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Alpha Project - Infinite State Games (iPhone/iPod Touch)

10-09-2012, 06:11 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 51
Alpha Project - Infinite State Games (iPhone/iPod Touch)

Hey guys

After the very successful launch of Frutorious and the Shepherd - Mars needs sheep update, we feel it's time for something new for us at Infinite State Games.

Alongside the Frutorious update, we've started our latest project. This is essentially us scratching at a creative itch we've been cultivating for, well probably since the 90's when we first got our hands on Xenon 2, Raiden and other classics of the era!

We've decided to call this...
Alpha Project

What is it? We're not trying to create a new genre, or carve a niche for ourselves to stand out from the crowd. This is simply an ode to one of gaming's oldest genres: the vertically scrolling shoot 'em up.

"Not another vertical shooter" we can hear you thinking, and we realise the app store is pretty saturated with schmups, but this is a game we are making simply because we want it on our own phones. The direction we are going in with it will mean we won't get bored with it like we tend to with other shooters. We don't want to give away too much at this point, but we will keep you updated over the course of the project.

Right now we are very early in development, and are looking around the app store for other great examples so we can see what they do right, and also what they do wrong.

We'd love to hear what vertical shooters you have played and loved, what you loved about them, what you hated about them, etc.

Any feedback or examples you give will very much appreciated - thanks in advance!

While we don't have any videos of Alpha Project at this stage, here is a taster of the seminal Raiden to get you in the mood and jog your memories about similar games to tell us about


Check out Frutorious, Shepherd or Extreme Golf on iPhone or iPod Touch!
10-09-2012, 07:25 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: England
Posts: 11,294
Relative touch is a must in games like this. People like lots of power-ups, or 'transform' from one ship to another (Eg one game you transform to a robot who can only shoot vertical but is more powerful, transform back to the main ship whenever you want).

How about 'bonus' stages', eg like in Marioland when you go down a pipe. Fly into a small cave in the game and it turns into a single screen space invaders/galaxians style game , shoot enough invaders and you get extra weapons or a power up etc.

I remember the old game Star Wars on the Gameboy, bit dull but if you used to go around in your landspeeder, reach a cave and then it turns into a platformer.

Instead of the cave idea you could have a 'town' so if you fly into that it then turns into a small side scrolling level where again if you reach the end you get a powerup etc. Just something to break it up from the usual 'shoot everything' you see in a vertical shoot em up.

Terra Cresta had a great weapons system also, get two powerups and you have the' ultimate' ship in the game with vast firepower

Just throwing ideas out there so it wont be the usual shoot em up. Cave do very very good shoot em ups so i think its hard to compete against something like that. I think a shoot em up with something different, eg sub sections which are either platforming or old skool shoot em ups for bonus points would add something different.

Plus Raiden Legacy is meant to be coming out 'soon' for iOS so obviously you want to be quite different from that
10-09-2012, 07:49 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 51
Thanks PSJ - some great ideas in there

We already have a prototype up and running that does indeed use relative controls and feels great. It's scaled up slightly as well to magnify your movements. I'm toying with whether to put a tilt option in too, but that needs to be enabled on an application level and can nail the battery, so if it wouldn't be used, is wasted effort.

I'm loving the idea of a platformer... That could fit in very nicely. I'm definitely going to chew over that and try to work it in. I can think of a couple of areas it would fit into as well.

We're definitely not trying to compete with the big boys - and especially not the don: Raiden! We've been looking at Cave games so far like Blissful Death, Bug Princess etc. as well as others like Pheonix HD and rRootage...

I really wish we could steal one of Cave's artists for a month

Cheers for the input though - absolutely food for thought!
Now, where did I put that design doc...?

Check out Frutorious, Shepherd or Extreme Golf on iPhone or iPod Touch!
10-09-2012, 09:07 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: England
Posts: 11,294
Cheers, some ideas might have been a bit OTT but just thinking of something to make the shooter different from others.

There was a game on the NES, forget the name but the first stage was like a 'basic' horizontal 'R-Type/Gradius' type level. Once you finished that level you would automatically land at some spaceport.

Then it would switch to a standard platformer, get particular items from the various screens and then go back to your ship to fly/shoot enemy ships to the next planet.

Would love something like that. Think thats what iOS is missing. Theres tons of platformers, tons of shoot em ups but I cant think of any particular game which is a combination of both. Or even land on a planet and then it becomes one of the horizontal 'kikstart' style games (you know the motorbike/car ones where you accelerate and use left/right buttons to steer depending on the jumps).

Anyway look forward to seeing how this game pans out, good luck with it
10-09-2012, 09:31 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 51
Thanks! Funny you should mention space ports...

Check out Frutorious, Shepherd or Extreme Golf on iPhone or iPod Touch!