To the Rescue game developer shares more about mission and design process

To the Rescue game screenshots. Photos courtesy of Little Rock Games.
To the Rescue game screenshots. Photos courtesy of Little Rock Games. /
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To the Rescue game screenshots. Photos courtesy of Little Rock Games.
To the Rescue game screenshots. Photos courtesy of Little Rock Games. /

To the Rescue game developer Olivia Dunlap talks about the inspiration for the game.

Dog O’Day – Looking through video game history, what are some of the games involving animals that stand out as important to you and the rest of the team? I was a big fan of Webkinz, and am really enjoying Animal Crossing right now.

Olivia Dunlap – Yeah, there’s been a lot. But sort of surprisingly, a lot of our inspiration for this game come from games that aren’t about animals, so things like Prison Architect, which is about sort of managing a prison – you’d be surprised at how similar that is to building a shelter from a top-down view.

I played so much Nintendogs growing up, I was solidly in the demographic for that game when it came out, so that was a big one for me. It was really great, as someone who didn’t have a dog at the time, to have a virtual dog to play with and take care of, so yeah, that definitely stuck with me a lot. And I also played lots of pet-adjacent games, like Pokemon and Tomigotchis and stuff like that.

So we definitely took a little bit of inspiration from that genre of pet care games, but it more of a simulation game first, so it’s a little more concerned with the overall shelter, even though you still get that one-on-one interaction with the dogs. It’s a game that overlaps a few different genres, for sure.

Which platforms will the game be available on?

As of right now, we’re only confirmed to be coming out on PC and Mac at launch, but definitely keep an eye on upcoming press releases for more information about that. Steam is our primary platform that we’re using.

[Editor’s note – To the Rescue will be coming to Nintendo Switch later this year as well.]

Do you have an exact release date yet?

It’s going to be coming out later this year, but at this time we’re not quite ready to announce a release date quite just yet.

And 20 percent of your proceeds will be going to animal rescue efforts, right? That’s a cool way to tie into the real world.

Yeah, the first thing we’re trying to do here is raise awareness, right? To put people in the shoes of someone working at a shelter and having to do these really hard things, to struggle with funding, all these kinds of things. And so it felt really appropriate to us to show them [players], “Hey, here’s what it’s like to like to run a shelter without funding,” and we’ll actually be doing something that makes an impact on that real-world problem, talking about real-world issues and grounding ourselves in our community and elsewhere is important to our company, and something that we really wanted to do from the start.

So 20 percent of our profits from the game are gonna go to animal rescue, we’re still talking with a lot of different potential charities right now, but we’re hoping it will go to one that will help fund shelters all over the country.

Have you all [at Little Rock Games] published any other games before?

Well, we’re a bit of a strange company in that we do both physical tabletop games as well as digital games. So this is actually our second game, our first published game is called Galactic Scoundrels, it’s a card-based storytelling game. That was our first game, and it’s already out, and we learned a lot from that game, but it’s a lot different than making a video game! It’s been an interesting journey for us.

We also do lots of small-scale contract work with local businesses and things like that, like we worked with the local hospital on some research projects, making simulations for them, we’ve also worked with a local museum in making interactive exhibits for them, so we do lots of interactive media for things that we enjoy or that we believe in.

So if somebody wanted to learn more about the game, or the company itself, what are some of the ways they could do that?

The best way to learn about and follow the game is just to go straight to our steam page, there you can wishlist it if you have a Steam account, we post updates to Steam and you’ll seem them as soon they come out. And it’s just a good platform that’s all in one place. You can also learn more about us at and To the Rescue at, all of our social media uses the same names. So between the Steam, Twitter, and our company Discord – it’s a chat-based platform where you can ask questions about the game, meet other fans – those are some of the main places we inhabit.

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Stay tuned for more information about the game’s release, and be sure to follow Dog O’Day on Facebook at Daily Dog and Instagram at @DogODayFS.