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CONTACT: Charlie Bier
charlie@louisiana.edu
Nov. 28, 2012
(337) 482-6397
Computer Course Spurs UL Lafayette Students to Launch Company

Two University of Louisiana at Lafayette computer science students are using knowledge gleaned in the classroom in a new business venture.

Charak Almast, 20, of India, and Mani Gyawali, 20, of Nepal, both juniors majoring in computer science, launched Motion Punch Studios in September. Almast, Motion Punch Studios president, oversees many aspects of the operation from Lafayette, although the company is based in India.

A smart phone app developed by Motion Punch Studios called “Angry Baby” marks the company’s first foray into the iPhone and Android gaming market. Almast and Gyawali credit their Computer Science 359 class as giving them much of the knowledge and inspiration to launch Motion Punch Studios.

“Angry Baby” revolves around a strong-willed toddler who dreams aliens have stolen his toys. The toddler, named Tobu, heads into outer space to reclaim them.

If the premise sounds straightforward, it is. Easy-to-play games with good graphics are key in scoring downloads for a “casual game” like “Angry Baby,” Almast said. “The simpler the game, the better. It can’t be too tough if you want it to get played.”

“Angry Baby” also features music and other sounds to go along with the game’s action. “If the artwork and sound are really appealing, that goes a long way toward making something marketable,” said Dr. Jim Etheredge, UL Lafayette’s computer science program coordinator, who assists Instructor Frank Ducrest in teaching the Computer Science 359 class.

Ducrest commends Almast and Gyawali for their initiative and willingness to tackle the workload necessary to get their venture up and running. “It’s one of those things I wish more students would do,” Ducrest said.

It took Almast and Gyawali about three months to develop “Angry Baby,” which has 20 levels. “We got like four hours of sleep a night,” Gyawali said. Success came much quicker. The free game logged 5,000 downloads in eight days among iPhone users, and 500 Android users in the first month, according to the pair. “We thought it would be 100 to 200 (downloads),” Gyawali said.

"Angry Baby" is designed to appeal to all ages. Almast said the game is entertaining, and does not depict violence or destruction as Tobu tries to get his toys back.

Buoyed by the popularity of “Angry Baby,” the budding entrepreneurs plan to start charging 99 cents per download in December. Also on the horizon are several more apps near completion or being developed.

Motion Punch’s “Candy Catch” game, for instance, centers on another simple idea – tossing candy into a box. Just like with “Angry Baby,” “Candy Catch” features high-quality, user-friendly graphics and music.

For their part, Almast and Gyawali both say that as their education and subsequent knowledge base continue to evolve, so will Motion Punch Studios.

“Next is 3-D games,” Gyawali said. “We’re definitely going to stick with this.” For more information about “Angry Baby” visit motionpunch.com.

 

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Document last revised Wednesday, November 28, 2012 12:45 PM

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