Thursday, March 17, 2011

iPhone App Game Development Blog #48

iPhone App Game Development Blog #48

180 - wrapping up Android development of the souped-up version of this game. It's actually been super-busy with that, I have got nearly all the assets rezzed up (still another day or two's worth to do). New UI is designed and being implemented, I am trying my hardest to get the game a decent level more presentable than the previous game (which as I've continuously stated, looks great for what it is but has never been very marketable in screenshots). There's a few funky things going on under the hood for the plan on this new iteration, how it will be marketed and (hopefully) to pull in money. I don't wanna let the cat out of the bag until it's ready, but it might be pretty successful if it catches on. I've never seen this particular strategy used before!

We experimented with a casual mode for the game, and I quite like it. Rather than push forward to launch with it, I am going to pull back and flesh it out a bit more and make it more than just a one-trick pony; the actual development and release of such a mode will certainly depend on the reception following release, but already it's quite fun and I can't wait to get deeper with it. Likewise I have long been planning to make a special "tablet" mode of this game and that will likely follow suit as well, if we get some decent download numbers. These updates could be big and I am excited to produce them! Also on deck is a multiplayer mode, and it would be fairly easy to design that; and it would be super fun to play as well. That's gonna require somee headier tech one way or another, so I am going to still leave that one for down the road as well. Between all these new modes and ideas, we have a case where an already very good game can go onto becoming extraordinary - so, let's see how this plays out!

I intended for the game to launch prior to the NA release of the 3DS; sadly it's not going to happen, but it won't be long now.

Bizdev - regular readers of this blog will recall other projects I have alluded to in the past (the mysterious "3" for example). I've finally begun production on a completely new game, from scratch. It's just barely begun (we are prototyping, and I have to do a full design document pass) but it is underway and I am excited. It's a very "old" Headcase game, in that it's rough design was a predecessor to 180 - but as I am starting out with another new programmer, this smaller project will be a great way for us to begin our collaboration towards bigger things. The game itself is called "Trapdoor," and while it will be a very simple game (less complex mechanics than 180), it will still be quite fun and very accessible. Good old arcade-style and well-suited for mobile gaming. Trapdoor will begin life as an Android title, but hopefully we can get it running on other platforms as well before too long (I strongly believe that iOS is the place to be for games, if one hopes to get real visibility; at least for now!)

Otherwise I was struck by some fabulous inspiration last week and jotted down some notes for a great new game idea, one which had been stewing in a very raw form in my head for several months but always lacking that critical piece that would make it "work" as a mobile game. That element finally came to me, I roughed it out a little on paper, and the project started getting a little life already. I think this game could easily succeed, between the art style, the gameplay, and the interface. It's really one of the no-brainers in that "no one's nailed this genre before" and if properly executed, it should be a shoo-in for being a hit that will sell fairly easily. You have been warned :) Development of this title will commence in some months and could conceivably see the light of day by the 3rd quarter if things go smoothly, but in all honesty it is just too early to say right now. At any rate I am itching to get working on this puppy more than anything else really.

Besides the apps, I am working hard to maintain Headcase Games' social presence(s). Between the various websites, the twitter, the facebook(s), all the contests and routine promotion, it does get a bit bogged down, though after all this time I have managed to get much of it running fairly well on autopilot in a large fashion (I don't have to sink much time/work into many of the parts, but there is still steady enough content being delivered). I haven't covered any retrogame reviews for some ages, although I really intend to resuscitate that in some form or other (at least, on a weekly basis). As I'm just scrambling to oversee the wrap-up and launch of one game while a different one begins it's early stages, it gets hard for me to juggle too much at once, so that is why some things are just quieter than usual.

What Else is Going On - oh my god! To be honest it's a little hard to be so wrapped up in all of my work right now when there's such a humanitarian crisis of biblical proportions going on right now. The news is really dominating my mind - it is such a shame, and very upsetting, and it does get hard to concentrate. Living here in Los Angeles, of course all of this does make us fearful of "what could happen over here" (I don't wanna jinx it!), but really there is just so much concern and worry about all the tragedy that is befalling so many of our brothers and sisters overseas right now. Video game development seems fairly irrelevant in light of all of this calamity!
Anyway, we send our hope and support to those afflicted, and I want to pass on some links that you should check out if you have the means to help in the relief effort.

iPhone developers supporting here and here

American Red Cross


Salvation Army

Convoy of Hope

and more

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