Archive for November, 2012

Titan Attacks mobile – Developer Diary #1

Monday, November 12th, 2012

In case you didn’t hear the news, I’m porting Titan Attacks to mobile for Puppy Games. This is my first developer diary of probably quite a few…

It’s been a week since I agreed to do the project and I’ve been busy with quite a few things but have managed to make some progress as follows:

– First I played Titan Attacks a lot and made giant spreadsheet of all the game screens and game mechanics/enemies etc. with screenshots where applicable. Just the very act of noting things down about the game has helped me understand it a lot better including realising there are some things I need to ask Cas (the original developer) some questions about.

– I also made a list of various improvements and considerations for the mobile version. This list will likely grow as development moves forward.

– Had a chat to a Windows 8 evangelist about the possibility of getting the game on Windows 8. More on that in the future once I’ve actually tested Monkey’s Metro target (the Monkey language can export code for multiple target platforms, one of which is Windows 8 Metro).

– I downloaded a bunch of Space Invaders-style games to check out their control methods including the excellent Super Crossfire by Radiangames. I also showed a friend these games to see what he preferred.

Possible Control methods:

I’ve now decided on the follow control options:

1) Easy mode = Instaposition the ship + tap to fire with the same finger (default method on iPhone). This wouldn’t be a very good control method on iPad because it’s quite wide in landscape mode and you’d have to move your finger too much probably.

2) Slide mode = Slide in small zone and ship moves relative to this slide zone. Fire button on right. (default method on iPad) Also need an option to flip controls for left-handed players. I saw several variations of this ranging from a left/right joystick, to left/right joypad buttons to a slide bar and the slide bar felt the best to me and my friend. One possible thing I could do is offer players the ability to change the bar width, which is kinda equivalent to sensitivity.

3) Tilt more = Tilt device to move ship and tap anywhere to fire. I’m not sure this method is that practical but it’s quite good fun (and gimmicky) and some players seem to like it.

For all of the above, you’ll hold the button down to auto-fire. This might not be that great for Easy mode if you just want to move the ship somewhere and wait before firing but it’s a compromise that is balanced by super-easy positioning and firing.

Next Up

I’ll be prototyping those control methods and testing them out on people. I know that methods 2 and 3 will work fine with the game, but I don’t know how method 1 will feel yet. I’ll probably do this on the train to Birmingham tomorrow because I’m heading up there to meet some indie friends who can test out the controls if I get something running in time.

Stay tuned for more soon.

I’m porting Titan Attacks to iOS!

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Some big news: Grey Alien Games is porting Titan Attacks, by Puppy Games, to iOS (iPhone and iPad)!

I enjoyed playing this game back in the day before it made it onto Steam with Puppy Games’s other excellent modernised-retro titles such as Droid Assault (another favourite of mine). Currently I’m writing a new game framework in Monkey (a cross-platform language) and so when the opportunity came up to do the port I accepted because I can improve my framework with this already successful and popular IP – plus, you know, it’s just a cool game.

Caspian Prince, who runs Puppy Games, lives surprisingly close to me in Somerset, a cider-swilling county, and I live in Dorset (it’s full of fields and poo). So we met up the other day and he got me set up with the original game’s source code in Eclipse. First thing I’m going to do is prototype the iOS device controls and test them out on people so we can pick the best ones. I’ll be keeping a developer diary for this game so keep an eye out for that.

When’s it out?
We are aiming for early next year, but really it’s going to be “when it’s done”. I’ll be posting progress updates.

We are hoping that between us and the indie community we can make some good sales of the game when it comes out. Making games for iOS is always a bit of a risk but we’ll aim to do the right things in order to make it a success.

What about Android?/Windows Phone?

We’ll see. Monkey can compile for those platforms, but we need to focus on the iOS version first

What about my other projects?

Recently I’ve been working on a Flash Game called Dying To Live. I still intend to get that game out the door but it might take a bit longer. It will share the same framework as Titan Attacks, so that will be handy.

Soon The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is coming out on mobile (my 3rd casual title on mobile). Well perhaps I should say it’s nearly done and after testing we need to publish it. We are in talks with some publishers but if that doesn’t work out we’ll self-publish which will be quick (it may take a while if we use a publisher due to delays in their pipeline and any special APIs they may want integrating).

Also I’ve still got to make a bunch of levels for Eets Munchies, by Klei Entertainment.

So yeah, busy times ahead!

Dying To Live – Developer Diary #2

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Just a quick update on progress made over the weekend:

Team Members

– I contacted the game jam artist, Ola Rogula, owner of, to see if she wanted to help out with some new art for the game and she has agreed. Yay!
– I’ve also contacted a musician who I’ve worked with before to see if he’s interested in making music for the game and am awaiting a reply.


– I created a Label class and made my existing Button class support it. This was so I could add a version number to title screen.
– A while ago I added a mute all (music/sound) toggle via the M key and I’ve now properly tested it.
– Set the music volume to 60% to ensure you can hear in-game sound effects.


– I changed title music which was placeholder. This new one is placeholder too though, but it goes better with the other new placeholder music I have chosen.
– Added placeholder in-game music which keeps going through all the levels and game complete music. I made all this stuff in Fruity Loops about 5 years ago. Got tons more like it.
– Made sure all music mp3s loop with no gap in Flash. I use this thing to make it work.

Also I spent lots of time this weekend investigating all the iOS devices out there and which ones I plan to support for future games. I made a blog post about it which you can read here.

I’ve uploaded the new version here. Have a listen to the music.

That’s it for now.