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BOT... 146,800,640 pixels of exploration

03-07-2011, 09:31 AM
#1
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 378
BOT... 146,800,640 pixels of exploration

Hi!

So many years ago, when I was playing games like The Legend of Zelda or Phantasy Star II, it would be difficult to imagine what I'm doing today. I'm working on BOT an RPG for the iPod Touch and iPhone. And so far, I'm really impressed with how this game is turning out.

I started doing some math at how big this game is going to be. In retina display, it's 146,800,640 pixels of exploration... and that's not counting if I add dungeons.

BOT is a sci-fi RPG, specifically designed for iOS. There are no lame thumbsticks here. This is not just a mindless port of a 1980's game. The future is coming soon!

Does this sound interesting to you?
If so, you can follow the progress here...

http://photics.com/bot-game-design-and-progress-reports

Would you like to be notified when this game is released? If you post a comment on that page with a valid email address, and keep that email address working until the game is released, then you should receive an email when the game is released.

The game is expected to be released in about a month.

Michael Garofalo - App Developer and author of The Unofficial GameSalad Textbook.
03-07-2011, 10:34 AM
#2
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 595
There are definitely a lack of exploration-based games, and another good rpg can never be a bad thing. I'll be keeping my eye on this one for sure!

03-07-2011, 11:19 AM
#3
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 51
Sheez looking forward to this game

Atleast you know how to make a dramatic writing

Got me totally hooked!
03-07-2011, 11:59 AM
#4
I don't think your theory on success is quite on the right track, but good luck to you on this extremely ambitious project. I'm certainly looking forward to it, as well

But I was wondering: Is Retina Display really a requirement? I won't be able to play on my 3GS?

わたしのねこはがこうえいきます。
私の猫は学校絵行きます。
03-07-2011, 01:21 PM
#5
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Pacific Northwest.
Posts: 408
Ugh, retina is a requirement? That's going to limit your audience.

Sounds interesting, I checked out your blog

Oh well, I'll wait till the next version iPhone comes out. My 3GS is in perfect shape, no need to upgrade just for a game. I'll for sure put this on my list though.
03-07-2011, 02:04 PM
#6
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 378
Quote:
Originally Posted by DahakaJR View Post
Ugh, retina is a requirement?
That's one of my requirements in making the game, not playing the game.

I'm trying to keep things optimized, so that it runs on older hardware. Right now it runs at 60 FPS on the iPhone 4. With Resolution Independence, high res graphics are used for Retina Display devices. Without that, the game would crash on older hardware. Large images use a lot of memory!

The drawback to this feature is that the game is somewhat larger. (It's double the images, one low res and one high res.) I don't think that can be avoided. This game is going to have a lot of content... so I'm not worried about AT&T's 20MB Over-the-Air download limit. The game has lots of music... lots of sound effects and of graphic files. While I am trying to keep RAM requirements low, I'm not worrying about storage space. This isn't a NES cart. HA!

This morning I continued working on the game's enemies. The first one is a spider. It's a bit creepier than I thought. The AI is nice. It's similar to the stuff I've seen in MMORPGs. The monster wanders around randomly until the hero is in range. Then the monster chases the hero. If the hero gets out of range, the monster stops chasing the hero. It sounds simple, but it was a bit freaky to see it in action. If I can feel emotion while making the game, that's how I know I'm heading in the right direction.

Michael Garofalo - App Developer and author of The Unofficial GameSalad Textbook.

Last edited by Photics; 03-07-2011 at 02:10 PM.
03-07-2011, 02:15 PM
#7
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Pacific Northwest.
Posts: 408
That's nice to hear retina isn't required to play.

I'll keep my eye on this title. Keep up the work!
03-18-2011, 11:06 AM
#8
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 378
Quote:
Originally Posted by DahakaJR View Post
I'll keep my eye on this title. Keep up the work!
Hi!

I'm still working hard on BOT. It's almost an obsession, as I've been working for days on things that other developers might skip. Here's an example...

Four-Way Auto-Rotational Support!

Since the game has a minimalistic interface, it wasn't too hard to add Landscape AND Portrait support. That way, you can position your iOS device in the mode that's most comfortable for you. This is great for those that care about audio. Are you wearing headphones, but you don't like where the plug is sticking out? You might really appreciate the extra work that went into this feature.

I figure if I'm going to work hard on audio, I might as well encourage players to actually listen to it.

One of the most memorable moments in creating this game was adding weapons and stealth. Heh, when I first added shooting to the game, I started laughing like a mad scientist. If you were in the next room, you'd think I had gone mad. Stealth is lots of fun too. I used to play a Rogue in EverQuest and World of Warcraft, so like sneaking up to the enemies. I think this option gives players a chance to use the sword. The idea is to give different styles of play. So if you feel like slashing your way around, that's cool. If you feel like shooting, that's cool too.

