Some of my favorite memories growing up were made while playing Super Bomberman, Mario Kart’s Battle Mode, NBA Jam, and similar games with my family and friends. My brothers and I spent a stupid number of hours playing Super Ships II, a two player shareware space battle game on the family Macintosh Peforma.
Ever sentimental for the good old days, I started working on a game that tries to recapture these warm feelings. A staying-up-till-2am-battling-my-favorite-people simulator. After on-and-off work for a couple years, I’m quite excited and pleased to say this project, Astro Duel, is done and is available now on the App Store.
Astro Duel takes this four player deathmatch game style and adapts it for iPad. Like a cocktail arcade cabinet, Astro Duel is playable from any angle. Set it on a table or play on the floor. It plays great at bars and, well, almost anywhere!
Up to two players can play directly on the iPad. Additional players control their ships wirelessly with an iPhone using the free Joypad app. The new fancy iOS 7 Bluetooth controllers work too.
The game plays like a cross between Bomberman and Asteroids. Players battle to the death in various deep space arenas. Scattered around each level are asteroids, hazards and various powerups. Much like Mario Kart, most of the powerups are single use weapons, but a few are persistent.
I’ve tried to match the arena variety found in Bomberman. Most of levels have a characteristic feature that greatly changes the gameplay. In the level CACHE almost every barrier is destructible. In BEAMS two perpendicular death beams reward player patience and control. And BLKHOLE, a giant Black Hole sucks everything ever.
Huge shout-out to Matt Thorson’s TowerFall, my favorite game from last year. This masterfully designed game was very influential to me as I was finishing Astro Duel. The addition of a Headhunters game mode in Astro Duel is directly inspired from TowerFall.
I hope Astro Duel is a welcome addition to iPad. It was an attempt to help create more great memories. For my family, it already has.
Complementing the iPad version, Astro Duel is also available on Mac! Similar to that old shareware game I used play with my brothers, the Mac version is straightup free.
It’s done! The project that is Retro Game Crunch is finally released. (How I’ve dreamed for 18 months to speak these words!) The full 7 game collection is now available on the Humble Store and on retrogamecrunch.com.
I made a trailer to celebrate!
I haven’t done any film stuff in a while, so getting to make this was a real treat.
Full Steam Ahead
Retro Game Crunch is now on Steam Greenlight! (Greenlight is how new indie games get on the Steam store.) We need lots of “yes” votes to progress through the Greenlight program, so click here, and give us a thumbs up.
I’m thrilled to finally share Box Cat and Bloop with my Android friends. Noodlecake did an amazing job making both games feel great on Android. So glad we can finally release these out into the Android wild.
Both games are on Amazon and Google Play:
This is my first time in Android waters, so it’s exciting to see what it’s like over here. My fingers are crossed. :)
And as a bonus, Box Cat is now on the OUYA! Now you can smash cars and dash trucks at 1080p. Xbox 360 or PS3 controllers work great too! :)
I’m personally still really excited about the OUYA. There’s a ton of crazy weird games to try and lots of couch fun to be had. And the console has only been out six weeks! I think (and hope) the OUYA future is a bright one.
Oh, and Box Cat is already a featured game on the OUYA store. :D
An exciting day of releases. Hit me up on twitter and let me know what you think and show me them high scores!
Small announcement today for a small game. The “flapformer” Angle Isle is now on the App Store! Play it with your iPad, iPhone or fancy new widescreen iPod.
My favorite new feature: the Shark. I drew him almost a year ago, but he wasn’t in the original 48-hour Flash version. (Ran out of time.)
Ok, back to crunching on RGC Game 2.
This was my first full year making indie games. I loved it!
I started 2012 with a clean slate. No projects in progress or in mind. The first few months were spent looking for interesting ideas to chase and building prototypes.
In March I attended my first GDC. Many talented, amazing people shared their insights and work. Also: crazy multiplayer parties, friendly indies, and fun times all around.
Chasing Four Players
At GDC I told Todd and Lou from Joypad that someone should make a multiplayer game using their iPhone app. Post GDC, I started prototyping four player iPad games. Trying to capture the feeling of late night Bomberman Battle Mode, I created Astro Duel: a tabletop asteroids arena game for four.
While working on Astro Duel, I became frustrated with the complexities of wireless controller setup and lag. While complaining to my friends about this, I came up with Bloop, a much simpler four player game. Bloop was finished six days later.
Tickets for WWDC sold out before I woke up, so in June I drove to SF during the conference to hang out and show off Bloop and Astro Duel. Much cheaper.
And I discovered people liked Bloop! It was a finalist at IndieCade 2012, official selection at Games for Change ANZ, official selection at IndieCade East, and one of Touch Arcade’s Best Group Games of 2012.
But the coolest part from all this was attending IndieCade. This festival was out-of-control-fun. I met dozens of fellow indies and played Bloop with hundreds of people. And the night games were incredible. What a great event. Recommended!
Twice this year I was able to participate in Ludum Dare. For the April Combo I made the flapformer Angle Isle. Then in August I teamed up with Shaun Inman and Matt Grimm to make the evolutionary metroidvania Super Clew Land. It went well. We took second place in the Jam, expanded Super Clew Land into a full game, and launched a kickstarter to make six more games. Woohoo!
And then I read Twitter
A December retweet led to a Skype call which lead to me moving to Austin(!). Retro Game Crunch was about to start, so there was no time to waste: I packed up, said goodbye to Sacramento friends, and arrived in Austin two days before the new year.
If the year started empty, it ended full. Full and good.