Sunday, November 8, 2009

iPhone App Game Development Blog #14

iPhone App Game Development Blog #14

What is going on ladies and gentlemen. Things are quiet here on the Headcase Games front. Ben and I have been busy with external matters, so development on our latest title "180" has been slowing a bit. That being said, the game is in great shape and is remarkably playable. 2 months and and I am still completely captivated by the gameplay and pace. It is so pleasing to have a game in development which is such a pleasure to play! Things are level right now - I am working hard to push the polish/presentation which will help us to get a leg up with our product. It's a heavy part of the production, but certainly worth the effort. our website for the game is still quite sparse, though I plan to start peppering it with some assets in a week's time or so.

Otherwise, not much else to report. Been helping out with a startup and that is taking up a good bit of time - it's a lot of work! I'll be heading there tomorrow to develop some game pitches, which is always an interesting thing to deal with. I am eager to settle back in over here and work on 180 assets though, just getting into my rhythm with them and it's definitely something I want to put proper enthusiasm into.

Meanwhile, colder days prevail here in Los Angeles. It's nice - I like this time of the year when it is cooling off, I can put on some jeans and a long-sleeved shirt and go for a brisk walk up the street. My buddy MVG and I decided to take a hike in Runyan Canyon up the street this evening, we try to hit that once a week or so. Not terribly exhausting, but it does remind one how out-of-shape that game development can get ya! As I get older, I am trying to keep up a half-decent exercise regimen (but that gets difficult when you are a workaholic!)

iPhone-wise, things are quiet. Nothing terribly wonderful coming down the pipe lately. I haven't seen any games which did much to grab my attention in recent memory. I have downloaded a few, so let's just get right into them really quickly, then-

Fling (free) - a popular little game, and I can see why. Maybe I am a little dumb, but it gets tiresome for me pretty quickly though (I messed with it for about 15 minutes, then got tired of it and haven't looked back). Still, I can appreciate that a lot of people love this kind of game, and I appreciate the extensive work that was put into its production.

Cell War Lite - TouchArcade was ooohing about this title, a 2D horizontal shooter, so I gave it a try. After all, the screenshots dd look a little remniscient of Gradius. The production value is definitely there, but man, the game got aggravating/unFun pretty quickly.

Bubble Wrap - yeah. I finally tried one of these. It was actually interesting for a moment longer than I expected - that's all, though. Strangely, I think you could make a bizarrely interesting game using this motif - believe it!

Popple Lite - HcG friends GoPlay Games' debut title. I looked at it ages ago and wasn't too into it, finally I downloaded the Lite version and gave it a bit more of a chance. Not bad! There could be a little more to it, but for a 1st effort it's worth a look.

Drop n Pop Lite - I don't know why. For some reason. the screenshot (simplistic as it was) appealed to me and I thought they might have an interesting game here. Playing it I realize what we have is a talented programmer who lacks the mind of designer! It's weird, because there are compelling pieces to the puzzle here. Something big is missing however - bring it back to the drawing board and maybe you might have something cool, however!

2XL Supercross Lite - (yah, i look at a lot of Lite games, surprised?) I had been meaning to investigate this one for awhile. I worked on a motocross game years ago and so this game-style is near and dear to my heart, in some ways. For iPhone, they've done a great job - but this is one of those cases where the all-important precision of control makes or breaks a game experience. The game looks hot, and the control works for what it is. But that doesn't make a fun game!

Eliminate Pro - the big daddy of this week's reviews! How does it hold up? First, it's free. Second, it's multiplayer. The game looks to be a great level of quality, but I will say it's not for everybody (I am not, nor have I ever been an FPS player!) I can't see FPS getting too much traction on iPhone, especially since so many people enjoy doing that in their living rooms these days (and with such high-level options to boot!) Still, there's a hole waiting to be filled, and everyone wants to step up and take a shot. Me, I just played the offline mode vs bots for a moment, so I can't comment on the "actual game experience," but looking at the nuts and bolts of the thing it seems like they brought a full set to the party. I think if they released something like this a good 6 months earlier it might have had some decent staying power. The way things are now, we will see.

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