Although, I'm planning to add puzzle elements, where certain weapons are necessary to progress.

There are four different types of projectiles and three defensive items. Each of these items have four levels, to add an extra sense of progression. There's also five upgrades to TANK. That way, while you're exploring the millions of pixels, there's cool loot to find.

Heh, all those years playing MMORPGs weren't wasted. Instead of complaining to developers about what they should add to the game, I'm finally in a position to do it myself. It's a great feeling. I'm so excited about this game and I'm really looking forward to launching it.

The launch window is still April!

Michael Garofalo - App Developer and author of The Unofficial GameSalad Textbook.

Last edited by Photics; 03-20-2011 at 08:23 PM.
03-18-2011, 02:53 PM
#9
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Not USA
Posts: 205
This game sounds promising the way you describe it! C:

I like the idea of Four-Way Auto-Rotational Support, such a nice little thing that players will appreciate. Just to make sure, can we lock the screen position?
I also read your Back to the Drawing Board post from your website and you said you decided to focus on Zelda kind of RPG, does this game still use it? Oh, you also mentioned there are no thumbsticks, that's cool, but I hope whatever replace its function isn't going to be intrusive.

The last question, and sorry if I sound demanding, are you going to release any teaser images or videos? Since you're planning to release it on April it might be better to build up the hype. I think this kind of game might easily attracted many of TA members.

That's it. Keep your enthusiasm and spirit! Yeaaah!
03-18-2011, 04:07 PM
#10
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 378
Quote:
Originally Posted by natejeevas View Post
I like the idea of Four-Way Auto-Rotational Support, such a nice little thing that players will appreciate. Just to make sure, can we lock the screen position?
Great question!

No, this option will not be added. It's not necessary.
http://www.iphonefaq.org/archives/97974

Orientation locking is built into iOS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by natejeevas View Post
I also read your Back to the Drawing Board post from your website and you said you decided to focus on Zelda kind of RPG, does this game still use it?
BOT is an adaptation of that project. I was thinking of creating a traditional RPG like Gauntlet and Zelda, but I decided to make the theme Sci-Fi.

Basically, the inspiration is like this... Link from the Legend of Zelda and Samus from Super Metroid got together and had a kid. While growing up, that kid hung out with Gauntlet. (A possible expansion idea is adding online play, this is not planned for version 1.0. Some Game Center support is planned though, either on release or soon after release.) That kid grew up and fell in love with Phantasy Star II. They had another kid, that went to school with EverQuest, Dark Age of Camelot, World of Warcraft and Guild Wars. When the kid grew up, it got a job at Miniclip - playing Robo Rampage.

I'm making BOT unique, but those were some of my favorite games. I don't play MMORPGs anymore, that's because of changes I didn't like or content I don't like. Since I haven't found a suitable replacement, I decided to make my own game.

It's still using the top-down design, like Gauntlet, Zelda and Phantasy Star 2. The main difference is 360 of movement and the graphics are more modern.

Quote:
Originally Posted by natejeevas View Post
Oh, you also mentioned there are no thumbsticks, that's cool, but I hope whatever replace its function isn't going to be intrusive.
I think the controls are excellent. I was very fussy about this. It's an iOS game, so it has to be easy. Yet, I managed to make it do a lot.

The philosophy is simple — if I'm having fun, then the players will likely have fun too. I'm very happy with the controls, making TANK dance around the screen is very satisfying. That might sound effeminate, as TANK is a burly character, but that's just a natural reaction to the controls. I've wasted a lot of time just making TANK run around. It's so satisfying to me.

I remember when I first played Super Mario World. While many other game developers were struggling with 3D movement, this game got it right. I jumped around the outside of the castle for a while. Before the mission even started, I was having a lot of fun. While not as impressive as that, I think I've created an elegant solution to iOS controls. BOT doesn't pretend to be an iOS game. It was specifically designed for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by natejeevas View Post
The last question, and sorry if I sound demanding, are you going to release any teaser images or videos? Since you're planning to release it on April it might be better to build up the hype. I think this kind of game might easily attracted many of TA members.
I'm planning to release videos and screenshots while the game is in review. That will be my promotion week. If I'm doing marketing, I'm not working on the game. Heh, so I should probably get to work.

So unless Touch Arcade contacts me personally, and requests an interview, I'm probably just going to wait until the app is in review. Heh, that will give me something to do while I wait for Apple to approve BOT. It can be a stressful time for a developer.

Michael Garofalo - App Developer and author of The Unofficial GameSalad Textbook.

Last edited by Photics; 03-18-2011 at 04:12 PM.