Photo: @HockeyShootout

Photo: @HockeyShootout

Many of us can’t get enough hockey. But, when ice time runs out, where do we skate? In a world filled with technology, gaming systems and phone apps, playing hockey virtually is a fun alternative. Many games currently on the market are developer based and feature input from players themselves. In video games, emphasis is on the players; as more often than not goaltenders are an afterthought on the virtual ice.

Ice Hockey Shootout, is the creation of Nolan Schaefer, a professional goaltender with a long tenure across the leagues. An art major during his time at Providence College has given Schaefer a creative outlook, while his experience as a professional goaltender adds to the accuracy of the game. Schaefer has had a glove and blocker in the overall design since the games inception.
Ice Hockey Shootout will be coming to an app store near you on May 15th. Schaefer took the time to talk about his season in the Swiss National League and what it takes to bring the game we all love off the ice and onto your device of choice.
The Pink Puck: You’re currently playing for HC Ambri-Piotta in the Swiss National League, how is the season going? 
Nolan Schaefer: It’s going great!  We have had a couple of tough seasons results wise; but I’m personally playing very well. I have received my Swiss passport, and am looking forward to a lengthy career here in this beautiful country.
The Pink Puck: You’ve played within a few fantastic organizations (AHL, NHL), what has been the most enjoyable part of playing in Europe?
Nolan Schaefer: I think playing in Switzerland has been a highlight.  Just the food, the country, and the culture is amazing. Really clean and just amazing how such a small place can thrive!
The Pink Puck: Game development is a time consuming process. What was the driving force in deciding to create the game?  
Nolan Schaefer: I love hockey and I always wanted to do something creative.  I was an art major in college and I guess it’s that side of me coming out. Like I said, I just love the game. It will be so great to see people enjoying my game, from my imagination. It’s a great feeling to actually finish this and be proud of it!
 
Photo: @Hockeyshootout

Photo: @Hockeyshootout

The Pink Puck: How much input have you had in the process? Have any past or present teammates put in their two cents during the games creation?

Nolan Schaefer: I’m a character in the game and I’ve basically designed all the artwork myself.  There are aspects of the game that were created by the developer. But mostly when concerning application of the artwork into animation; I came up with almost all of it. I’ve spent many hours editing images, designing new ones, taking photos, and just trying to make my ideas come to life.
All my new teammates are excited. Everyone is adding their thoughts on what would be good in the game, and that’s great! That’s exactly what I like to hear. This is the first version and we can always add ideas in or change a few things. It really shows the interest people have for hockey and my APP.
 
The Pink Puck: Can you give a little synopsis on what fans can expect from the game? 
Nolan Schaefer: Fans should expect an easy to play, yet fast paced and fun hockey game.  It’s similar to target practice or the accuracy shooting you would see in an All Star competition, but with a goalie to contend against.
I have created the coolest goalie upgrades and will update the game with many more. The best part is that people can play live against their friends. Meaning you can score on your friend or make the save against him/her. LIVE!!!
The Pink Puck: What’s your favorite aspect of the game? 
Nolan Schaefer: I like the gear! One of my favorite parts of being a goalie is picking my equipment colors and designs. The ones in the game have a real reflection of where I’ve been in my career.
The Pink Puck: Often hockey games are centered more around forward and defensive players; you’re a goalie. Is the game targeted more towards goaltenders or all positions?
Nolan Schaefer: Well, its more of a target shooting game. I find full ice games or role games for hockey on iPhone to be boring, or too difficult to control. This one, you can be either the goalie saving the shot or the shooter scoring on the goalie. So I think it will appeal to everyone!
The Pink Puck: What’s the expected release date and how can fans get it? 
Nolan Schaefer:  I hope to release the game in the next couple weeks. Fans can get it in their app store as it’s a universal application for most devices.
The Pink Puck: Recently, there has been a rise in hockey apps and games, what sets ‘Ice Hockey Shootout’ apart from others on the market?
Nolan Schaefer: I’ve been a professional hockey goalie for 10 years now. I think I know hockey, and I think I know what fans will like to play. There is no game out there like this one. Each goalie movement was designed by me, frame by frame. There are no games with these awesome upgrades.
You can play in a contest Live against your friends! It will also feature some sick music in the game from some new up and coming artists. Keith Caro/ Michael Benedetto and Miss M/Adam Jack. I think that really sets the game apart, and its truly a game for fans of all ages – most of all, it’s got the attitude that should come with any hockey game!
Winter was hooked on hockey by age 6, when she first witnessed a bench clearing brawl between the Boston Bruins and the Ottawa Senators. Growing from hockey fan to hockey player, Winter followed her passions by founding The Pink Puck. While she also loves fashion and the outdoors, hockey will always be her center ice. Email: winter@thepinkpuck.com Twitter: @Winter_Adams

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