Raccoopod Episode 1: George Padua Interview

The Raccoopod Episode 1: George Padua Interview

The Raccoopod Podcast

Join us on our inaugural podcast episode.  We’ll be interviewing George Padua about the origins of Raccoopack Media, and why they wanted to do gamification.  



Hello, and welcome to the Raccoopod Podcast.

The goal of this podcast is to give you insights into gamification, what it is, and why you should consider it for your applications. I’m your host, Zach Bearinger. And today we have an interview with George Padua, President of Raccoopack media, we are gonna talk about the formation of Raccoopack media, and how they seek to bring more gamification to the world. So let’s go to the interview.


George, how are you doing today?


Good, how are you? 


Good, good. So let’s start off by talking a little bit about Raccoopack Media. So what is Raccoopack Media and what do they do?


So Raccoopack Media, we develop web apps and mobile apps that use gamification or are serious games. And we use gamification to take people through a journey from point A to point B, in more functional applications; used potentially for events. And we use serious games as a way to educate and train in a more engaging way. Because we know that when you’re having fun, you’re able to retain more information.


Absolutely. So let’s dive in a little bit into who you are. And what do you do at Raccopack?


 Sure. So hello, again, I’m George and I am the president or our fun title pack leader of Raccoopack Media. And what I do I do a lot of the conversations that we have with clients, figuring out the initial ideas that would potentially be the end product for them, and as well as the operational parts and direction for Raccoopack media.


So why did you start Raccoopack media? Why do you want to make an app development studio?


So Raccoopack Media’s mission is to be able to create a positive impact in the world. And what we know best, developing mobile games, mobile applications, using game principles. Before Raccoopack Media, we were actually a game development studio called Raccoopack Studios, where we developed our own mobile games such as bubble bath, cooked the beat, and plushy defense. , And from there creating our own games, so we were not doing games for other people, for the people that are making positive change in the world.


Okay, you seem to really like the name Raccoopack. Where does that come from? Like, how did that name genesis for you guys? 


So Raccoopack as a name it started off or the reason that we started with Raccoopack as a name is a value that we wanted to have for the studio, which is family. And as we know, around here in the neighborhood, you see a lot of records, and they always move around in packs of these families. And we want them to have that as part of the core and have that in the name itself for Raccoopack.

That’s kind of the reason that we decided to use that name for the organization. But before that, it does have a little bit of history from one of the colleagues that the one of the founders in Raccoopack studios and I had in post secondary. He made a joke that since we were working on our projects, late that night, we would have these dark circles in our eyes. Like we were a bunch of raccoons. And that joke stuck with our, with our teams and eventually Raccoopack in some form, or was used in the different teams that came out of our post secondary class. 


So it all started as a joke about pulling all nighters. 


Yes, yes. 


That’s awesome.

So what do you think makes RPM special and different from other app development studios out there?


So right off the bat, we do have gamification that makes us a little bit different from other app development studios. Because as much as we have the skills like the rest of the app development studios out there to develop applications. We go above that by creating or adding gamification principles to motivate people in the use of the application, taking them from point A to point B in the application, getting them involved inside it and enjoying using the application. And also, we are able to create serious games that can be used for things like workshops, and/or training material, elearning material to engage our learners in a much more fun way. 


I See, I see.

So let’s start talking a little bit more about George person, George, the man, not George the, although you’ve used the term pack leader a couple times so far, can you describe what that means? I think some people might be a little lost. It’s not a normal job title.


So as I mentioned, pack leader is a fun title.

As game developers, we like to have fun, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously.

And at the beginning of the organization, I, the names presidency, CEO really didn’t quite stick to me. But we needed to have an official title for when we’re doing business registrations, but I wanted to have that kind of, it’s not all just business, part of it for the title. So I decided to call myself pack leader rather than the more official title, and give it a little bit of fun, and people seem to enjoy this well. When we’re talking to clients, it puts a smile on people’s faces.


So I know that you mentioned that you’ve started in programming, but you seem to be really drawn to game design. What is it that’s driven you towards, you know, making your own games initially, and then making these gamification applications? What’s been drawing you to that?


So what’s what draws me into game design and user experience? In general, it’s actually very similar to what drew me into programming initially. What drew me into programming was kind of the experience the worlds that you can create that programming allowed because as sometimes in  C programming, it’s basically make believe in programming. You define certain variables, certain numbers, and say that this does that. And if you add this would that now it will do this and this means this now, and it’s just a lot of series of make believe. Now on another level of that is the user experience in game design, where, instead of just the functionality that you’re creating (the make believe) it’s also creating the experience itself, and how a person gets involved in the interaction, how they dive into it. And that’s really interesting, and being able to kind of understand better what makes people enjoy certain things, or how different different types of people with different psychographics or different interests, they might have, experience or want to experience things in a different way, which is pretty cool.


