Massachusetts-based alternative game development studio Cecropia, which Gamasutra profiled exclusively
back in December 2004, has announced that it has added industry veteran Ronald Baum to the company's Advisory Board. The company is currently developing its first “filmgame,” The Act, created by former Disney Feature Film Animation Studio animators. A romantic comedy originally aimed at arcade audiences, using a unique 'knob' controller, The Act is a game built around social interaction that Cecropia hopes will draw in a large audience thanks to its simplicity, as well as its story, animation, and addictive gameplay. In The Act, players must control the visual personality cues in the animated characters in order to move to the next level of the game. Cecropia will showcase The Act at the Ottawa International Animation Festival, taking place from September 22 through September 24.Baum co-founded and is vice president of sales and marketing for Cashbox Games, a design and manufacturer of redemption and merchandising equipment for the coin operated marketplace. He is a 25-year veteran of the coin-op industry, having served as both a supplier and in executive sales positions for several coin-op manufacturers such as Williams Electronics, Midway Games, Team Play and Global VR. “Ron is an expert in seeking out, understanding, and meeting the needs of the customer in the interactive entertainment market,” commented Cecropia Founder Omar Khudari, “His expertise will be invaluable for our marketing efforts.”Cecropia itself was established in 2001 by Omar Khudari, co-founder of the game developer Papyrus Design Group (Grand Prix Legends). The Cecropia team is comprised of veterans of Walt Disney Feature Animation, Pixar, DreamWorks and Blue Sky and video gaming industry veterans from Papyrus Design Group, Sierra On-line, Hasbro Interactive and Atari. The company has not yet announced explicit launch plans for the title.