About Friskies® Games for Cats

If you have a cat (or have seen one on YouTube), you may have noticed that they'll play with anything. Bottle caps. Moths. Shadows. Paper sacks. Ice cubes. Dust. Autocratic regimes.

So there was an iPad® lying around the office. And nobody in the tech world (at that point) had quite figured out the killer app for one of those. (Oh, c'mon. Lighten up.)

Then, we thought, why not show stuff cats like... fish... insects... kibble... on an iPad®... just to see how our cats would react?

Our cats, being cats, were curious.

Then we experimented with different graphics and figured out that sounds could be distracting.

So that's how we got here.

Now, if you're a semi-serious techno-person, you probably need to know that the iPad® Games for Cats from Friskies® are created with HTML5/CSS3, an advanced programming technique... that's just awesome and stuff. (Take that, Objective-C® based iPad® apps!)

Deeper, Geekier: Forsake Hope All Ye Who Enter Here...

As we just got through saying, Friskies® You vs. Cat, Party Mix-Up, Tasty Treasures Hunt, and Cat Fishing are developed for the iPad® using HTML5.

Most arcade style games developed with HTML5 use the 'canvas' element, and traditional JavaScript animation techniques to draw to the canvas; but when viewed on iPad® Safari® these methods are slow and jerky. The solution is to use CSS3.

Are you sure you really want to know all this?

The iOS™ Safari® Browser uses hardware acceleration for specific CSS3 webkit animations, and this is the best way to get smooth animation on iPad® Safari. The challenge is that these CSS3 animation techniques are not particularly well suited for game development, as they are asynchronous in nature, instead of frame-based.

CSS3 webkit animations work more like Flash™'s motion tweens; which means you need to know the starting and ending point of an animation before it even begins. By dynamically overlapping, canceling, and recreating CSS3 transitions, we were able to create smooth animations that respond to user input and change with the game state.

"Oh, my precious iPad® screen! You horrible people!"

Relax. Apple knows what they're doing. Based on our direct, cat-gamer experience, the bare, glass screen on the iPad® stands up to cat's claws with no problems. Plastic film covers? Not so much.

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