I really love your definition of programming, there is just a series of make believe, probably wouldn’t enjoy a lot more if I looked at it like that more often than usually, for me when I’m coding. It’s more so I needed to do this, but it wants to fight me so I’ll have to force it in some way. It’s never by doing all these make believe things, then it works perfectly. For me. It’s a lot more of all these gears are grinding, I’ve got to get it flowing.

That’s why I’m now in game design focusing on mechanics and engaging people. 


Yes. On the higher level. 


Yeah. So what do you enjoy working most about Raccoopack Media?


What I enjoyed most about Raccoopack Media is the culture that we’ve kind of cultivated over the years where our teams are more like a family. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We like to have fun, make jokes, when we’re working on our projects, or even just interacting with each other. And that, that having fun in the organization, having fun with each other, ends up translating into being able to have these Creative Conversations, being free to be able to talk your ideas out or go through criticism in a much friendlier positive way, and create these applications that we do where the fun element, not just in our organization becomes outside of our organization, through the applications for our clients and from our clients, to their customers, and other users that they have for the projects we do with them.


So it seems like you’re really happy with the family aspect that you initially set out to have with Raccoopack Media from the get go. It sounds like it’s, it’s there and going strong. 




Yeah. Well, lastly, how can people get in touch with you slash Raccoopack Media?


You can get in touch with us in Raccoopack Media, probably the best way is going through our website. And that’s . And Raccoopack is R, A, C, C, O, O, P, A, C, K dot media. And that’s where we’ll have information about the organization, different people that we’ve worked with, as well as the ways that you can contact us through a form, through email or booking a call with our team. We can also find their blog posts that we all have, from time to time, that kind of show you different principles about gamification, or case studies that we’ve finished certain projects with our clients. Other than their website, you can follow us if you just want to learn more about gamification, or about the different things that we post on social media, we have Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. And you can follow us there as well to keep informed.


Awesome. Well, it’s been awesome having you on the podcast today.

I’m excited to

Yeah, for many of the projects that you get to work on in the future.


Yeah, thank you for hosting Zach! 


Of course.

And I hope everyone listening has a great day.

Thanks for listening. If you’re interested in learning more about our app development services, or how gamification can help your organization, please feel free to book an exploratory call today. And meet the pack at Raccoopackmedia. Also, share this podcast with your friends and follow us on social media at Raccoopack Media. Have a great one

Have an idea you want to see come to life?

Case study

Teaching bracelet weaving on a tablet app

Case Study

SpiceBox | i-loom Companion App

Education | Tablet | iOS and Android

Weaving intricate bracelets can be complex – Let’s reduce the learning curve with guided tutorials on an interactive tablet app.

We worked with Spicebox Product Development to bring an outdated app up to speed with modern tablet devices, resolving hundreds of bugs and issues in the process.


The i-loom app provides guided tutorials on weaving bracelets on tablets, and is complimentary with the purchase of the physical loom. In the past, this app was praised with a highly positive reception. However, as years passed, user ratings declined due to issues with bugs and incompatibility with newer devices.

Spicebox recently acquired this product, and wanted to improve the app’s user experience prior to a product relaunch. As Raccoopack Media is experienced with app development for education and training, Spicebox reached out to us to revitalize i-loom app.


The goal of the project is to update and optimize the i-loom app for iOS and Android devices, including a relaunch to the App Store and Play Store. After we mapped out the problem space, the next step was to identify and prioritize the issues that were essential for a successful launch.

From our analysis, we created a list of the most important issues to address:

  • Migrating the project from Unity 5 to Unity 2018
  • Updating Unity asset packs to resolve compatibility issues
  • Repairing a freezing iOS tutorial
  • Updating the Android QR code scanner 
  • Fixing launch critical bugs


Collaborative Problem-Solving

At the beginning of the project, an obstacle our team had encountered was a lack of access to a working version of the app. This resulted in guesswork on how some features had performed, which involved many uncertainties.

Fortunately, our agile processes enabled us to address this challenge by using frequent client communication. By brainstorming with Spicebox, we quickly discovered that the previous developer had some past footage of the app. We coordinated with Spicebox to secure the necessary information throughout the project, which paved the path for our team to recreate and repair the app’s most important features.

Profile: Before vs After Rework

Colour Palette: Before vs After Rework


From our consistent efforts, we were able to successfully bring the i-loom app into modern times. The app, once plagued with bugs and compatibility issues, is now able to run smoothly on iOS and Android tablet devices:

  • Launch-ready state for App Store and Play Store
  • Upgraded app project to Unity 2018
  • 1000+ broken references resolved
  • 100+ missing scripts repaired

As we are continuing to work with SpiceBox post-launch to develop more exciting features to the i-loom app, stay tuned for more updates on this case study! 

Have an idea you want to see come to life?