Based in Boston, MA
Press / Business contact:
Popcannibal is a Boston based video game studio responsible for critically acclaimed games such as "Girls Like Robots" and "Elegy for a Dead World". Ziba Scott is the sole-proprietor. Collaborator Luigi Guatieri creates all of Popcannibal's art.
In 2009 I heard ad on the radio: Michigan State University was starting a "Serious Games" masters program. Come make and study games whose primary purpose is not to entertain, but to educate, persuade, experiment. My day job let me flex my schedule. The professors were inspiring, the work fascinating and edifying, and my classmates were the creative, passionate people I wanted to fill my life with.Moon Taxi
A big problem with educational games is the knowledge divide between game experts and subject matter experts. That's why there are so many educational games on very basic topics that let game developers also be the subject matter experts. My master's thesis, and what was supposed to be Popcannibal's first commercial title, was an experiment in welding together a game where the subject matter and game design experts needed minimal knowledge of each other's work. Moon Taxi released on the XBOX 360 in 2010. It's a funny mess, but lovable and qualified me as a "Master" of Serious Games.Fish Listening to Radio
Moon Taxi development took 6 months and I got antsy. Hungry to actually release a game, I stole a few weekends from Moon Taxi and cranked out Fish Listening to Radio. Hand drawn and scanned, it's a dinky 4 player, one screen derby. Seeing my first title on a game console was uniquely gratifying. Selling a few thousand copies and hearing from players: instantly addicting.Oops. I Quit My Job.
Masters in hand, fish on the radio, in 2010 my wife got a job in far off Boston. So I quit my job. In a surprise twist, my wife's job required one more year in Michigan. Unemployed and in limbo until we moved, I made a modest payment to the State and Popcannibal LLC became real.Girls Like Robots
Fast forwarding through a year of contract work, terrible game ideas and failed prototypes, Popcannibal arrives in Boston. Turns out Boston is full of clever, friendly people who meet up all the time. Countless new friends helped me wade through my ideas, tested my builds and inspired me to commit to making a game about seating arrangements: Girls Like Robots. Luigi joined as artist. Penny Arcade picked it up for their PAX East expo. Adult Swim published it. And after a rush like that, there was no way I'm going to go back to a normal day job.Elegy for a Dead World
A careful reader may have noticed Popcannibal hasn't been making "serious" games since Moon Taxi. Several reasons. Chief among them being they're extra difficult to make and sell. But our next project unwittingly stumbled in to the educational market. Dejobaan Games' chief, Ichiro, invited Popcannibal to collaborate on a one week project. A full year (and a successful Kickstarter) later, we had produced a game about writing. We received an IGF nomination and were invited to IndieCade. It was delightful to hear about teachers and students enjoying playing it in classrooms. More surprising is how much I enjoy hearing the occasional student complain about being forced to play. That's a unique indie game dev accomplishment.Make Sail
Luigi and I were staring at a fountain in Culver City, CA, on a lunch break from manning our Elegy booth at IndieCade. "For our next game", we said, "let's do something fast, simple. Less arty, more fun." Luigi grew up around the islands of Greece and New Zealand. I was raised on weekend sailing trips with my math professor Grandfather. "A boat construction game", the fountain whispered to us, "It won't take you more than 6 months". The fountain's idea was solid, but its time estimation criminal. Three years later and a successful crowdfunding campaign through FIG, we're nearing release. Make Sail is by far our most ambitious project. Followed closely by this exhaustive history write-up that I thank you for reading.
Make Sail YouTube
Elegy for a Dead World YouTube
Girls Like Robots YouTube
Fish Listening to Radio YouTube
Moon Taxi YouTube
There are far more images available for Popcannibal, but these are the ones we felt would be most useful to you. If you have specific requests, please do contact us!
Logo & Icon
Awards & Recognition
- "Nuovo Nomination" - IGF, 2015
- "Official Selection" - IndieCade, 2014
- "Official Selection" - IndieCade E3, 2014
- "Honorable Mention" - IGF, 2014
- "Official Selection" - Gamercamp Toronto, 2013
- "Finalist" - Unity Awards, Vancouver, 2013
- "Official Selection" - PAX East Indie Showcase, Boston, 2011
Girls Like Robots
Developed by Popcannibal. Published by Adult Swim (iOS) and Popcannibal. popcannibal.com.
Elegy for a Dead World
Co-developed by Popcannibal and Dejobaan dejobaan.com.
Team & Repeating Collaborator