Preparing for Release

After about a year’s development time, we’ve finally decided to aim to release in May, 2016! I have to admit, this took much longer than expected. Originally we only wanted to create the simplest game we could so that we could gain experience juicing and polishing user experience. One thing led to another, took a few months off here and there, and before you know it, a year has passed!

We’ve been testing our game plenty on friends, kids, friends’ kids, and found that the target audience that best vibed with our app are 1) Middle school-aged kids, and 2) Infinite-running game enthusiasts like Crossy Road players. These two audiences seem to really like our app, so in trying to target teenagers, we wanted to get it out while kids were still in school. If we can get the game out in early May, that gives about a month for our app to spread around.

Ninja_pig_10

(Random graphic from our game to make our wall of text more palatable)

The past week, we’ve been wrapping up graphics and sounds. We have about one more week left before we submit to the App Store, so it’s the last sprint. We also recently created a Super Piggy Punch landing page, but we don’t have any screenshots or videos yet. We’ve also created a link for a Presskit page, but currently has no media on it at all. We plan to fill out those two pages after we submit, and then try to get in contact with anyone who would be interested in promoting us. Marketing work should be quite interesting!

Well, time to get back to work. Have to go and add just one more thing!

Alpha Version

So the game’s development was halted for a few weeks due to an overseas trip. Development has started back up once again, and we have made quite a bit of progress.

Mechanics

The gameplay is simple: move your piggy character up and down to avoid flying swords coming at your piggy face! During the game, you’ll run into items that you can pick up. Two of the item types that we have are apples (not shown in the preview below), and also shields.

The game’s basic play right now has a beginning (menus+intro), middle (gameplay), and an end (win condition). We’re still experimenting with ways to present the levels as well as considering what to implement as unlockables.

Visuals

There are also some snazzy cloud-puffy particle effects when obstacles are destroyed. Right now, we are holding back on adding any other crazy effects, because if we find something we want to add or remove during the beta testing, that might require a bit more work in the long run. We also tweaked some screenshake effects to enhance the “game feel.” Punching cows feel pretty good and satisfying!

Here’s a preview of the game’s current state:

Beta testing

In a few weeks, we want to put the game into more hands to see what is working and what isn’t. Beta testing is something that we’ve done in the past to see if the game is fun (rightfully so), but for this project, we want to take it to the next level, get it into even more hands than we did in the past, and allow beta testers to suggest feature additions (and then actually consider them!).

If you think you may be interested, feel free to send us an email to workhorsebytes@gmail.com and let us know you would like to participate in the beta when it comes out! We’ll be aiming for beta release to be around late August or early September (2015).

The game will run on any iOS device (iPads, iPhones, iPod Touches) running iOS 7.0 or later. If you want to check out some more development videos, follow me on instagram @fizzyfrosty

Backgrounds Backgrounds Backgrounds!

Our prototype now has the first set of original graphics! Everything up until now has been placeholder art from either previous projects or from google.

Now, we have our first background tileset – a bunch of grass – which is seamless moving horizontally. We also have a fence and some mountains in the background. Not only that, but we also added a sky with a moving Sun!

Another new mechanic that we also added was a warning signal to precede stuff that will be flying at the player. We realized that with a positive-x player velocity as well as a negative-x flying axes/knives/sticks velocity, it may possibly not give the player enough reaction time, and it may feel quite unfair.

This blinking indicator should make the game feel a bit more playable. The exact specs of the timing of the blinks and whatnot hasn’t been worked out yet, but at least it is working well!

For the next update, we are looking to add some character animations, which will feature our main hero!!

Working with Cocos2D

So we’re working on a new game using the Cocos2D framework for iOS. After publishing a small snake game and adding some features, we now sort of have a pseudo-2d game engine.

We’ll be using this as a basis to make our next game. I think the plan right now is to make some kind of action-side scroller that will be uber-polished.

Who We Are

Hey there, we are an awesome 2-man indie team located in Gainesville, FL USA (home of the Florida Gators!) We are game developers, and we make insane games for iOS and Android!

Why You Should Follow Us

We’ll be posting updates on all of our latest work here, from concept art, to screenshots of production, to videos of gameplay! So if you like mobile games, you should definitely check in. For the latest to-the-minute updates, you can follow me personally, Simon the developer, at @fizzyfrosty for Twitter, and Instagram, and also Reddit!

Feel free to give us feedback, anywhere!