Cat tractor: It's raining cats and dogs
April 18, 2012 in Entertainment
[prMac.com] Rome, Italy - Two years ago, we was amazed to see, to some friends that had cats, how they used to play with those. Using cheap red laser pointer, those commonly used in classrooms, that projected out a red spot on the wall, was really incredible to see how that small pets going crazy trying to catch it. So, we figured out what was the reason and if it could be reproduced via software. Of course was clear that the pets was focusing in a bright red spot, they imagine is a small insect or something like that, and try to catch it.
So the concept was quite easy, but after some time we find out that was not so easy as seems. We developed the first version of Cat Tractor, for an Android device. Cat Tractor, there was a red spot moving on the screen, using some random formula, hiding and showing, rotating and running. We didnt had any pets home, so didnt had chance to test it. Well, after released, the first version of Cat Tractor was a insuccess. Plenty of users reported that pets didnt look ad the spot on the screen, and also, that they looked quite bored and quickly left the phone, to do something else. Epic fail. Something was wrong.
Time passed, and devices evolved. We ported a new version of Cat Tractor to new Android devices, we refined graphics, and improved the random formula, we just playing around the "randomity" a little more, to see if could get some remarkable results. So the spot was changing direction and being more dynamic. No results, reports from new Android users was very similar to those in the past. Cat tractor was not attracting cats or dogs at all. We started to realize why Cat Tractor didn't get much attention by pets, simply because we programmed it using as reference my sight, instead of trying to figure out, how a pet could really see the game on a phone screen. Sure cats can find that slow frame rate very boring, it is not like a spot moving, but like several pictures alternating to their eyes...very boring...and dogs, some of them could even not see that small spot and small light intensity.
We retired the app, after some time, casually seen on tv a documentary about animals, and it was talking about the abilities of the sight of the animals, in particular it was referred to different peculiarity of the sight of different species of animals, for example, it was telling that birds are provided by nature by a sort of zoom, that reptiles have both termograph and ability to see faster frame rates, other animals have chance to see a much wider color spectrum than humans, and also, some peculiarity of the sight of cats, that are able to see in darkness and more faster frame rates, and dogs, that most of them suffer by aberration of focus in the view.
So, we made so many improvements, increased the frame rate, to make it more enjoyable to cats, and increased the size of the spot to make it more visible to dogs. And the first results start to come out... 50% users reported that their pets start to look with curiosity to the spot, and some of them even play with it a little. So, when we realized that a user customization for speed, size, and randomity was the ideal choice to let the users to personalize the game for their pets. Upon the release of version 6, a success! Many users reported that their pets start to have fun and enjoy playing with Cat Tractor."
CONTEST begin first MAY-2012 TO end 30th JUNE-2012: CAT TRACTOR VIDEO CONTEST.
The best videos posted in youtube, with a pet playing with Cat Tractor, will win a great prize:
* An original rare hand-made and hand-painted Cat in Murano glass, realized in the provence of Sorrento, near Amalfi Coast. will be sent from Italy to the winner of the contest.
* Plus, the video will be mentioned and added inside the Application of Cat Tractor, with credits to the author.
* A special T-Shirt of Cat Tractor, sent to the author of the video, from Italy.
* 3rd place:
* 10 Promo codes to download all Tecworks best software for free.
* The winner will be reported on end end of June.
* iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
* Requires iOS 4.0 or later
* 3.1 MB
Pricing and Availability:
Cat tractor 6.1 is Free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Entertainment category.
Tecworks Soft, located in Italy, moved into Software and Gaming development into year 2003, tributes into the freeware and open source for Windows, Android and Apple platform. Copyright (C) 2012 Tecworks Soft. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.