He is a 2011 graduate of Case High School graduated this past spring from Becker College in Worcester, majoring in interactive media with a focus on game design. He and five other Becker College students have formed a company, Petricoregames, which has already been highlighted in trade journals and Apple.”The team came up with a name which means the smell after a rainstorm, that earthy smell,” Canuel said of the company name. “I spelled it wrong, but they liked it and we have gone with it.”He is now the chief executive officer and co-founder. Aaron Lin is the chief technical officer of the company formed two months before their graduation this past spring.”I went looking for the brightest people I knew in school,” Canuel said, “We have the class valedictorian as a designer (Oliver Awat) and the person who would have been valedictorian, (James Spavold) as an engineer. We also have the best artist, Christina Andriano, and two other programmers, James Spavold and Chris Bruno.”
Canuel’s interest in gaming came while playing games like Super Mario and Frogger. When he attended Case High School, he worked with classmate Adam Bamford to create a game for his CAPSTONE project as a senior.
“The game did not have a name, we just did it,” he recalled. “We used a RPG (role playing game) that was simple by other standards.”
At Becker College, his talent came out and he and a team finished second in one contest and then first in the next.
While still in school, he along with Awat and Spavold entered a contest in MassDiGi (Massachusetts Digital Game Institute) and were second in the MassDiGi Game Challenge with their game Carpe Diem. Two months before graduation, Canuel assembled the team that included four graduates and two who are still attending Becker.
Their first job outside of school was for a vascular surgeon from Brookline who sought an application for medical use.
They also had a request by a company, Attunity, which is involved in data. Canuel noted that the product would allow a virtual reality tour.
Meanwhile, they also are involved in games, one of which `Mind the Arrow’ received praise from Apple and Google.
“It had about 200,000 downloads when I looked,” Canuel said. “Apple named us one of the best of the July games and as a Top Puzzle Game.”
There was also a Chinese clone of the game.
“I was told that you know when you have made it when the Chinese make a clone,” he said. “It was poorly done, but had a lot of the stuff that we did. We had to place a cease and desist, but we were excited that they tried to clone our game.”
The team is working on a new game that they hoped to unveil at the Boston Festival for independent gamers at MIT this coming weekend. The Gelato Flicker is a game they hope to release in mid October.
Canuel looks forward to additional work and game creation for the team he is proud of.
“We have a team that is into this type of work,” Canuel said. “For instance, our co-founder (Lin) is 33 years old and had been a paralegal for years and hated it. He came from California to do this type of work. He is good at everything, music, programming, video editing.”Canuel can be reached on line at email@example.com.
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