly provide some future funding so I look forward to seeing what they can achieve in the next few years.
If you want to pick up Moo Moo Move, check it out on Steam right now. It is currently £2.31 on offer which is cheaper than a cup of coffee, and will provide you with much more entertainment!