SeedBolt Studios LLC has released Howdy, Jacob!, a dystopian ‘find the hidden object’ game with full motion video (FMV) puppets. The game is available on the Steam and Itch platforms, and is SeedBolt’s first video game release.
Howdy, Jacob! is told from the perspective of Chandler, the showrunner for Laughsail!, a dystopian propaganda television show. For thirty years, the show’s puppets have dominated Sunday nights with their chaotic antics and moralistic, state-approved educational programs. But one character – a cabin boy named Jacob – is ‘killed off’ and recast every year because the actor reaches the mandatory age for military service. The game joins the crew one Saturday as they film a training program for “Jacob 42,” who will start the following week.
“We wanted to do something we’d want to play ourselves,” said Michael Middleton, Creative Director for SeedBolt Studios. “We like weird games, and we found that a find the hidden object game could be a very manageable first game for a studio like ours, since our core focus has been augmented reality.”
To ensure the best possible results within the game budget, SeedBolt hired professional puppeteer Stoph Scheer to lead the puppeteering squad, and NYC-based video production company Zipline Media (Zipline.media) for the greenscreen work. It also leaned heavily on the expertise of SeedBolt Technical Director Yori Kvitchko, who has worked in the past on video games, including a number of titles for The Cartoon Network.
“Obviously, you learn every lesson the hard way when you make a video game for the first time,” Middleton said. “But being able to lean on the core expertise of so many team members turned out to be critical to our getting this project done on time, and anywhere near budget.”
Howdy, Jacob! is intended to be the first property in an ongoing series of works exploring the Laughsail! Universe, but SeedBolt hopes it also interests firms seeking creative consulting and worldbuilding expertise. “We wanted to show people that we enjoy the challenge of making new worlds, and we’d love to use those skills to help them bring their own worlds to life.”
The game is available on the Steam platform store for $9.99.