Wednesday, March 30, 2011

StarPod released in App Store! Awesome space shooter game for iPhone and iPad with OpenFeint, Game Center

My latest game, StarPod, is now available on the app store!

I really enjoyed making StarPod... it's got rockin' music and cool sound effects, colorful graphics and explosions, plenty of particle systems... it's not a "kid's game" like my previous couple of entries, it's actually a game that i enjoy playing :)

In StarPod, you are a spaceship being attacked by various types of space-dwelling shape creatures. Enemies include fiery squares, icebursts, insidious triangles, starburst caterpillars, and plasmapillars. You have 2 "D-Pad" style controllers, one on the left to move, and one on the right to fire (a la Robotron, Total Carnage, Geo Wars, etc...). Personally, this is one of my favorite playing configurations, I always like a good game where I can get into a zone of moving with one hand and unleashing destruction with the other.

There are two basic goals in the game... destroy lots of enemies for points, and stay alive as long as possible without using a Big Bomb. Every 7 seconds you stay alive without the BB, the points multiplier increases. So, the longer you stay alive, the higher your points multiplier will get. Once you use the Big Bomb or get destroyed, though, the points multiplier resets back to 1. When I play, I am focused on staying alive as long as possible, so I rarely use a Big Bomb... I have gotten the points multiplier up past 60x ;)

This game is fun on iPhone and iPad... on the iPad, the obvious benefit is that there's more D-Pad space, so you will have an easier time seeing on the D-Pad which direction it's pointing. Some players may find it a little tough during the first few plays to remember to keep your thumbs on the D-Pads, but once you do, you will (hopefully) be mesmerized and "in the zone".

There are a bunch of subtle features designed to keep the game mesmerizing and interesting, including:
- each starfield is created on the fly, and each star twinkles
- each enemy has a distinct spawn sound and a distinct explosion sound. the sounds are panned left or right according to the position of the enemies, and the explosion sounds' pitch is variable depending on the size of the enemy at the time of explosion
- each enemy type has a distinct strategy for getting to you, i wanted to make sure that "camping" in the corner would not be an effective strategy for the game ;)
- powerups, including double shot, triple shot, quad shot, and shields up the ante in terms of destruction unleashed
- if you are cornered, and if you have destroyed enough enemies, you can use the big bomb to blow up all the enemies on the screen and get a fresh start. this is particularly awesome when there are lots of different enemy types on the screens, because each enemy will explode one at a time and play it's sound... so you get a little custom concert along with the big bomb :)


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