The Story Of Pandalee Gaming

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About founders:

PandaleeGaming was founded by a team of programmers, designers and artist who are dedicated to the idea of making games that are not only fun, but also educational. We wanted to make games that both children and adults could enjoy and play together. Games should be an interactive experience where people can learn as they play. We also strive to teach players that there is no winning or losing in life, just winning how you play the game. With this in mind, it was natural for us to choose Pandalee as our game’s name. Pandalee is a character and mascot for the creative talents of the team at Pandalee Gaming. We wanted to create a character that represented how we see games from a positive perspective. The theme and concept of our game takes the audience through the journey of life from early childhood through adulthood with a game that is fun, yet educational.

This is our story…

In 2003 while working at Infogrames, one of my co-workers introduced me to some new technology called 3D gaming. I immediately started experimenting with some games on my work computer and this was what sparked my motivation in making games. I learned how to make 3D games and even saw the first prototype of a game I made back in 2003 called “The Rise Of A Warrior”. This prototype was kind of like a character generation screen where you could put your characters name and customize its look.

In 2005 my inspiration was reignited when visiting with family in Italy. There, I decided to start making the game that I had been dreaming about since working at Infogrames – an RPG (role playing game) that teaches the player important life lessons. I wanted to create a world where you could visit all of your favorite places from childhood – your playground, home, school and so on.

How is Pandalee gaming doing?

Pandalee Gaming is only a year old (2010) but in that year we have already developed and published four games. They are “Pandalee”, “Pandalee:Classroom Chaos”, “Hit The Pavement” and just released the game “Doodle Stop” on 12/10/10. All these are family friendly games that have been positively received and at least one has won an award.

We recently launched a new website at pandaleegaming.com where you can find out more information on these games as well as get some updates on new products to come!

Why did you start making games?

I always liked to play games, but I never played many video games growing up in the 1980s. The games I did play were usually those that were either educational or had a purpose. One of my favorite games was called “The Life Tree” and was basically a video game version of the “Hero’s Journey” which is a very old story structure that dates back to Ancient Greece. My favorite movies are those that convey an important message – Star Wars comes to mind. One of my favorite movies is “The Last Starfighter”. It is about a kid who beats out everyone for being the best gamer in his arcade and somehow ends up fighting aliens. It was cool because it combined two of my passions into one movie.

I have been making games ever since I learned how to program. My inspiration for making games is to combine what I like to do with my passion for education and help players learn life skills.

Who are you?

My name is Alex and I’m the founder of Pandalee Gaming. I’m an avid gamer who grew up in Queens, New York in the 1980s playing Atari 2600, NES and later Sega Genesis. As a kid I wasn’t allowed to play video games much so spent a lot of time watching people play video games – especially at arcades. It was so fascinating how fast these gamers could react to on-screen events. This is when I learned about the term “Gamer” and how it meant someone who had near perfect game skills. I’ve been influenced by this idea ever since.

My other passion is education. I received a Bachelor’s Degree in IT and Computer Software Engineering from St. John’s University in Queens, NY. While I was there I ended up creating my own software development company developing games for schools and libraries.

From that experience with children’s games I understood how to teach kids how to use computers and computers how to teach kids and now making educational games for adults as well as children.

Why Pandalee?

I started working at Infogrames Inc (makers of The Sims) when we were doing a series of 3D games on the Atari Jaguar called “The Rise Of A Warrior”. One of the artists for the Rise Of A Warrior created a prototype character called “Pandalee”. I didn’t like the name so we made up another one. The artist agreed and came up with “Panda” which was thankfully different enough from Pandalee.

In 2005, I moved to Italy for a year. One day I decided to start making an RPG that teaches the player how to learn lessons of life (or rather games) – something that is not available on Microsoft Xbox, PlayStation or Nintendo Wii. This was when I first created Pandalee again as the character we all know today. Who is Pandalee?

Pandalee is the main character in our games. She is a cute little girl with a long red ponytail that loves to play games. In all our games, she appears as the mascot or the central character in all of the artwork. When she is not busy trying to save the world or learning life lessons, she likes to draw on her diary and make up stories of what life could be like.

There are many labels that could be given to describe me, but one thing’s for certain: I am an entrepreneur with passion. Whether it's building websites and social media campaigns for new businesses or traveling the world on business trips - being entrepreneurs means constantly looking at yourself in a different light so as not get bored of your own success!

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