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Kiwi pair’s platform makes the gaming connection

Among the tens of thousands crowding into the E3 interactive entertainment and gaming show from 10 to 12 June are two Kiwis on a mission to promote their platform designed to connect gamers of all stripes.

Jordan Lilley, who graduated from university two years ago, met Amy Potter while working at Mitsubish Electric and discovered a common interest in gaming. They also wanted to find an answer to the problem of gaming among people they didn’t know. “When you think about console gaming, you get matched with strangers,” says Lilley.

“You go into a multi-player game and it’s people you don’t know, unless you know them in real life. “We wanted to make people you’re playing with not strangers so you can make contact with them.”

Potter found another level of difficulty from having different user names for different publishing platforms and no idea if a user of one platform was also a gamer on another platform.

The pair has created Leaping Tiger, where one player ID is used across platforms. Gamers can find their friends by game, location or platform, create and manage online communities to inform members of news and developments, and upload video of their gaming exploits.

Although Leaping Tiger won’t be a streaming platform, Lilley says watching gaming video is a growing trend on sites like Twitch.tv, which also offers chat and recorded broadcasts.

The two also want to offer Leaping Tiger as an option for existing gaming communities and their managers to switch platforms.

“Within a group you have clubs or clans,” says Potter. “Community managers use websites or hold Facebook communities to keep in contact with their groups, but if they can do that with a platform custom built for that it’s great value for that group.”

Says Lilley: “Those communities already exist and peeople are finding ways to manage those communities online, so we’re trying to build a platform so community managers that already have platforms can shift to our website.”

The duo hopes to launch in beta in August. 

Amanda Sachtleben is an Auckland writer and social media type, who's also Idealog's former tech editor and business journalist.

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