Wednesday 16 January 2013

Let's Get Physical (on iPad!)

Back in Summer 2011 I was busy designing Greedy Bankers vs The World's multiplayer mode - an iPad-only variation where two players compete to make their fortune the fastest. I realised that rather than creating a separate game grid for each player, it would be easier just to build one giant grid with one side assigned to each player.

What came out of that turned out to be one of the most interesting and exciting parts of the game. Players weren't limited to using the gems on their grid. They could just reach over the board and steal anything they needed from their opponent! Players could get in each other's space, and that was great fun. To incentivise it, I added a bonus multiplier to every gem stolen, and the game took on a whole new lease of life.

Gems can be stolen in Greedy Bankers by taking them from your opponent's side

The game was for two players, but required both of them to use the whole screen as if it was their own. Players' approaches ranged from the desperately greedy to the polite and civilised, and some even descended into wrestling matches!

Noting that this was something very special, I wanted to explore this deeper in my next games. As such, it's why I ended up working on Slamjet Stadium - my upcoming multiplayer physics/sport mashup for iPad.

The tablet as a physical space

One of the great things about the tablet is it is a great big interactive canvas. You can do large gestural movements on it, you can play with objects without them being fiddly, and you can easily fit more than one hand on it at once. So it's the perfect device for physically-demanding touchscreen games, and there's plenty of room for multiplayer.

Thursday 10 January 2013

Slamjet Stadium: Get Ready!

Slamjet Stadium is nearing completion! I'm about to send out build 0.80 to testers, marking the point where it is "content-complete" with only tweaking and testing outstanding before it's ready to launch.

This is a very exciting stage to be at! I've put a lot into this project, including working over Christmas and staying up late coding to pretty weird music (it helps me concentrate!), so seeing it all taking shape is a wonderful feeling.

For those not yet familiar with the game, Slamjet Stadium is a local multiplayer iPad game. It's physics-based variation on football set in the distant future, where players are free to cheat and play dirty, using traps and power-ups to mess up their opponents, or simply stealing players from the other team. This youtube video shows the game in action!

So what's new in the final version?

Single-player is now complete, and I just want to balance the level of difficulty, which means plenty of testing and tweaking! There's three difficulty settings, each one affecting the level of speed, accuracy and behaviour of the AI opponents.

A final three teams were added to the roster, making a grand total of six, plus one secret boss team. Below are the new non-secret teams: the Precinct 9 Police Bots, and the Fanboys.