The following blog article references the app ShatterGem, for iOS and Android. If you'd like, try it for free!
Android Play Store
iOS App Store

Another delivery post-mortem discussion! It has been a while, but along the way I've delivered on #1GAM (One Game a Month) ... approximately. The average number of game jam and other games completed is abotu 1.1 games/month which I am quite proud of. Please look forward to the full list of games (some of which are just WIP) for the year-end post to come.

Hope you had a great and Happy Halloween, and soon to come Thanksgiving! This post talks about the recent resurgence of Retro games, many of which have a unique twist, as well as my experience releasing for mobile cross-platform using Unity (android and ios)... here we go.

Recently I've completed ShatterGem during the month of October. The idea hit me while playing many games with a retro feel... so first let's describe what that means at a high level. When I mention "retro" these things come to mind

  • Single or dual mechanic reliant gameplay
  • modular gameplay - the above mechanic driven game put under conditions (time attack, high score, etc)
  • arcade feel (e.g. single life, primarily score based, milestones)
  • art and design reminiscent of the late 80s and early 90s
The first bullet point hit it home for me, when I decided to hang my hat on galaga-style shooting. The idea to make the onslaught of obstacles into Gems came when I considered ways to create a new mechanic, merging Arcade action with puzzle genres. It came almost naturally that the goal would be similar to "tap the color" puzzle games. 

My desire initially was to create an isometric infinite scroller, but the intricacies of the art design was a main barrier. When the idea to create NON-pixel art came to light, I felt like I lost some of my retro feel, but then realized what we all know already - pixel art tends to be a red flag for most gamers. So let's call the art... experimental.

The rebirth of retro is quite inspiring but will it mark another app store "bubble" ? I surely hope not, as iterative development over pre-existing mechanics and genre tropes is the advent of great, disruptive games. "Pre-existing" and "disruptive" are not usually in the same sentence, but resurgence is inevitable, and skill and consciousness of gamefeel can bring back something tired into something truly unique.

I encourage you to try ShatterGem, weigh in with your own opinion, and let me know what you think!

-stencil chris
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