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Moglo Applications Founders Ready To Launch New App

For The Heights

Published: Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01

This week, John Bacon and Matt Ricketson, both A&S '12, are preparing to release their newly designed smartphone app known as Aniphon. The app, short for "Animals on your Phone," is a game designed for smartphones, inspired by gaming systems.

Aniphon uses the GPS tracking system on smartphones to create a location-based multiplayer game. Bacon, a computer science major,  and his co-founder Ricketson, A&S '13, have spent the last six months designing and creating the mobile app.

 "Aniphon is a creature-capturing game that takes place in the real world," Bacon said. "The phone senses your real-life environment. The creatures you find in the game are based off your environment."

Aniphon is inspired by the Pokemon and Tamagotchi gaming systems.

Gamers begin with one aniphon creature. Like the game Pokemon, the creatures are trained and then used for battle. Gamers can also play with, nurture, and improve their aniphon creatures' fitness. These components were inspired by Tamagotchi, the popular hand-held digital pets. The object of Aniphon is to capture wild aniphons, tame them, and use them to fight against other creatures.

"We thought video-gaming and mobile-gaming are really fun, but no one has done anything really cool yet with mobile devices and gaming," Bacon said. "Most of the high quality games are on Game Boy or PSP. We wanted to take that kind of gaming experience and bring it over to the iPhone."

 Aniphon uses Google mapping systems to track gamers' positions, turning any location into a virtual playing field. The app senses a user's environment and creates aniphon creatures based on the user's location and weather.

"Say it was raining out," Bacon said, "there would be water creatures or storm creatures outside. If it's cold out, there's a chance you could find ice creatures. If you lived in a hot climate, you would find fire creatures. You might even find really rare forest creatures late at night … We really wanted people to be immersed in their real world when playing the game."

Bacon and Ricketson co-founded Moglo Applications, a company that designs location-based games, in the spring of 2010. Aniphon is their second app to be released. Their first was a location-based Risk application. The app transformed Boston College's campus into a Risk board game. They placed second in the BC Venture Competition (BCVC) for their app.

After Bacon and Ricketson, along with other BC students working for Moglo, didn't win BCVC, the entrepreneurs decided to change their strategy. This past summer, Bacon and Ricketson declined internships and jobs and instead chose to work full time designing and creating a "creature capture-based system" for smartphones.

As an avid gamer, Bacon believes Aniphon will be successful because the app is based on the games that consumers identify with: Pokemon, Mario Kart, and Digimon.

"We want to make the type of games that we would want to play," Bacon said.

Aniphon is set to be released on the iTunes App Store in the next two weeks. Moglo plans to submit their new app today. If all goes well, Aniphon will be online, for free download, by this Friday.

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