I realize it’s been forever and a day since I updated this blog, but it’s time to get started again. A year and a half ago I released BombSquad on the Mac App Store. A lot has happened since then:
- BombSquad was featured by Apple and briefly hit #1 paid in several countries on the Mac App Store. (woohoo!)
- Over the following months I added lots more single player content, a Free-For-All mode, and GameCenter support. I got featured again. (woohoo #2!)
- I began work porting the game to mobile devices, which required completely rewriting the graphics engine and various other parts. This took a *lot* of time and effort but should be worth it in the end. Last month I released the first results of this effort: BombSquad for OUYA. If you’re not aware, the OUYA is a $99 console based on the Android operating system. I plan on releasing the game for general iOS/Android devices but want to hold off until I get network-games working. I went ahead and pulled the trigger on OUYA, however, since it works well with local ‘couch multiplayer’ type games. The response so far has been great.
So what’s next?
BombSquad was meant to be totally mod-able, and it’s time to get started with that. I’ll be releasing a series of tutorials showing how to completely rip the game apart and turn it into whatever you want to. This should be fun. Stay tuned.
Ok, I vote that’s enough characters for now; what say we release this thing?
For a game with explosive devices in the title, BombSquad’s explosions have always been pretty tame; really nothing more than glowy orange spheres that pop in for a moment, grow, and then disappear. I finally got around to pimping them out a bit though… I find one of the keys to a neat looking explosion is to just add *lots* of random different stuff.. some sparks, some rocks, some smoke, some distortion, some scorching, etc. Here, Spaz is kind enough to demonstrate some of the improvements for us:
Yeah, I know; I said I was done with levels… But there’s one I just had to revisit: Crag Castle. That’s the goofy one that looks like two mirror-image castles up on pedastals facing each other.
Here’s my simple little model I built for it originally:
And here’s what it looked like once converted to 3d, mirrored, and added to the game:
It looks pretty decent from a visual standpoint, but the problem arises when playing on it: all the neat organic lumpy imperfection in the model starts to detract from the fun of the game. Its hard to judge relative positions of things or where bombs will land or how they’ll roll when they hit the ground because everything is so curvy. Its also hard to judge how close to the edge of the level you can get before falling off. Furthermore it feels a bit too large and all the contrast and bumps make it harder to pick out little objects and characters. In general, form has triumphed over function. So with all that against it, despite having spent a fair bit of time on the map, I was about to the point of chucking it in the ol’ virtual trash…
Thankfully I’m stubborn, however, and as it turned out it was nothing a bit of elbow grease and photoshop couldn’t fix. After spending a chunk of my weekend flattening out the 3d version, filling in holes, painting over bumps, and squaring everything up, I’ve got something I’m happy with. The level is now much simpler and feels more natural to play on while still retaining a bit of the appealing organic clay goodness it started with: Hooray; the castle is saved! And now I really *am* done with levels. I swear.