So I only recently realised that I am damn awful at blogging. I can barely keep track of my own activities let alone telling others how I am doing. I created this indieDB page over a month ago and I haven't created one news post! I figured a quickish intro to the project is in order with more in depth stuff to come later. There will be tidbits of info from all different parts of the project, but I plan to write a proper post mortem when it finally does release showing my logic, design thinking, etc etc.
ANYWAY, now is a better time than ever to yipper yapper about my latest baby. Also, get ready for many GIFs.
Hello! My name is Jamie Grossman and I am a developer support engineer at a little company called Marmalade. I released a native Android game called Plow back in December, and after recreating and teaching others how to make Flappy Bird (sorry!) for a developer day at the company (and writing a tutorial on it) using Marmalade Quick, I didn't just want to upload another clone to the market. Besides, it was March/April time at this point and I had already missed the initial clone rush for that sweet tainted money..
Marmalade + toast. Get it? Like.. you don't wanna be spread on the toast. I'm a comedian damn it.
I'm guessing watching flapping marmalade dodging toast wasn't on your agenda today right?
Even though it was simple, I was kinda proud that I managed to remake it in such a short amount of time in a cross platform technology that I wasn't familiar with, so I started thinking about what I could do with the concept that I hadn't seen before. My answer? Reverse Flappy Bird.. as in you control the enemies instead. Sounds weird right? Here was my thinking:
- Move enemies up and down while character moves up and down randomly
- Survive for as long as possible
I came up with this idea in early 2014, so I wouldn't actually be surprised if something like it has already been released. Lets pretend there hasn't. Even if it isn't true. Just work with me.
Alas, POLYGANIC was born!
At least, thats what it's called now. Back then, I was sticking with Flappomatic, then Flappatron, then it was POLYGONIC, to POLYMANIC, to finally POLYGANIC. Why you ask? Well, the game is based on polygons, and you might say it's .. kinda manic? Polygon + Manic = POLYGANIC!
It was funny at the time.
But enough about the damn name! Here she is in her latest glory:
Like I said, it started out as a Flappy Bird clone, and before I knew it, it was another simple concept instead. The polygon flies by itself going up and down randomly, and the player has to move the columns to prevent crashing. Awesome! I loved it. The simplicity of it; easy to pick up, but annoying enough to say 'one more time' (sort of like Flappy Bird.. I hope!).
I chose to emphasise shapes because I liked the idea of increasing difficulty based on the amount of sides the shape had. Also, I really like the word polygon. Here is some actual gameplay!
As you can see,I kind of ran with it. To this day, I am still not sure if it was the right decision, but I decided to make it a much bigger game. I could have just submitted a one level game like my game Plow, Flappy Bird, or even other successful hits, but I wanted the player to be rewarded. I wanted them to come back and want to play more; not just for the sake of it. I decided to add more like different game modes and varying level difficulties. I even added added a god damn left handed mode when I saw some poor left handed soul failing miserably. I gotcha lefties.
You start out as a triangle (3 sides), and each level gets harder as you move on to the next shape. You get points for passing gates and collecting yellow coins as well as avoiding red ones. These can be used later for extra lives and the aforementioned different game modes, but I'll go into that another time. Also, that coin meter at the top? Well, collect enough coins..
I'm still working on the marketing, but at the moment, I am sticking with 'Reverse Flappy Bird on Drugs'. Seriously though, I took a lot of inspirtation from not only Flappy Bird, but also the twitchy gameplay and psychadelic 8-bit colours of Super Hexagon and the Bit.Trip series (especially bit trip runner). And yes, there will be 8-bit chiptune music!
I'm not even sure I can get away with comparing POLYGANIC to those masterpieces, but those games are really beautiful. With all of this in mind, I have still tried to keep the game extremely simple with one main objective in mind; survive for as long as possible.
Hopefully I have succeeded, but enough blibber blabber. I will initially be targetting all mobile platforms including Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows Store with other pltforms to follow. The game is like.. 90% finished. Otherwise, it will be available soon and I cannot wait for people to play it. I have watched a lot of people play it and I have tried to incorporate as much feedback as possible, so I am hoping this one pays off and everyone has a bit of fun with it.
Expect a video trailer soon with more info, and I will also flesh out the page with new screenshots and stuff! I've been quite active with it on reddit.. specifically r/gamedev; kinda weird to see how far it has come!
Thanks for reading!