Exclusive look at Cute-Fight!

by Lisa on September 24, 2012


I hesitate to write this post, as I am about to introduce you to a new addiction. Move over Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. You are about to spend endless chunks of time absorbed in crafting your pet’s profile, checking out other ‘cute-fighters’, voting on battles and challenging someone’s lovely little friend to a CUTE-FIGHT!

Cute-Fight, currently in alpha release, is an online game you play with your real life pets. “Alpha release” means if you head over to their site you can’t start using it immediately, but signup with your email and they will get you an invite as soon as they can.

So what is the site all about and why is it called Cute-Fight? The fundamentals of the site are that people upload cute photos of their dog, cat, rabbit, or animal of choice to create a profile for their pet. Now you are their manager and they are your fighter. You can then challenge someone else’s pet to a Cute-Fight. If the fight is accepted it goes to the community for voting. The winner gets a virtual trophy and cute-bragging rights, but this is definitely not all about winning. It is about seeing lovely pictures of other peoples pets and — according to the makers — it is not a ‘hot-or-not’ game. Unlike other sites, everything about Cute-Fight is opt-in and the Cute-Fight team make it clear that users should come with a sense of humour and have some fun. If it is not fun then don’t play 🙂

Some of the Cute-Fighters already registeredSome of the Cute-Fighters already registered

The things I like most about Cute-Fight are, firstly, that any pet can enter. It doesn’t matter if you have a cat, lizard, goldfish, dog or pigeon – everyone can join in on the fun! Secondly, I like that it is a great place to show off your pet (and all those photos you take of them everyday) without your friends or workmates rolling their eyes. You can share and stare at cute pictures until your heart’s content.

Cress's ProfileCresswell’s Profile, he is currently in a fight with Mason

The team behind Cute-Fight love the web and love their pets so their pairing of the two was only natural. But instead of me telling you all the details I was lucky enough to talk to Derek Powazek, Cute-Fight CEO about his latest creation.

What was your inspiration behind creating Cute-Fight?

I could talk about game mechanics and market timing and all kinds of really professional sounding things, but the simple answer is, I’m pet crazy. I always have been. I’m the guy who stops and talks to every dog I walk by. I can’t help it. Fortunately, in San Francisco, this is considered normal.

I love dogs because they don’t know how to lie. They can’t help but show exactly how they feel about everything, and I’m pretty much the same way.

When Heather and I were dating, I never had that “meeting the parents” experience, because, sadly, she lost both her parents long before we met. So, instead, I had to meet her dogs. And let me tell you, meeting the dogs is scarier, because they won’t pretend to like you.

Fortunately, Tigger, the little apple-head Chihuahua, gave me a sniff, decided I was okay, curled up in my lap, and went to sleep. Heather and I are now married.

Stadium fightCress fighting Mason in the Dogtown Stadium

Do you think you will have higher engagement from Cute-Fight users because the application involves their own pets?

Most social media right now is essentially people talking about themselves. And there will always be plenty of that. But what do we do for people who are tired of talking about themselves? What do we do in real life? We talk about our pets.

Do you have plans to grow and add new features to Cute-Fight?

Oh absolutely. What you see on the alpha site today is the tip of the iceberg. We narrowed down the site to its minimum viable product, and then lopped a few more things out. It was brutal. The alpha was designed to test the most important question: Will people do this? So far the answer is: Yes. With gusto.

Does everyone on the Cute-Fight team have a pet and do you bring them to work?

Yes! I’ve got Bug and Chieka, both mighty little pups. Devin has Uncle Bob and Haggis, also two small dogs. James has Salome and Isabel (big dogs) and Stan (cat). Our illustrator, Chris, recently sent Stringer to the Great Fish Tank in the Sky (Update: Chris is now the proud owner of a new fish, Stringer II!). We’re a virtual organization, spread out around the world, so there’s no office where all these pets can fight in person, so it’s good we can do it online.

Tell us about your dog Bug?

Bug, aka Bugsley Dante Pee-Pants Champ Powazek, is part Red Heeler and part Chihuahua. We got him from the San Francisco SPCA. He’d been picked up in Fresno, California, where there are lots of farms. We think that someone got him thinking he’d be a fullsize working dog and bobbed his tail. When he never got any bigger than 9 pounds, they put him out. Their loss. Bug is the cuddliest, most lovable little dog ever. His signature move is The Whammy: he sits down and looks deeply into your soul until your heart melts.

Derek's dogs BugBug, aka Bugsley Dante Pee-Pants Champ Powazek

Thanks for giving us an insider’s look at Cute-Fight Derek! As I mentioned above Cute-Fight is currently in Alpha release so head along to the site, signup and I am sure an invitation will land in your inbox before you can decide which pictures of your pet will win your first bout!

If you would like to read more about the creation of Cute-Fight head over to Derek’s Blog.

  • Maxine Sherrin

    Go Cressy!!! You will always be my little Cute Fighter 🙂

  • Des Adams

    Cressy don’t let me down you have the skills to match it with the best of them. I’m expecting a stellar performance! You can have fun as well, something you are really used to.

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Hi! I'm Kerry & this is my best buddy Keiko. Together we want to help you live the best life with your dog and bring you inspiring 'Puppy Tales'! Read more →

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