Mobile game inspired by museum exhibit, with added chickens

Cutting Inventions has just released its new app for iOS, Android and on the web. Chicken Feed! is a charming puzzle game where you must construct a series of machines to feed a brood of chicks with grain.

Although Chicken Feed! uses the latest technology to run cross platform, its roots lie in a mechanical exhibit at London’s Science Museum. The “Big Machine” interactive exhibit has been in the museum since 1986. It’s a collection of pulleys, levers, Archimedes screws, wheels which you can use to move millions of tiny rice like pellets. Originally, the exhibit used grain and was called the “Grain pit”, however the grain attracted mice and was soon replaced with plastic pellets.

Joe Cutting, Chicken Feed!’s producer, takes up the story. “At the time I was working for the museum as an interactive engineer. In 2001 we’d just opened a new wing, with around 150 cutting edge exhibits, including fingerprint scanning, cryogenically frozen sunflowers and a (non functional) euthanasia machine. I’d spent the last 6 months crawling under exhibit housings to keep everything running, but now we’d got things pretty much stable. The museum asked me to make an online version of the grain pit. We came up with “the grain game”, a physics based puzzle game. When we released it, it was immediately popular – at that time 30% of the museum’s web visitors came just to play the game. It still pops up on Japanese gaming sites”

Fast forward to 2012 and the “grain game” became the starting place for Chicken Feed! The first step was to completely update the physics using the same Box2D physics engine as Angry Birds. As the game is about grain it seemed natural to go with a chicken theme. You feed the grain to the chicks and the more they eat the larger they grow.  James Bates drew some lovely farmyard graphics and Vince Webb came up with a great bluegrass soundtrack for that country atmosphere. Once this was all in place we designed 50 brain stretching levels and polished it all to perfection to create Maximum Chicken!

Chicken Feed! will be available on the App Store, Google Play and Kongregate from October 23rd 2012.

Cutting Inventions is based in the medieval city of York, UK. The company was founded by Joe Cutting after he left the Science Museum.