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Meganoid returns

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Surprise! and not just for you, also for me!   Creating a new game in the Meganoid universe has been an itch for a while now. I think I showed some early video’s from a new “Meganoid” game back in 2015 and then again in 2016, but sadly the game never got to the point of actually being more than a fun prototype.  The main issue has been that Meganoid 2 was kind of a stupid move for me. It broke the universe I designed for the original Meganoid with it’s indiana-jones setting. It’s a great game, but it just should have been named differently!

So, having Ashworld in development for 8 or so months,  most of that time has been a real struggle of creativity since it’s a game in a genre (open world) I have no feeling with. You can read about the Ashworld development struggle over here. That game has finally come to a point where it’s really good and just needs wrapping up and polishing. So that really puts a huge relieve on my creative brain.

To give my self a little break I started working on a new level generator last Thursday and basing it mostly on how Spelunky works. After a few hours of work I had the first drafts of it up and running and from there I’ve been working all weekend on it and the progress has been surprising to say the least.

The screenshots on this page are all taken from the running game as it is now. Nothing is mockup! Turrets turn and shoot, lasers fire, platforms crumble, elevators elevate.. and diamonds drop! There’s even some explosion and such going on, and all accompanied by the sweet light effects that I’ve been using in my last few games.

The levels are partly generated, and partly designed. Basically how it works is that the level generator creates a path of specific rooms that allows you to traverse from start to end room. These rooms are then filled with “pre-designed” blocks that contain small randomizations (a certain platform block might or might not spawn, and a room can be horizontally mirrored). This creates challenging levels and an almost unlimited amount of unique levels to play through.

To get all that running, I also developed a level-editor to create these templates quickly. And from there it was just a matter of throwing as much content into the game to make the levels more interesting.

The cool thing about Meganoid is that the game has a lot of great simple ideas that I can lift from both Meganoid 1 and 2. So it’s really just a matter of drawing and programming these obstacles. A real nice break from games like Space Grunts and Ashworld where I had to rethink and redesign stuff on a weekly schedule!  For this game I’m 90% clear on what the goal is, and it’s just creating it!

My plan is to put the rest of this week into Meganoid, cause even tho I’m breezing through these first steps of development, there is still a bunch of stuff to do. Right now I have literally 1 type of level graphics, and I have some idea’s on where I want to take the game so I’ll have to create a few more tile-sets.

I have some idea’s about adding a bit of story to it, and there will be stuff like inventory/items to pickup (double-jump will not come mounted from the start!) adding a bit of that rogue-like, we all love, to the whole concept.

Meganoid has always had a bit of a sweet spot for me. Back in 2009, when I started moving from feature-phones to smart-phones (the first Android device was just launched, and iOS was really huge); most of my early smart-phone games were the result of me searching for “the next big thing”.  They lacked a joined personality, and each game was something completely different from the others.

In 2011 I decided to just stop working on that next big thing and just create something I wanted to play, and I would love to have. The result was Meganoid, which I created in a bit under two weeks time with 30 levels in it, and released 100% free with advertising. The game was really “me”: a game I loved creating and loved playing, not giving a shit what the “market” was doing or thinking about mobile games.  The game is now at about 1.5 million downloads in total since then (and a bunch of sales on the premium version I released months later).

From that point on I only created those type of games that I personally loved to make and play. So thanks to Meganoid I created games like the Gunslugs series and Heroes of Loot series. They all have this certain feeling and look to it, simply because these games are created by me and are full of what I personally like about games.

So besides Ashworld coming later this year, there’s now also Meganoid to look forward to!

 

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  • nagash

    It could easily be your best game yet… Meganoid i’s the archetypal old-school/punishing stage platformer and that’s were you excel – try to pack it with retention/replayability techniques akin to Nitrome’s Leap Day and you could land a huge mobile hit

    • it will have replay value, some roguelike-elements and the procedural generation are already doing that in the current build ;)

  • Medusa Yuk

    Wow, two Orange Pixel games on the horizon! You spoil us! Can’t wait for both.

  • Gornova

    I really love the Spelunky approach: clever and not time consuming for the programmer. Do you plan also different themes-worlds, like in Spelunky ?

    Another point: I’m an hobbyist game developer and finding inspiration is always a problem, but I think you have centered the point with this post. Make a game you want to play. It’s against any kind of business-customer oriented process, but in the end, if even the creator don’t like the game.. there is a problem :D

    • there will be different worlds, already have the first two in place and working on the third. With possibly some “unlockable” worlds that require items/actions to get there.

      and as for making the game you like, the business sense comes in finding people who, like you, also enjoy such a game ;)